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Cannot update PortableApps

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EdPontiac1
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Cannot update PortableApps

Yesterday I started receiving the message "Unable to connect to PortableApps.com to retrieve portable apps. Please try again later. [SendRequest Error]" every time I open PortableApps, or try checking for updates. I tried setting the internet connection to Direct, but that did not help. I checked IE's internet settings and all seems normal, and IE connects fine (that is what I'm using now). I downloaded a new copy of PortableApps, but that did not help either. Any suggestions?

John T. Haller
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Check Manually

Can your copy of Internet Explorer download this file? That's what the updater tries to download and it uses the same settings as IE when set to Automatic.

Note that if you're behind a corporate/university/organization firewall, this download may be blocked and a SendRequest Error is often what you will receive.

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EdPontiac1
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John,
When I clicked on the link you provided, a page full of gibberish opened up. I hope this was not some type of malware.

RalphC.

John T. Haller
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More Specific

Could you be more specific than "gibberish"?

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EdPontiac1
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The whole page looked like

The whole page looked like this:
7z��'�nܮ>M�������b�������Z
�s�Y�E]��s"��_�V�ig&��fR����M~=��@7��7����n��
�v(��`�v���
����i�����;�QY�#���B�O�x!�Z��������7� �
���Sx�X �Ǧ��B���}��R/���������#a���l��6}HKY����牥��rq��AoPC�+i�1�
w|�
�K�'V(�ī���
�Nr���\������E��أ�x�5͂����b�|�l��f꒐Y����e��y�T��r,��ƚ �Э��n0�%>yu�������:�ᅨ��q4d։2Ai�x�g[��
l.(|�Y���}����B��*ζe����x.���d�����AŘ�V�6�kC�b?!��/�onJ���0u�=e~^�A��Mm��
yw��4�d��I�Ȼ����u��sx��)b�ʨ3���m�m�/4\^vj���'5���#Ć���N�J�y��d�?p�'�=@�� �m��D �:�E�r��╩����1�&ԫ����������U���7h���C@��ZR�����/��t�D�l�YCd�=�m�]�΍�������Y6�>������f��z�8(
ź��9OJ

RalphC.

John T. Haller
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Right-Click

You should right-click to save it. IE doesn't understand the server's directives. It's a binary file... like an EXE installer, zip file, etc... and not supposed to be viewed in the browser. Your copy of IE for some reason thinks it's text and is trying to display it. It would look the same if you opened it in Notepad++. It's 7-Zipped, which you can determine from the first two characters in what you posted: "7z". It makes for faster downloads, less work for the server, and less bandwidth for end users than sending it as just a big text file.

Either way, we proved that you can access that file in IE. So, something else is afoot that is specifically preventing the updater from obtaining that file. Are you at an organization like a school, company, etc? Are you in a country with restrictive internet? Are you using a third party "software firewall" of some sort?

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EdPontiac1
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John,

John,
Thank you for the help. I am not part of any organization. I live in the USA. My internet connection is very fast, with no problems accessing anything that I am aware of, besides PortableApps. I am using McAfee security software including a firewall. I disabled the firewall, but still could not connect. Until a couple days ago, I was using Google Chrome. I uninstalled it. I don't know if this could have affected my internet connection in some way. I have two computers and cannot update PortableApps on either one. I have a neighbor's computer here connected to my WiFi and I am able to update PortableApps on that computer. I hope this helps.

RalphC.

John T. Haller
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Helpful

Ok, all of that is helpful to know. We now know for a fact that it isn't your network itself.

So, it's something to do with your two machines specifically. So, what do they have in common would be the thing to determine. Do they both have the McAfee software firewall? Have you manually set McAfee to allow internet connections for PortableAppsUpdater.exe within your PortableApps\PortableApps.com folder? What OS version is each PC? Are they both fully updated including the latest versions of IE?

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EdPontiac1
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Info

Both machines are running Windows 10 and are fully updated. My backup computer is using Windows Defender, which is what is protecting my neighbor's computer, which does update PortableApps. I did not manually configure McAfee firewall to allow PortableApps. I checked the firewall settings for it and all looked normal to me. The only thing I could change is to let PortableApps have complete, unmonitored access to the internet. Since the other computer is not using McAfee, I did not think this was necessary, or wise. The only thing the two machines have (had) in common that might cause this problem was a PC tuneup program called System Mechanic. I disabled all automatic changes to my computers a month or two ago. System Mechanic received a patch recently. I am not sure, but this may have something to do with the problem. Today, I uninstalled System Mechanic from both computers, along with cleaning up all leftover files, folders and registry entries that I was able to find. I restarted both machines, but this did not help. I then ran sfc /scannow, DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and CHKDSK C: /f. None of this helped. I also reset my network connection using instructions found on a Microsoft website. This made no difference either. I am now getting ready to do an in-place upgrade to my backup computer to see if this will fix the issue. If it does, I will do the same on my new computer. Thank you very much for the help. If you think of anything else that might help, I am all ears.

RalphC.

John T. Haller
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System Mechanic

If the only thing these two particular PCs have in common is running System Mechanic, that could be it. The fact that one has Windows Defender and one has McAfee rules out McAfee. I've heard from others that System Mechanic can make some changes to the registry which are not recommended which could impact networking. On my dad's laptop, I think System Mechanic was responsible for breaking Windows 7's ability to update, for instance. Sadly, I do not know of a way to reverse said changes other than a Windows re-install.

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EdPontiac1
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Thank you.

John,

I really appreciate the time you put into helping me. Even though System Mechanic has been removed from both computers, I fear that, like you said, System Mechanic may have made irreversible changes to the registry. I have had problems with this program in the past. This is why I disabled all automatic changes to my system(s) a while back. System Mechanic is the only program the two machines have in common that I think has the ability to make these kinds of unwanted changes. I do have some of the same programs on both computers, but the ones on my new computer are the paid versions, and the ones on my backup are the free versions, so there is no real-time monitoring on the backup. I find it suspicious that I just recently installed a patch for System Mechanic on both computers and now I cannot update PortableApps on either computer. I suspect there may be other discrepancies that I just have not yet discovered. Thanks again for your help. I will let you know how the in-place upgrade turns out.

RalphC.

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Had to do clean install.

John T. Haller,

The in-place upgrade did not solve the issue. Neither did a system image restore (I don't think it was old enough). As soon as I did a clean install of Windows 10 the issue was resolved. I guess I will have to do the same for my other computer. I will be very careful about what programs I install from now on. No more programs that have the ability to make unwanted changes. They can't always be reversed. Lesson learned!

RalphC.

EdPontiac1
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Found the problem (I think)!

John,

I did a clean install on my backup computer, which fixed the problem, but I really didn't want to do the same to my new computer if it was not necessary. I continued to try to find a solution while working on my backup computer. I seem to have stumbled upon the answer (maybe). Out of curiosity, I checked Services for any service that was not running. There is one called "Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service" which "Provides ability to share TCP ports over the net.tcp protocol." that was disabled. I changed it to Automatic and started the service, then tried to update PortableApps and it worked. I then looked it up on Microsoft's website to find out how this service is supposed to be configured to run. It is supposed to be set to Manual. So I changed it to Manual, stopped the service, checked again to see if PortableApps could access the server and it worked perfectly. I am still confused, though. I have been trying all day to get the PortableApps updater to connect to the server and failed every time until I did this. This is the confusing part: after finally having success I thought I'd check my backup computer to see how this service was configured. It was also disabled, yet was still able to access the server. So, then I disabled the service on my new computer, checked again, and I was still able to access the PortableApps server. Go figure. After every attempt to fix this issue, I tried to access the server and failed until I turned on the Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service. Even after disabling it again I can still access the server for updates and new apps. I don't really understand exactly what this service is for. All I know is that after fooling with it, everything is working perfectly. Even IE is working much better now. Yesterday, and earlier today whenever I used IE to go to PortableApps.com it took a while to load the page. Firefox loaded it instantly. After brushing the dust off the above mentioned service, IE loads your page instantly, with no hesitation at all. Since I do not understand what this service does, there is the possibility that what I did had nothing to do with fixing the issue, but like I said, after every attempt to fix the problem, I tested PortableApps and had no luck at all until messing with the Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service. Even if this is not what fixed the problem, I am grateful that my computer is working right now. Whatever fixed the issue has saved me a few days (at least) of work doing a clean install. Just thought I should share this information with you, even if this isn't what fixed my computer.

RalphC.

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Now I have had the same

Now I have had the same problem for several months now. And I can not find a solution. What is the problem with the certificate on the server? IE Explorer wrote: The security certificate of this website was issued for a website with a different address.
P.S. I managed to connect through a proxy server.

John T. Haller
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XP/Vista

Windows XP and Vista do not support modern security certificates so you won't be able to download from SourceForge or many of the publishers. With XP, you're out of luck. With Vista, I have a workaround you can use: https://johnhaller.com/useful-stuff/enable-tls-1.1-and-1.2-on-windows-vista

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Set to me Windows 10.

Set to me Windows 10.

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