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Friday, March 12, 2010

Crystal Reports Viewer ActiveX Control

I just finished fixing an issue for one of my clients that I wanted to share. I Googled for hours and couldn't find a fix, so now that I have found the cure, wanted to share it.

Hopefully this will help someone in the future.

The Symptom
My user goes to a business website to access reports that were written with Crystal Reports. Their website offers to install the Crystal Reports Viewer (ActiveX control). You acknowledge that you want to install it and you get the following error:

Internet Explorer Security Warning
Windows has found a problem with this file.
Publisher: Unknown Publisher

I do not believe it matters for this problem, but the user is using Internet Explorer 7.

The Cure
It appears that the vendor offering these reports is using an older version of Crystal Reports (2003) and the certificate on their ActiveX control is no longer valid. The cure is to tell Internet Explorer to not check the certificate on installs (which is a security risk), then install the ActiveX control, and then go back and tell IE to check the certificates on future installs.

Once the ActiveX is installed it will not check the certificate in the future.

Detailed Steps
  • Go to Tools, Internet Options, go to the Advanced Tab
  • Scroll down to the Security section
  • Uncheck the box that says: "Allow software to run or install even if the signature is invalid"
  • Now login to the website and download a report
  • You should now be prompted to install the ActiveX control normally and see the reports
  • Now you can go back to Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab, and re-check the box you previously unchecked
  • Since the ActiveX control we needed is installed, you should not be prompted to install again on subsequent logins