Mysterious Internet Explorer Request Timeout Setting

One of our tandem software users was having difficulty downloading a risk assessment document.  The download would start, run for a while, and then error out.  The user was able to download other documents in our software and we were aware of no other users experiencing this same problem.  The problematic document does take a little longer than other documents to download, but not much and the user has been able to download this document in the past.  After some troubleshooting on the user’s computer we could see the download GET request being initiated, but it was aborting before any results were returned. 

Internet explorer doesn’t expose a timeout setting through the Internet Options.  However, there is a registry key that can be set to control the timeout.  I checked my system and this registry key was not set.  When I checked the user’s registry, the key did exist and it was set to a relatively low value.  The user did not recall setting the value and since the only way I’m aware of changing it is through the registry we’re not sure how it was changed.  Increasing the value in the registry key fixed the problem.

Here are the steps to add/change the timeout registry key: [more]

1. Start Registry Editor
2. Locate the following subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings
3. If a DWORD entry does not exist named “ReceiveTimeout” then create one.
4. Set the “ReceiveTimeout” value to a number of milliseconds.
5. Restart the computer

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