How can I view non-linked files on a web server?

Here’s the story:

I’ve seen some activex controls I want on a a developer’s homepage site; his pages say they are free for all, no license restrictions, use and distribution with no royalties yadda yadda.

Some of the links to the actual files are broken though, now at first, I thought this must be because they were hosted elsewhere on an account that has now expired, but as it turns out, the links are broken because (it looks like) the web editor the developer last used made a complete hash of the URLs (they are linked to c:\whatever\blah\z\files\control.ocx, or something like that.

I managed to find a couple of them by pure guesswork, pasting the end of the link location onto the end of the home page URL, but for a couple, that just didn’t work. I reckon they probably are up there somewhere though and I suspect they might be in the root - I can’t just point my browser (IE) at this and have it display a folder view, because there’s an index.htm file there (the home page) and it just wants to open that.

The developer is not responding to his emails and I suspect he’s abandoned the account; given that I have his blanket permission in writing already to download and use the files, I see nothing unethical about nosing into the site folders and finding them for myself, but how can I do it?

If you have access to MS programming tools such as C++ or VisualBasic, you can create a small application that includes the IE control. If memory serves, the IE control can be pointed at the root of a directory, and set not to redirect in the presence of an index.htm file (all URLs have to be opened programmatically and indepentantly. I’m too tired to check that at the moment, but if you have problems finding it, let me know and I can check the help files.

According to some RFC, if you terminate a URL with a slash (eg instead of, the server should give you the list of files that are contained in that folder.

Most internet browsers though, treat terminated and non-terminated URLs the same. So if that trick doesn’t work, I suggest to use Flashget. It is a download manager, but it has a nice feature called Site Explorer. Put the URL there, and it will give you the list of files.

Thanks for the suggestions; I tried the IE control thing in VB, but it just opened the index page (there might be some kind of server-side helpfulness going on here, I suppose).

I also tried Flashget and I wish I hadn’t - I couldn’t get the site explorer to do anything at all and the the application itself seemed a little too generally intrusive for my liking, so I uninstalled it. However, I think this kind of approach bears the most promise; can anyone suggest other site browsing tools? I can’t use one of those ‘pack-and-go’ website grabbing things, as I think they generally only attempt to retrieve linked resources and the files I’m after are (probably) there, but not linked.

Did the site explorer not work at all, or did it just return index.html?
If so, then the server probably doesn’t allow file listing. AFAIK there is no way to get around that.

Why didn’t you like Flashget? It’s the best download manager you can find and its almost free!

The site explorer didn’t do anything - I put in the URL and it just sat there; it didn’t list anything at all.

I didn’t like Flashget because, to be honest, I don’t think I even need a download manager (what exactly do they do?), but also, it stuck a transparent icon on my desktop, ran in the background doing God Knows What and wouldn’t unload when instructed to (I had to ctrl-alt-del and kill the process).

If the configuration of the file server does not allow listing a directory’s content there is no way around that (short of cracking the server).

The file might be indexed in Google (if there ever was a working link to it or someone running Google Toolbar has visited the file).

If the site is and the file is control.ocx try Googling control.ocx. (with no space after site: but with a space before control.ocx)

Thanks; I tried that, but the only google result is the developer’s page ( ) - the file I’m after is wsmask.ocx - What I posted above about the author not responding actually turned out to be incorrect; his response was filtered out as a false positive spam for some reason. He’s aware of the problem and no longer has the file or source code, apparently. Oh well.

sorry, is the file

Oh, man! That transparent icon is just a progress meter. You can simply right-click on it and choose “Hide Drop Zone” or something.

Also some reasons to use Flashget:

  1. You can pause and resume a download. Also, you can resume a download even if the connection has failed.
  2. You can split files. If you can only download a file with 5KB/s, you can split it in n parts and the download speed increases to *n**5KB/s
  3. You can download easily from FTP sites.
  4. You can fool around with Refereer or User-Agent lines, etc.

If you minimize Flashget, it resides in the bottom-right corner. It is the red icon with the inverted chevron thing. You can close it from there.

Do you just want to create irregular or non rectangular windows or forms? If so, this may help and it requires no ocx’s.

Thanks legion - actually, it was the form picture background feature I was after, but I’m sure there are other ways to do it.

Dog80 Thanks for the info; I don’t think I actually suffer from any problems that Flashget’s features would solve for me. I was also rather suspicious of it as it just had the ‘feel’ of an application that contains spyware (I can’t exactly explain what I mean by that, but I know it when I feel it); looking around, there are a number of allegations that this is in fact the case.

It does indeed contain spyware! If you use it unregistered (with the ad banner) it installs two tracking cookies (IIRC it is CoolWebSearch). Tracking cookies are harmless though. I would never recomend it if it was doing something more sinister than that.

If you are really into downloading stuff (like me :cool: ) you get hooked on that program!

I wonder about this claim. The limiting factor on most downloads is the bandwidth of the connection from you to your ISP, whether modem or DSL or even lightly-loaded cable. That pipe is 100% full of data as you’re trying to download anything.

Splitting a download into, say, 3 parts doesn’t triple the bandwidth. Instead, you have 3 processes competing to fill the same pipe and the result is three downloads each running at 1/3rd the speed. Net effect: nil.

There are circumstances where the limiting factor is throttling at the server end, and in those cases you can fool the server into thinking you’re three customers instead of one, and giving you triple the bandwidth outbound. But that’ll only improve your net throughput up to the point where the last leg from your ISP to you saturates.

My claim was simplistic, but basicaly true. As you mentioned, there are two bandwidth control methods employed by servers, 1. allowing only one connection per user, 2. bandwidth throttling

In my experience, file splitting is always beneficial when the server has throttling in place, but allows multiple connection per user, or when the server has no restrictions at all.

There are some caveats though. My maximum download speed is about 56KB/s (BT Broadband ADSL). When a file is being downloaded close to this limit, eg 48KB/s, file splitting wont benefit me at all, and in some cases the actual download speed might decrease a little. It is because it takes some time to establish a connection to the server. More connections=more time lost waiting. The same thing happens if you split a file into too many portions.

Ah, no. The terminating slash instructs the server the request is being made to a directory. If there is an index file, you you will get that file and not a directory listing. If there is no index file, you will get a directory listing, provided the server has not been configured to deny you the list in the first place.

Exactly. It’s the server that decides whether a request for /sdmb/ should be redirected to /sdmb/index.html or /sdmb/index.php or whatever, not the browser.

The browser has no control over it at all, and doesn’t even know it’s being redirected. Notice that when you go to, the address bar doesn’t change to OTOH, if you leave out the trailing slash (, then the server tells your browser to add it, and the address bar changes.