Jan 11, 2007

McAffee Antivirus says that a data file on your site has a virus in it. How do I get a virus-free file?

With some of our data files, McAfee Antivirus returns false virus warnings, which are caused by a conflict in the McAfee VirusScan engine before Version 4.5.1. Network Associates, who now own McAfee, have seen this problem and recommend that upgrading to their 4.5.1 engine resolves it. We have done a few tests and it seems to be true across different versions of Windows.

Please note that this refers to updating the virus engine. Updating your virus definitions file will not resolve this conflict.

Most files that we distribute are plain character files--mostly ASCII but some EBCDIC. Unless tampered with after leaving our site, they cannot in principle contain a virus. Any suggestion of viruses in our distribution archive is taken very seriously, but at least for the character data, it is very unlikely that they are real.

If you are currently using the McAfee VirusScan pre-4.5.1, we strongly recommend you upgrade. If you find a virus warning with Version 4.5.1 or later, or with different virus scanning software, please report the problem to web-support@icpsr.umich.edu immediately. If you need to report a virus, please be sure to include the study number and the file name in your email message.

Jan 1, 2007

Why can't I download data?

There are a number of problems that can pop up when you attempt to download data:

  1. You download a zipped file, but you don't get any data files...just the documentation.

    This means that the network address of your computer doesn't match up with anything in our records. I.e., we can't tell that you're part of a member institution, and the data you're attempting to download is only available to member institutions.

    This happens in three situations: 1) when you're trying to download data from home, but aren't using a proxy server; 2) when you're trying to use a proxy server, but your settings are incorrect; and 3) ICPSR simply doesn't have the complete IP range for your campus.

    Please follow the instructions in "Helping ICPSR Troubleshoot" below, and we'll attempt to fix the problem.

  2. You type in your login and password and get a message that you have successfully logged in, but are then sent back to the login screen.

    This generally means that you're not connecting to your proxy server properly. In this situation, you will need to talk to your OR or your local IT/networking staff. Please note that there is absolutely no reason to use a proxy server to access ICPSR data, and in many cases using a proxy server will interfere with downloads.

    If you're certain that you're not even using a proxy server, please follow the instructions below in "Helping ICPSR Troubleshoot".

  3. You get a message that states, "You have successfully authenticated but you are not authorized to access the requested document."

    Some sections of our Web site are only available to specific users. For example, some functions on the Official Representative (OR) Web site are only available to users whose MyData account has been flagged as an OR account. Or you have attempted to access an online analysis utility that is only available to member institutions.

    If you believe you have reached this message in error, please e-mail web-support@icpsr.umich.edu, and be sure to send them the URL of the page in question.

  4. You get an error message stating "...[your file] could not be saved, because the source file could not be read. Try again later, or contact the server administrator."

    This is an error that relates to Firefox/Mozilla. Please consult their documentation on the problem.

Helping ICPSR Troubleshoot

In order for ICPSR to investigate most access problems, we need to know your computer's network address, and we need to know what network address you're forwarding to us. To gather that info, do the following:

  1. Log in to MyData.

  2. Go to our ticket verification tool.

  3. Copy the text there and paste it into an e-mail to web-support@icpsr.umich.edu.

The files I'm attempting to download are very large...so large that my Web browser crashes. What can I do?

For a few select studies, the total file size for the compressed download can come close to 20GB, which is more than most Web browsers can handle. There are two options for successfully downloading the study:

  1. Download a single dataset at a time.

  2. Use Opera to download the study. We don't wish to advocate one Web browser over any other, but Opera can handle larger downloads that Internet Explorer, Mozilla, FireFox, Netscape Navigator/Communicator, and Safari cannot.