Connect (Plugin Version) Does Not Start or Respond

Sometimes, depending on the environment, Aspera Connect may not launch or respond.  This article explores ways to troubleshoot such issues.

Starting with version 3.6.5, the web interface for the Connect application is serviced by either of the following two technologies, depending on the OS, the browser, and the version of Connect:

(1) The traditional browser plugin technology, using ActiveX (Windows IE only), or the NPAPI protocol:  With this approach, the web interface is serviced by a plugin.

(2) A newer technology that does not use plugins:  With this approach, the web interface is serviced by the Connect application directly.

Before proceeding, find your OS, Browser, and Connect version in the table below. If the box says ActiveX or NPAPI, then your connection to the web interface is a plugin (1), and you are reading the correct KB article. For table items that say No Plugin, see the KB article Connect (No-Plugin Version) Does Not Start or Respond.

 

Overview

The Connect installation process performs the following tasks:

  • installs the Connect application on a local hard disk
  • installs a browser plugin
  • installs a protocol handler for the fasp protocol 
  • performs various desktop UI integration (icons, etc.)

Before going through the troubleshooting steps below, make sure the Connect installation meets the requirements specified in the user documentation and release notes, particularly with regard to the supported versions of operating systems and browsers.

In all cases, the first step is to run Aspera's web-based Connect Diagnostic Tool to get a preliminary assessment of your Connect installation. The tool shows your Connect version, reports whether it's outdated, checks whether it's installed and running, checks whether your version is compatible with your browser, tests your ports, and attempts to perform a test transfer. It also generates a summary report that can be copied and shared with Aspera Support, if necessary.

To troubleshoot, the general approach is to check your installation by going through the following steps (a summary) in the order shown:

  1. After installing, did you run Aspera's web-based Connect Diagnostic Tool?
  2. Is the Connect application installed and can it be started?
  3. Is the browser plugin present?
  4. Is the fasp protocol registered?
  5. Is the Connect application listening on the proper local ports?

This article is divided into two sections. Use the section that matches your client OS:

Windows           blue titles
Mac                    red titles

 

 

Troubleshooting: Windows

1.  After installing, did you run Aspera's web-based Connect Diagnostic Tool?

If you haven't done so already, run the diagnostic tool for a general assessment of your Connect installation. To launch the tool, open the following link:  

https://test-connect.asperasoft.com/

A pop-up may appear asking you to allow, launch, or trust the Connect application. Answer in the affirmative.

The steps below provide details, additional things to check, and possible solutions to problems that may be found.

2.  Is the Connect application installed and can it be started?

If the Connect Diagnostic Tool reported, "Your version of Connect is compatible with your browser," you can skip this step.

You can check that the application is installed by confirming the presence of asperaconnect.exe in the following location:

C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Programs\Aspera\Aspera Connect\bin\

You can start the Connect application either by running asperaconnect.exe or by launching it from the Windows Start menu by clicking the "C" icon: 

To verify that the Connect application launched, confirm the presence of the "C" icon in the Windows system tray (lower right of the Windows screen):

 

3.  Is the plugin present and enabled?

  • FIREFOX (Connect 3.6.5 and 3.6.6 only): Note that NPAPI plugins are supported on Firefox only prior to version 52. 

Check that the NPAPI plugin library is present by entering the following URL:

about:plugins

On the "Installed Plugins" page that opens, you should find a display like the following:   

Confirm that the "State" field indicates the plugin is Enabled (as in the above screenshot).  If it indicates the plugin is Disabled, enable it by clicking the Firefox menu button and selecting the Add-ons Manager:

 

In the Add-ons Manager tab that opens, select Plugins in the left panel.  Locate the Aspera Web plugin, then click the Never Activate button and change it to Always Activate

To confirm the plugin is now enabled, return to the Installed Plugins page, locate the Aspera Web entry, and confirm that the "State" now indicates the plugin is enabled.

  • INTERNET EXPLORER: Click the gear in the upper-right corner of the browser and select Manage add-ons. Plugins are found in the category Toolbars & Extensions.  Under "Show" at the bottom-left corner, select All add-ons. In the main panel, check for an entry that looks something like the following:

If the status is shown as Disabled, highlight the entry. A button marked Enable should appear in the bottom right of the display. Click it to enable the Aspera Web plugin.

 

4.  Is the fasp protocol registered?

Before proceeding with this step, quit Connect if it's running. If the fasp protocol is properly registered, Connect can be started by opening the following URL in the address bar:

fasp://initialize

If Connect launches, this confirms the fasp protocol is registered. To check whether Connect has launched, check whether the Connect icon is visible in the system tray, or open the Task Manager and check whether asperaconnect.exe is listed under Processes.

Possible courses of action if the fasp protocol is not registered:

  • Uninstall and then re-install Connect (the fasp protocol is registered at installation time).
  • Check with your IT group to ensure your system isn't locked down.
  • If the issue is still unresolved, contact Aspera Support.

 

5.  Is Connect listening on the proper local ports?

Check whether Connect is listening on ports 33003 and 43003 by running netstat as administrator:

> netstat -nba -p TCP

In the output, locate entries for [asperaconnect.exe] such as shown in the examples below. (Unlike the example below, the Connect entries are not typically found together. You may want to pipe the results through more or redirect the output to a file in order to search it.)

  TCP    127.0.0.1:33003        0.0.0.0:0              LISTENING
 [asperaconnect.exe]
  TCP    127.0.0.1:43003        0.0.0.0:0              LISTENING
 [asperaconnect.exe]
  TCP    127.0.0.1:49291        0.0.0.0:0              LISTENING
 [asperaconnect.exe]

 

 

Troubleshooting: Mac OS X

1.  After installing, did you run Aspera's web-based Connect Diagnostic Tool?

 

If you haven't done so already, run the diagnostic tool for a general assessment of your Connect installation. To launch the tool, open the following link:  

https://test-connect.asperasoft.com/

A pop-up may appear asking you to allow, launch, or trust the Connect application. Answer in the affirmative.

The steps that follow provide details, additional things to check, and possible solutions to problems that may be found.

 

2.  Is the Connect application installed and can it be started?

If the Connect Diagnostic Tool reported, "Your version of Connect is compatible with your browser," you can skip this step.

You can check that the application is installed by confirming that asperaconnect is present in the following location:

~/Applications/Aspera Connect.app/Contents/MacOS/asperaconnect

You can also confirm it's installed by making sure the Connect application icon is visible in Launchpad:

You can start the Connect application in either of two ways: by clicking the icon in Launchpad, or by running asperaconnect from Terminal as follows:

$ ~/Applications/Aspera\ Connect.app/Contents/MacOS/asperaconnect

To see if Connect is running, verify the Connect icon is now visible in the Dock. Or, run a ps command in Terminal and look for an asperaconnect entry like the following:

$ ps -efc | grep asperaconnect
  501 46233       0 Tue05PM ??         0:00.58 asperaconnect

 

3.  Is the plugin present and enabled?

  • FIREFOX (Connect 3.6.5 and 3.6.6 only): Note that NPAPI plugins are supported on Firefox only prior to version 52. 

Check that the NPAPI plugin library is present by entering the following URL:

about:plugins

On the "Installed Plugins" page that opens, you should find a display like the following:   

Confirm that the "State" field indicates the plugin is Enabled (as in the above screenshot).  If it indicates the plugin is Disabled, enable it by clicking the Firefox menu button and selecting the Add-ons:

 

In the Add-ons Manager tab that opens, select Plugins in the left panel.  Locate the Aspera Web plugin, then click the Never Activate button and change it to Always Activate

To confirm the plugin is now enabled, return to the Installed Plugins page, locate the Aspera Web entry, and confirm that the "State" field now indicates the plugin is enabled. 

 

  • SAFARIUnder Preferences > Security, check the box for Allow Plugins, and then click Plugin Settings:



Then check for the presence of "Aspera Web":



4.  Is the fasp protocol registered?   

Before proceeding with this step, quit Connect if it's running. Then open the following URL in your browser's address bar:

fasp://initialize

If Connect launches, this confirms the fasp protocol is properly registered. If the fasp protocol is not registered, the following are possible courses of action:

  • Uninstall and then re-install Connect (the fasp protocol is registered at installation time).
  • Check with your IT group to ensure your system isn't locked down.
  • If the issue is still unresolved, contact Aspera Support.

 

5.  Is Connect listening on local ports?

All versions of Connect, with all supported browsers and OSs, use port 33003 for HTTP and port 43003 for HTTPS.  If those ports are busy, Connect will keep looking for the next available port until x3012.

To check port availability, you can run lsof on the command line. For example:

$ lsof -nP | grep asperacon | grep ":"
asperacon 61602 bob 9u IPv4 0x76793e1a451c30db 0t0 TCP 127.0.0.1:54042 (LISTEN)
asperacon 61602 bob 12u IPv4 0x76793e1a4522b9d3 0t0 TCP 127.0.0.1:33003 (LISTEN) asperacon 61602 bob 13u IPv4 0x76793e1a45129db3 0t0 TCP 127.0.0.1:43003 (LISTEN) 

(Note that while netstat can be used on Linux and Windows to display asperaconnect-to-port associations, netstat on OS X does not tell you which ports are being used by asperaconnect. However, lsof does provide that information.)

 

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