> Is is strange to me how the presence of an unnecessary header can 
> cause this behaviour. I'll check.

It could be something got confused when the HEAD command did not return 
any data. 

> > It all falls over horribly if the DLL is missing,
> > life is too short for DLL hell.

This turned out to be DLL hell, specifically conflicting versions. I'd 
put the v1.2.3 DLL in system32 and renamed it to remove it, but the 
program found a v1.1.4 DLL that in the Delphi 2005 and 2006 BIN 
directories, which started working but then died miserably.  

When I researched into the Borland ZLIB support in Delphi 7 and later I 
found they'd not implemented sufficient methods to support GZIP headers, 
only deflate, it also still seems to be v1.0.4, even in Delphi 2006, 
despite the senior Delphi developer posting in a newsgroup last week 
that it's the latest version.  

So I'm currently testing both VCLZIP which I currently use, and a v1.2.3 
library from Code Central.  

I've emailed you my consolidated version of httpprot.pas for your 

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