recently i have had the problem of not being able to find and run programs that i download (except windows updates). i will save a program to a folder, then go to that folder and the program isnt there ar anywhere else. i have vista home basic.
When you download a program you are asked if you want to "run" or "save" it.
With Internet Explorer and Firefox, if you choose to "run" it, you will not have a folder or file saved anywhere on your PC. If you choose to "save it" using Internet Explorer, you can name the file you want to save it under and this gets saved in Downloads contained in the folder top right of the start menu.
If you are using Firefox and you save the download, you can access it under "tools"when opening the Firefox Homepage.
I guess you'v tried this?
Downloaded files are saved by default, in - Start - Documents - Downloads
or (in Windows Explorer) users - username - documents - downloads.
You don't specify where you are trying to save them. If you have System files unhidden, you can see all the "off limits" "My... folders. You cannot save to these.
A third possibility orientates around your anti-virus. Have you recently installed a new antivirus program, or do you by chance have two running at the same time. I use Avast but I had AVG until recently, and that, uncustomised, had a habit of throwing out downloaded files if it thought they were suspicious.