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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    It often happens when I download a free program that after the download is complete, a window appears showing a list of files on the right side and a list of paths on the left side. Clicking either on any of the files or on any of the paths does nothing to activate the program. Sometimes a download puts a shortcut on my desktop automatically and then clicking on the shortcut opens the program, but when it doesn't put a shortcut on the desktop, then it only opens this window as described above and I can't ever figure out how to activate the program. Can someone tell me what to do. As you can see, I'm not very computer literate. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    Have you checked whether a shortcut to the program has been added to the Start | All Programs menu?

    What kind of files are displayed in the right hand pane of the window that opens?

  3. #3
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    There is no shortcut on the Start/All Programs menu.
    I downloaded a free subscribe/unsubscribe program called subsceml.zip. There are three files listed on the right: FILE_ID.DIZ, README and setup. Clicking on setup starts the setup Wizard, which proceeds fine and at the end, when I click on finish, the Wizard disappears and nothing happens, and there is no shortcut on the desktop or start button. I downloaded a different free unsubscribe program which put a shortcut on the desktop and that opens and runs fine. Thanks for your help.

  4. #4
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    The setup for most applications place a shortcut or submenu in the Start | All Programs menu.
    If this one doesn't, you may still be able to create a shortcut yourself, but perhaps it's easier not to bother with this application.

  5. #5
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    1. Are you using the default Windows Download Manager?

    2. When you click on a link to download a file/program, do you click on "Run" or "Save"?

    From your description, it would appear that you are clicking on "Run" since evidently the program files are being displayed in an Explorer window after it is installed and a shortcut created on the Desktop. This should ONLY happen when and after you install a program. It is NOT what happens when you download and "Save" a file. Some programs after they are installed will exhibit what you have described; i.e., displaying the installation folder's files.

    3. What kind of free programs are you downloading/installing that require "Activation"... or by "activate" are you referring to Running/Opening/Launching (all synonymous terms) a program? If the latter, then Hans is correct in sending you to the Start Menu/All Programs where there should be a new folder with the program's name in the list or a single file (.exe) with the program's name. Clicking on this file will launch the program.

    PS. You should also do the following if you haven't already so that you can see the extension of your resident files:

    a. Open Windows Explorer (right-click on "Computer' and choose "Explore"
    b. Click on "Organize" on the top left of the window
    c. Click on "Folder and Search Options"
    d. Click on the "View" tab
    e. UNcheck the item, "Hide extensions for known file types"
    f. Click "OK" all the way out.
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    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

  6. #6
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    Hans,
    This happens quite frequently to me. Is that a general rule that I should follow that if the program doesn't put a shortcut on my desktop that I shouldn't bother with the program?
    Thanks,
    Dovidshmuel

  7. #7
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    Jeff,
    1. I don't know if I'm using the default Windows Download Manager. How do I find out? All I do is click on the download button. Like I said, I'm not very computer literate.
    2. When I click on the link to download, then a window opens that asks me if I want to run or save, and I click "run."
    3. When I say activate, I mean to start the program working. Like when I click on the shortcut on my desktop for Word, then Word opens up and I can use it.
    4. What does simul iustus et peccator mean?
    5. I had unchecked that box to show the file extensions a while ago but I found it just cluttering and couldn't see any use for it. What advantage is it for me to be able to see the file extensions?
    Thanks for your help also.
    Dovidshmuel

  8. #8
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    1. Most likely, unless you are using a 3rd-party download manager, you are using the native/default Windows Download Manager.

    2. In the window that pops up asking what you want to do, you should be using the "Save" option and not the "Run" option. This is a security risk to be sure when installing items directly rather than downloading the installation file to your hard drive and checking it for infection(s). I would strongly recommend you curtail using the "Run" feature.

    3. Okay... "activate" is a term mainly used when referring to part of the registration process for paid (sometimes, although very rare free programs) which the author(s) require as an anti-piracy measure. What you are referring to is termed: Run, or Open, or Launch a program. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    4. The Latin phrase means, "at the same time (simul) justified (iustus) and (et) sinner (peccator)"

    You may want to re-read my first reply as I Edited it and added some additional things. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>
    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    That's too severe - as I wrote, most applications will place either a shortcut or a submenu with shortcuts in the Start | All Programs menu. Some applications ask when you install them whether you want a desktop shortcut and whether you want a Start menu shortcut.

    If an application doesn't create a desktop shortcut or a Start menu shortcut, it's probably meant for experienced users who know how to find their way in installation folders.

  10. #10
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    Hans,
    Is there any way I can get to be an experienced user who knows how to find his way in installation folders?

  11. #11
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    Jeff,
    I saw your edit and I edited my reply to say:
    I had unchecked that box to show the file extensions a while ago but I found it just cluttering and couldn't see any use for it. What advantage is it for me to be able to see the file extensions?

  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    You could buy a book about Windows Vista, such as the one written by Woody Leonhard (the "Woody" in "Woody's Lounge") - see AskWoody.com.

    And use Windows Explorer to explore your hard disk - look at the way the folders are organized, look inside the folders.

  13. #13
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    Seeing file extensions gives you a better idea of what types of files you're dealing with. It is also more secure. Some years ago, an e-mail was sent around with an attachment that seemed to be a picture of an attractive girl, but was in fact a malicious script. It made use of the fact that most Windows users don't display all extensions. Users who did display extensions could see that it was a script instead of a picture, but if you didn't display extensions that wasn't evident.

  14. #14
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    Re: activating a downloaded program (Vista)

    Thanks for all the help and the quick replies.
    Dovidshmuel

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