Out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. If three of your friends are okay, itís you.

This page will address most of the common problems our users encounter in downloading and installing Alchemy Mindworks software. If you don't find your problem addressed here, please contact us for additional information. Make sure you state that you've read this page so you don't get redirected to it a second time.



I clicked on a link to download one of the Alchemy Mindworks software installers and nothing happened. What's wrong?

There are a number of possibilities. Here are the most common ones:

  1. You or your ISP — probably you — have a firewall installed that blocks the port required to initiate an FTP transaction. It's port 21. Some firewalls install with this port blocked by default, and we've seen a few that blocked it when the firewall software was upgraded. This can be confusing, as downloads which use the HTTPD protocol will still work. Check your firewall setup. Also, note that the Alchemy 3 FTP server uses HTTP downloads, rather than FTP downloads, and will sneak around this issue for you.

  2. You have a download manager or download accelerator installed on your system that doesn't get along with simple, un-accelerated file transfers. Disable your download accelerator.

  3. You or someone using an IP address close to yours initiated a very large number of suspicious file transfer attempts, and our server decided you were trying to perpetrate a "denial of service" attack on it. It has banned you from further FTP access. Please contact us for assistance with this one.

I clicked on a link to download one of the Alchemy Mindworks software installers and nothing happened even if I tried all the FTP servers and mirrors. What's wrong?

If none of the FTP servers work, the problem is in your little corner of the Internet. Check your browser and firewall — firewall issues were addressed in the previous question.

I clicked on a link to download one of the Alchemy Mindworks software installers and I was asked for a user name and password. How can I get a user name and password?

You don't need one. This indicates that your browser or FTP client is misconfigured.

By convention, publicly-accessible FTP servers, such as the ones available to download Alchemy Mindworks software, expect users to log in with the user name "anonymous" and their e-mail address for a password. The latter isn't verified — in these days of heightened security, virtually everyone uses a bogus e-mail address as a password, and we don't object to users doing so with our servers.

Most web browsers default to accessing FTP sites anonymously. If you have reconfigured your browser or FTP client to log in with a user name other than "anonymous," you won't be able to download files from our FTP servers or our mirrors.

I clicked on a link to download one of the Alchemy Mindworks software installers and I was told that the server has returned extended information, or the server has reached its maximum capacity. What can I do to download the file I want?

Try a different mirror or wait a while. The Alchemy Mindworks FTP servers have a lot of capacity, but they do occasionally get maxed out when we release new applications or upgrades. All the FTP servers and mirrors have the same files — it doesn't matter which one you download from.

I clicked on a link to download one of the Alchemy Mindworks software installers and I was told "You are currently logged into this server. Complete your current download before beginning a new one." What does this mean?

The Alchemy Mindworks FTP servers are configured to permit no more than one simultaneous download, to allow everyone who wants to use them a reasonable opportunity to access the files they're after. If you'd like to download more than one file, you'll need to either do so one file at a time, or use multiple servers.

My download seems to be very slow. Can you make it go any faster?

Download speeds are typically a result of several factors, including your internet connection speed and the speed of the intermediate links between you and the server you're downloading from. The intermediate servers are somewhat imponderable — if one slows down due to a hardware problem or excessive use, your internet access may appear to drop into first gear.

There's not much we can do about this. If you understand how to use the traceroute program, you should be able to traceroute back to our server and see where the slow hop is. This doesn't mean you'll be able to fix it, of course.

Having said all this, our various FTP servers and mirrors are each located somewhere different. Accessing a different server will require that your connection work through a different set of intermediate servers. Choosing a different FTP server or mirror might get around the slow intermediate hop, and speed up your download.

When I clicked on one of the links for an Alchemy Mindworks software installer, a dialog appeared warning me that:

Some files can harm your computer. If the file information below looks suspicious, or if you do not fully trust the source, do not open or save this file. This type of file could harm your computer if it contains malicious code."

Is this something I need to be concerned about?

This is a somewhat ill-chosen feature of Internet Explorer. It's warning you that all executable files can — in theory — be infected by viruses. This is not to say that the one you're about to download is, or that Internet Explorer has performed any sort of virus scan on it.

Whenever you download executable files over the Internet — from us or anyone else — it's a really good idea to:

  1. Make sure you trust the source of the files, and that the source of the files has a stated virus scanning protocol in place. You can read more about the Alchemy Mindworks virus scanning protocols if you like.
  2. Run your own virus scanner against the files in question once they've been downloaded.
  3. Make sure that the stated file size at the download page matches exactly the size of the file you've downloaded.

Alchemy Mindworks undertakes extensive precautions to ensure that your downloads from our servers won't include any viruses or other malicious code.

I downloaded an Alchemy Mindworks software installer to my hard drive, and now I can't find it. Can you tell me where it went?

No we can't — its current location will depend on where you saved it. Here are two quick ways to find your file:

  1. Initiate the download of another file and see which folder it would be saved to. This should be the same folder your missing file went to.
  2. Click on the Windows Start button, select Find and use the Files or Folders function to search your hard drive for your lost file.


How can I make sure the Alchemy Mindworks software installer I have downloaded has not been damaged or corrupted?

There are two checks you should perform on any downloaded Alchemy Mindworks software installer:

Check the file size: Verify that the file size stated at the Alchemy Mindworks web page where you downloaded the file in question from exactly matches the size of your downloaded file. You need to compare the file size in bytes, not kilobytes. To ascertain the size of a file on your hard drive in bytes:

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start button and select the Explore item from the menu that appears. Windows Explorer will open.
  2. Navigate to the folder where your downloaded installer resides.
  3. Right-click on your downloaded installer and select Properties from the menu that appears.
  4. Locate the Size field in the Properties dialog. The file size will be displayed in kilobytes, and then in bytes. Verify that the size in bytes exactly matches the stated file size at our web page.

Check the CRC: Verify that the CRC check value at our web page matches the CRC check for your downloaded file. This will require a bit of extra work, but it pretty much eliminates the possibility of a corrupted download.

To obtain the CRC value for a downloadable installer at an Alchemy Mindworks web page, click on the CRC button. Note the eight-character CRC value displayed by the CRC page.

To obtain the CRC value for an installer you've downloaded, download and install the Alchemy Mindworks CRC Checker. Use this application to locate and generate a CRC value for your downloaded installer.

If the two CRCs match, your file is intact.

I attempted to run a downloaded Alchemy Mindworks software installer and I received an error message that said the file was damaged or corrupted, that it wasn't a valid WIN32 application, or it crashed before it did anything. Does this mean the installer isn't going to work?

'fraid so. Your file was truncated or corrupted during transfer. You need to download it again.

I attempted to run a downloaded Alchemy Mindworks software installer and I received an error message that said "There has been an error unpacking this archive." What does this mean?

This usually means your file has been damaged. See the first item in this section for a procedure to verify the integrity of a downloaded installer.

This can also mean:

  1. There wasn't enough space on your hard drive to unpack your software.

  2. There wasn't enough available memory or system resources to unpack your software. Terminate any other applications that you have running and try again.

  3. You don't have permission to install software on your computer. This is usually an issue under Windows NT 4.0 and 2000, and can occur under Windows XP. Contact the system administrator for your computer, or log in as the administrator and try again.

  4. An earlier version of the software you're trying to install is currently running on your computer. Windows won't let you overwrite a running application.

  5. You have a security program, firewall, virus checker, spyware blocker or other species of personal paranoia software running, which is interfering with the installation. One that seems to pop up more often than most of late is called "Window Washer." While these applications can be useful and effective at deterring unwarranted intrusions into your system during its normal operation, you need to disable them when you install new programs.

It's a profoundly good idea to reboot your computer and make sure absolutely nothing else is running prior to installing software.

You can often work around interference by other software with a minimum of clicking by simply rebooting your computer in Safe mode, and then installing your Alchemy Mindworks software. To reboot a Windows system in Safe mode, restart it, hold down F8 on your keyboard and select Safe mode when the text-mode startup menu appears. Safe mode looks really, really ugly — this is not a problem, and your system will return to normal the next time you boot it up.

I attempted to install an upgrade for The Ultimate Screen Clock and I received an error message that said "There has been an error unpacking this archive." Why did I see this message?

While any of the issues discussed in the previous item can cause this, the most common one by far is having an older copy of The Ultimate Screen Clock running when you attempt to install an upgrade. As The Ultimate Screen Clock is designed to be left running all the time, it's easy to forget it's still active when you try to upgrade it. Terminate the old clock and try again.

I attempted to run a downloaded Alchemy Mindworks software installer and I received an error message that said "There has been an error unpacking this archive," or the installer stopped responding after it displayed the message "Inflating instad.exe" or "Inflating license.txt". I've checked the installer integrity, and tried the installation several times. The problem persists. Should I start looking for a extraterrestrials under my keyboard?

This is usually caused by a concurrent task on your system interfering with the installation process, or a third-party task manager, system integrity protection system, firewall or virus checker providing a bit more protection than you strictly speaking require. You can usually work around this by rebooting your computer and terminating absolutely everything else on your system.

You might find it easier to reboot your system in Safe mode and install your software. Restart your computer and hold down the F8 key on your keyboard. Holding down CTRL also works under some versions of Windows. A menu will appear allowing you to select Safe mode. Note that Safe mode runs with a really ugly sixteen-color display driver — this isn't something to worry about. Your desktop will return to normal the next time you reboot Windows.

I double-clicked on the Alchemy Mindworks software installer I downloaded and nothing happened. Why is this?

We recommend that you run downloaded Alchemy Mindworks software installers as follows:

  1. Click on the Windows Start button.
  2. Select Run.
  3. Browse to the folder where you have downloaded your installer.
  4. Select the installer.
  5. Click on OK.

In most cases, you can run a downloaded installer any way you like, including double-clicking on it from your desktop — note the use of the word "most." The foregoing procedure is bulletproof, and works all the time.

At the conclusion of the installation procedure, the Alchemy Mindworks software installer I downloaded attempted to access the Internet, and then displayed an advertisement for another Alchemy Mindworks product, or asked me to upgrade my registration. Is this some sort of spyware?

No, that's an advertisement. At the conclusion of a software installation, Alchemy Mindworks software installers will attempt to contact one of our file servers and download a PNG file containing an advertisement or message. The PNG file will be displayed by a program called INSTAD.EXE, which is included with the software installation. The INSTAD program adds clickable buttons to a downloaded PNG graphic.

No information will be sent from your system to our server, and INSTAD doesn't spy on anyone.

Why does the installer ask me to upgrade each time I install a new version of the software?

The INSTAD program, discussed in the previous item, displays whatever graphic is currently associated with the software you've installed — there are distinct graphics for registered and unregistered users. The system currently doesn't check to see if you've registered or upgraded your installation recently, as doing so would require that it have access to our customer database. Our customer database is stored off line, and is not accessible to the server that drives INSTAD.

I need to uninstall an Alchemy Mindworks application, but I canít find an entry for it in the Windows Add/Remove Programs list. What happened to it?

There are a number of security applications which block access to the system registry when software is being installed. While Alchemy Mindworksí applications donít make changes to your system registry per se, adding applications to the Windows software uninstall function does. This is one of the reasons why all the Alchemy Mindworks installers advise users to disable their security applications before installing new software.

If the Add/Remove Programs entry for an Alchemy Mindworks application is missing, your virus checker, spyware blocker or other security program most likely prevented it being installed.

There are several ways to resolve this problem. The simplest is to disable your security software, re-install the Alchemy Mindworks application in question and then remove it through Add/Remove Programs. If you know which security program is blocking access to your registry, you can disable it or configure it to allow registry access.

Alternately, because Alchemy Mindworks applications install into their own folders and donít modify any system files or registry settings, you can uninstall them manually. Assuming you allowed the installer to install the software in question to its default folder, look in C:\Program Files\Alchemy Mindworks. Delete the folder for the application you wish to remove, and all its contents. You should also delete the .INI configuration file for the application to be installed from your \WINDOWS or \WINNT folder. See the Registration Code Program Solver for a list of the .INI files for all Alchemy Mindworks software.

The current Alchemy Mindworks installers have worked around this issue, and provide complete uninstall functions through Add/Remove Programs.