Signup and Software Download Support

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is not intended to cover all eventualities, although we have tried to include as much information here as possible. If you have a problem relating to downloading software or download performance that is not addressed in this document, have noticed a broken link, or just have comments on your experience, please contact us using either the signup support form located at https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?source=sfeedbk, or the download support form located at https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?source=dfeedbk Both forms are English only.


My download aborts without finishing

Unfortunately, there are quite a few reasons this can happen, and there is almost never a consistent answer for why a browser will drop a connection in the middle of a download. You might try the following suggestions; however we strongly recommend that you use Download Director for downloading large files. If none of these suggestions help. please contact us.

  • Check the stability of your connection. If there is a significant amount of line noise on the line your modem is using, it can cause you to lose your download connection. You may be able to listen to the line (if you have a phone attached to it) and detect line noise. However, if this is a consistent problem, you may need to contact your local exchange carrier (LEC) to help you resolve it.
  • Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Many times, your ISP may be busy or have a limit set on file download size or connection time. Or, they may have a limit set on the lowest possible transfer rate before the server drops the connection. If you can, have them run a traceroute to see where in the Internet problems are occurring. To have them do this, you will need the address of the server you were trying to access.
  • Try again. The Internet is an unpredictable medium, and sometimes things just happen. If you are downloading a file and the connection breaks, try again. More often than not, something happened at first, and the download will correctly perform the second time around. Because the Internet sends data in bits and pieces, and not all at once, a lost packet due to a random malfunction or missed router assignment can ruin your whole download.
  • Try off hours. Despite everyone's best efforts to keep up with the exponential growth of the Internet, sometimes the demand gets so great that some of the equipment along the line from you to us just can't handle it, and either bogs down to incredibly slow levels or shuts down entirely. Usually, though, that happens during only the peak periods of the day. So, if you want better, faster, more reliable downloads, do it during off-peak hours. Peak times are usually about 8-10 AM and 4-6 PM MST/MDT. Estimate, based on where in the world you are, when the peak times are. For example, if you are accessing a United States server that does most of its business in the US during US peak times, you may run into performance problems. However, if you are accessing a US server from the US at 2 AM, you will probably get fast downloads. They are a lot of methods for figuring out when and how to access data for the optimal response, but in general, avoid busy times. While this might be inconvenient, the overwhelming numbers of people using the medium, and the lack of enforceable performance standards, sometimes make it necessary.

Why can't I download a file that is larger than 2 GB?

Your version of the Internet Explorer browser probably does not support downloads of very large files (> 2GB). As an alternative, download such files using Download Director, or else use the FireFox browser, which does not have this file-handling limitation.

I need the most current browser

Having the most up-to-date version of a browser can eliminate all sorts of problems. Due to the rapid growth of the Internet and the Web, new standards and things that are not so standard get implemented all the time. And the latest releases of browsers do a good job of keeping up with advances in technology and the most current usages. However, if you are running a browser that's even three months old, you might not be getting the newest functionality, and may run into problems that could be solved with a simple download.

Internet Explorer is built into the latest versions of Windows, so to keep IE up-to-date you need to keep your Windows Operating System up-to-date using Tools -> Windows Update from the browser tool-bar (or, if your company has another method for you to maintain your software, use it instead). If you use another browser, below you will find a few links to current browser downloads. Some of these downloads can be large, and may take a while to get, especially on a slow connection.

Note: Because most of the download traffic at our sites comes from these browsers, we have chosen to include only them in this FAQ.

I get a Server Error #500 (Internal Server Error)

A couple of scenarios can cause a Server Error #500. Most common is that our servers are experiencing some temporary network problems. Normally, these problems are fixed within an hour; however, it is possible for them to go on longer. Please be patient with us, and the problems will be resolved as quickly as possible. Another possibility is that you are attempting to access a page, fed by a script, that does not exist. In this case, check the address and try again. If you continue to have a problem, consider going to a standard page (a good starting point is http://www.ibm.com or http://www14.software.ibm.com/trialandbeta/) and continuing from there. If you find you cannot solve the problem, please contact us.

I try to download, but all I get is text

Almost every file that you will find on our servers has what is called an extension. This is letters on the end of the file after the 'dot', like EXE or ZIP. The extension tells your browser, and your computer, what kind of file it is.

For certain types, such as "html" or "txt", the browser displays the text rather than downloading the file. If you wish to download it rather than displaying it, then after the text is displayed, click on the "File" pulldown and use the "Save As" function to save the file.

In some cases, the file does not contain text and while it displays in the browser, the file is not readable. Allowing the file to display and selecting 'Save As' from the File pull-down might corrupt the file. In this case, you might be able to right-click instead of left-clicking on the 'Download now' link and choose 'Save As' from the drop-down.

If Download Director is available to download the file, using Download Director will avoid the problem. The use of other download aids may avoid this problem as well.

For RPM files (redhat package manager): Due to the explosion of Real Player on the Internet, and its integration into most web browsers, this type of file has a tendency to open in your browser window instead of saving it. As this file type is only used by UNIX operating systems (Linux, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, etc.), it is recommended that you first try downloading the file on a machine running UNIX, with a UNIX browser, such as Mozilla to see if you are then able to save the file. If this is not an option for you, try right clicking on the download link for the file and following the prompts to "save as...".

If you are still unable to receive the file, please contact us.


The server is too slow

When you try to get a file from IBM's servers, be aware that your computer isn't directly hooked up to ours. Due to the architecture of the Internet, your connection passes through some, possibly many, other computers, before you get to our site. And not all of those computers are fast, reliable or perform consistently. So while occasionally we may experience performance problems on the IBM servers due to the incredible demand for our products, slowdowns most often occur somewhere between you and us on the many computers your connection is routed through. If you have the ability to do a traceroute, examine the time delays before your request gets to us. Talk to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or network administrator, and ask them to explain what may be causing poor performance. Try using a faster Internet connection. Note that while your modem speed (i.e. 28.8K or 56K) is measured in bits, most browsers display download rate in bytes, so while it initially appears that you are getting poor performance, your modem may be operating at peak speed. And be aware that no matter how reliable your connection or fast your modem, downloading large files off of a web site will still take a fair amount of time. If you find that you are having consistent performance problems that are beyond what can be expected, have examined other scenarios and are convinced that the problem is on our end, let us know. We are always trying to improve performance, and every bit of feedback, positive or negative, helps us serve you better.

Note: For large files, we strongly recommend that you use Download Director.

I am unable to login

When you are asked to enter your IBM ID and Password, this refers to a userid which you can obtain freely by registering.

IBM recently began honoring a single set of userids on all its pages. You may be attempting to use a userid and password which was created before that time and so is no longer used at www.ibm.com, or which was intended to be used for a limited purpose.

Please be sure you have not forgotten your IBM ID or forgotten your password, and if not, then please create a new IBM userid by registering.

Regarding PDF files

Many of the files available for download on our site are in the Adobe Acrobat .pdf format. In some instances, these files will not open in your browser, instead displaying a blank screen. There are two possible causes for this.

  • The file is really big. Many .pdf files are several MB in size and can take a while to download into your browser, thus displaying a blank screen. Be patient. Wait a couple of minutes to see if the file loads. If you have a slower connection, downloading a 3MB file can seem to take forever. However, if you have waited and waited, and still have a blank screen, it might be:
  • You need to update your Adobe Acrobat program. You can obtain the newest version of Adobe Acrobat for your system by visiting http://www.acrobat.com

I can't find what I'm looking for

The Download page http://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/download/home.jsp?s=p is separated into these major sections to help you with your download tasks:

  • The "Evaluate" section contains downloads that will help you evaluate IBM software (betas, demos, and trials).
  • The "Acquire" section contains links you can follow to purchase software and find no-charge released products, technologies and toolkits.
  • The "Support" section contains fixes, fix packs, utilities, software product upgrades, and drivers.

Also, the IBM home page (http://www.ibm.com) has an excellent search tool. But, if no matter what you do, you still can't find what you're looking for, the folks at Contact IBM (http://www.ibm.com/Assist/) will be more than happy to help you.

What download speed should I expect?

Here is a useful table for determining how much time you may be able to expect for a download to complete based on the file size and your connection speed. Please keep in mind that this is a best-case scenario, and your download time may be longer.

  100 KBytes 1 MB 10 MB 100 MB
56K modem <1 min 2 min 24 min 4 hrs.
128K ISDN <1 min. 1 min. 10 min. 2 hrs.
T1 <1 min. <1 min. 1 min. 9 min.