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I know there has been a similar questions to this already but the solution did not work for me so here again:

I have internet connection and I can execute such commands like:


I am also able to use the functionality of Wolfram Alpha such as

== GDP of the USA

but when I do

CountryData["France", "Population"]

it tells me that there is no connection and that I should test the connectivity which I did via "Edit->Preferences->Internet Connectivity->Test Connectivity". When I tried testing it it returned:

"PacletSiteUpdate::err: An error occurred attempting to update paclet information from site Failed writing received data to disk/application"

When I tried to ping the directly in the cmd it tried to ping which failed. When I did the same with and it worked just fine.

So I tried Nikita's Solution with the windows host file which did not work for me.

After that I tried to change the server address within Mathematica with

$PacletSite =

After that the Connectivity Test returned success. The CountryData-function did still not work, though. When I re-started Mathematica the $PacletSite contains the original value ( and the Connectivity Test fails again.

Even though the CountryData-function did not work, I think that the problem is that Mathematica tries to connect to and the $PacletSite-Value does not influence the CountryData-function.

So is there a way to change the way Mathematica tries to connect to the pacletserver and tell it only to connect to or

Thank you very much for your help

share|improve this question
What version of Mathematica is this? – Todd Gayley Jul 26 '13 at 15:48
Mathematica 9.0.1 and I am using Windows 7 – Tom Jul 27 '13 at 20:14
In version 9, try setting PacletManager`Services`Private`$wriPacletServerIndex = "1" (note that the value is a string). Use "1" or "3", or whatever value works for you. I might contact you separately to try to determine why the built-in failover mechanism doesn't appear to be working. – Todd Gayley Jul 27 '13 at 21:28
Unfortunatly it did not work. I thin that the built-in failover mechanism works beacuse the problem is just the http:// value. The original Value of $PacletSite is when I don't change that and set PacletManagerServicesPrivate$wriPacletServerIndex = "1"` the Connectivity Test fails. As soon as I set $PacletSite = even without PacletManagerServicesPrivate$wriPacletServerIndex = "1"` the Connectivity Test is successful. The CountryData-function still does not work, though. In addition the is default again after a re-start. – Tom Jul 28 '13 at 13:11
I have the same problem in a user account with non-ASCII characters in the name. Does your Windows user name have accents? Try CountryData["France", "Population"] in your administrator account. – Hector Jul 31 '13 at 13:15

I had EXACTLY the same problem and the cause actually seemed to be a Windows user name with non-ASCII character. A simple change of the user name through control panel does not help though as the underlying user name remains the same. Creating a new account with only ASCII characters solved the problem for me.

share|improve this answer
What's a "underlying user name"? Is there any evidence for its existence? I suspect the issue is not a user name with non-ASCII character, but some kind of unknown residuals. I faced very similar issue (even worse actually, I couldn't even call WolframAlpha or search words that are not function names) recently when updating v8 to v9, and I never used a non-ASCII user name. [Clean start]( ) doesn't work, but when I re-install my v9 in a new account, the problem resolved! – xzczd Sep 20 '14 at 5:13

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