This is a common problem I've had on multiple computers in the past. Currently it is happening often on one computer at work. I'll download an installer for a program from the web (typically using Chrome), then click the button in the bottom of the browser to open it, and nothing happens. I'll try the same from Windows Explorer and I get the busy mouse pointer (blue spinning circle alongside it) but nothing will happen even if I wait 10 minutes or more.
This happens with both .msi and .exe files, although not all the time. Currently I'm getting it with the Python 2.7.10 64-bit installer. It seems to be pretty random. The only thing that seems to work reliably is rebooting the entire machine, then opening from Explorer (where I get the "This program was downloaded from the internet, are you sure you want to run it?" dialog). EDIT WHILE I WAS WRITING THIS: I can actually get it to work by copying the file then opening the copy. Don't know why though.
My current guess is that something, possibly my antivirus (I have Microsoft Security Essentials installed) knows the file was downloaded from the internet and wants to scan it before it runs, but is somehow failing to do so.
Some other symptoms/things that don't work:
- Closing Chrome (and manually killing all remaining processes) doesn't help.
- Killing and restarting
- Right-clicking on the file in explorer and selecting "Properties" gives the same result as trying to open, a busy pointer and nothing else.
- Trying to rename the file in explorer while it was "busy" (attempting to release whatever lock has been put on it) crashes explorer.