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Often when I try to download a large file, it stalls at 99% or so and never completes. I think I read somewhere that this problem could have something to do wireless routers. What can I do about this?

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is that a torrent file,or a direct download? – Mahmoud Hossam Oct 29 '09 at 4:35
direct download – JoelFan Oct 29 '09 at 4:39
Joel: Seeing you acknowledge that John T has correctly identified your problem and offered the solution, would just mind completing the circle by accepting his answer as the correct solution? – Josh Hunt Oct 29 '09 at 12:58
We found the modern Sisyphus! – Gnoupi Oct 29 '09 at 13:25
I ran into another situation where even with anti-virus turned if, it was still stalling the download. I really think the Linksys router is at fault. I ended up solving it by logging onto a remote server that I happen to have, using wget to download the file, then using scp to get it to my machine. That worked... maybe scp is different from http in some way. – JoelFan Jan 31 '10 at 2:53
up vote 7 down vote accepted

How long do you typically wait before assuming it will never complete? Depending on the application, it could be verifying the integrity of the file. As you said, the files are large, so computing a hash may take some time. Some Anti-virus applications will also stall large file downloads near the end while they scan the entire thing, although there are some that will scan your download progressively piece by piece instead of stalling you at the end.

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about 5 minutes – JoelFan Oct 29 '09 at 4:37
I stopped all Symantec services and tried again... now it worked! So it must have been anti-virus activity. Thanks! – JoelFan Oct 29 '09 at 4:40
You're welcome :) – John T Oct 29 '09 at 4:45
+1, for a good correlation. – nik Oct 29 '09 at 6:17

I can see you found a solution, but just in case:

Many browsers also download files to a temporary location until finished. Once completed they then copy the file to it's final destination. It's not unknown for this process to fail because of lack of space, permissions or (as noted) anti-virus activity.

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I never understood why they do that. – David Thornley Oct 29 '09 at 13:47
@David: So that if the browser crashes mid-download, you don't mistake the half-complete file for the complete thing. – Sasha Chedygov Nov 5 '09 at 5:58

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