OK, so this was a bit of an obscure problem but I’m sure I can’t be the only one who’s tried this and been flummoxed.

What is Rapport?

If you do online banking on your PC you may have come across software called Trusteer Rapport (from IBM). Many online banking sites will recommend it to improve your security, and, for once, this is Absolutely Genuine And A Good Thing. IBM says that Rapport,provides online transaction protection and protection from online identity theft for consumers. You can use Rapport to protect your web browser sessions with any website that contains private or personal information.”

All well and good.

What’s the issue with Firefox?

I already had Rapport working with Chrome; when logged in to the banking site I would see the green Rapport logo, confirming that protection was active. However, since my wife and I both had accounts with the same bank, I wanted to use a different browser so it would automatically remember my ID instead of my wife’s. (Neither browser, of course, will attempt to remember the password / PIN / codeword and whatever other security info is required for login. The ID is just a starting point.)

Because Internet Explorer is so prone to crashing, and Edge isn’t much better, I opted for Firefox. Every time I went to my banking site I would get prompted to install Rapport, which I thought was slightly odd as I knew it was already installed. Nevertheless, I would follow the download link and run the installer, which immediately told me that Rapport was already installed:

rapport1

I tried the first two options – “I’m trying to fix it” and “I just want to update it”, but it had no effect on Firefox.

After a bit of reading I realised that Rapport needed to use a Firefox Extension (or Add-On), and looking at my Firefox there were no add-ons installed. Fine, I thought, I’ll just go and download it. But I couldn’t find a download link just for the add-on – only for the whole package, which I’d already installed.

This support page gave me a little clue, in that it told me where to look to install the add-on manually. I followed the instructions and looked for the relevant file in the snappily-named C:\Users\NonAdminUser\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Extensions\{ec8030f7-c20a-464f-9b0e-13a3a9e97384} folder (where NonAdminUser was the user I was logged on to the PC as). There was a file there, but it was zero bytes and Firefox told me it was corrupt.

In frustration, I decided to apply the Second Law Of Computer Problems: “Rip it out and start again”. (The First Law, is of course “Try turning it off and on again.”) So I did.

rapport2

It made no difference. Then I tried again, this time selecting the checkbox to Delete all user settings, in case the installer was thinking my corrupt file was good and not replacing it. After this second attempt, and the subsequent reinstall, the corrupt extension file had been removed – but no new one had been put in its place! The folder was just empty.

And then I was granted Divine Inspiration.

During the installation I would always get a User Access Control (UAC) prompt asking me for administrator credentials. (This is because I normally log in with a non-admin user account, which is good security practice.) So I wondered, if the installation was running “as” the administrator, whether the add-on was being installed “for” the administrator account instead of my non-admin user.

Instead of looking in  C:\Users\NonAdminUser\AppData\blahblahblah, I looked in C:\Users\AdminUser\AppData\blahblahblah – and, lo and behold, there was a non-corrupt add-on file (rapportext@trusteer.com.xpi, for those who like to know; it looks like an email address but isn’t one). Tada!

Now, still logged in as the non-admin user, I opened Firefox and followed the instructions to manually install an add-on, browsing to the admin user’s folder. Finally, Firefox showed me the add-on was installed and now I get the Rapport logo in Firefox.

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Like I said, obscure but hopefully useful to someone!

Update: Oddly, when I looked a day later, the add-on installer file was also present in the non-admin user’s folder – but it certainly wasn’t there before.