WS_FTP - Folder/directory shows no data or shows garbage

Product: Version: Platform:
WS_FTP 3.0+ All

Question/Problem: When I use WS_FTP to connect to an FTP site, I get connected and logged in, but the folder/directory list of the FTP site is blank or contains garbage.

Answer/Solution: Please follow the instructions below to troubleshoot your problem with the format of the directory listing that is displayed on your remote site:

If you can connect to a FTP site but don't get a directory/folder listing or the information that is displayed has the incorrect format, it may be due to one of several different problems. The procedure below gives you some troubleshooting options.

1.) Disconnect from the FTP site if you are currently connected to it.

2.) Change to passive mode.

View the Host Info tab of the site properties.

Turn on Passive Mode.

Connect to the site again. If the problem still exists, try the next step.

3.) Make sure you have a valid Temp or Tmp folder.

Go to the MS-DOS (or Command) Prompt and type "set." Make sure that the Tmp and Temp variables are listed, and that the directories indicated actually do exist on your hard disk. If not, create a Temp variable from the MS-DOS prompt by typing the following (depending on where your Windows directory is located):

set temp=c:\windows\temp

Once you have made sure there is a valid Temp or Tmp folder, connect to the site again. If the problem still exists, try the next step.

Change the host type to "Automatic detect." This will take care of about 90% of all FTP sites. If that doesn't work, see Determining the Host Type.

Determining the Host Type

Note: If the FTP site folder/directory listing is missing, blank, or unreadable, follow the steps in File list is missing, blank, or unreadable before trying the following procedure.

For a complete list of host types supported by WS_FTP Pro, see:
WS_FTP - What Host Types are supported

To figure out the host type of an FTP site:

1.) Disconnect from the site if you are currently connected to it.

2.) Enable the transfer log.

3.) Exit WS_FTP Pro and restart.

4.) Try to determine the host type from the log.

Connect to the site again.

Check the log to see if the host type is identified there. If it is, select the corresponding host type on the Advanced tab of the site properties. If that does not work, try the next step.

5.) If you have permission to create a test account on the site, do so and then send access information to If this is not possible, go to the next step.

6.) Log on anonymously.

7.) Save copies of the log and directory information.

Select Log Window from the View menu. When the log is opened in the text viewer, save the log to a file.

Click the DirInfo button and save the file listing to a file.

If, and only if, you have completed all the steps above, mail both files to along with as much of a description of the FTP site as possible. Note: Do NOT send mail to this address unless you have been unsuccessful after completing the procedure above.

Document #: Revision Date:
WS-19980119-DD23 11/22/04

Return To KnowledgeBase Search Page