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Internet Explorer 6 opens blank windows (or Firefox!) since December Microsoft Updates

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  • User profile image
    rrottman

    Hi there,

    since I received the latest Updates (910437, 908521, 905915) I experience really strange issues with Internet Explorer 6 which - to date - force me to switch to Firefox. Apparently these patches have broken my Internet Explorer (and the IEs of many many others out there).

    Unfortunately uninstalling the patches does not help at all.

    My last hope is that somebody from Channel9 (maybe somebody from the Microsoft folks) can take this issue and try to get a resolution asap.

    As I stated, currently it forces me to use Firefox because IE can simply not used anymore.

    Here are the phenomenons we experience:

  • opening an Internet shortcut from Windows Explorer opens a blank IE window, which then hangs;
  • typing a URL in the “Start -> Run” dialog box opens a blank IE window, which then hangs;
  • clicking the “More Information” link in the Windows Error Reporting dialog opens a blank IE window, which then hangs;
  • typing a URL in the IE address bar opens that URL in a new window;
  • opening an Internet shortcut from within IE either opens the link in a new window, or causes IE to hang;
  • right-clicking on a link and choosing “Open in new window” results in two new windows, one with the link and one blank;

    This is on XP SP2, fully patched, with up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software running. Many others have reported similar issues so chances are there is a severe side effect on the latest Microsoft Updates. Please post your comments should you find any solution for this.

    Thanks for taking care.
    Ralf

  • User profile image
    Zeo

    Sounds like you have a spyware/malware problem. Seriously....when something like this happens(what you described) the best bet is to reformat and start from a clean build.

    If you don't like having to reinstall everything get a copy of Norton Ghost 2006 and build a base image of the configuration you'd like to revert back to....and then you'll never have to worry about where your install disks are again.

    I know it isn't a nice or easy answer to hear...but given the complexity of what could be causing your problem its just safer and easier to start from sratch.

  • User profile image
    rrottman

    Thanks for the answer, Zeo, however I am pretty sure it is not linked to spyware.

    If you take a look at this http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/12/13/503337.aspx#comments you see that many many others ran into the exact same issue right after updating via Microsoft Update. There seems to be an issue with the patches which destroys Internet Explorer.

    Installing from scratch is an option, as always.

    Besides this I ran almost all spyware tools I know, incl. MS AntiSpyware Beta, non of them identified anything.

    I still believe MS has to take care of this.

    Any other ideas?

    R.

  • User profile image
    rrottman

    Quick update on this one:

    If you click the HOME button in IE, it opens up 63 instances of IE in parallel and displays an error dialog:

    "Attempt to refernece a token that does not exists."

    All of this since the latest update from Microsoft Update were applied.

    It's a shame.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    it does sound like spyware...

    youve run hijackthis.exe ... adaware ...spybot search and destroy... ?

  • User profile image
    harumscarum

    Do you have any other IE plugins installed?

    I ask thisk because I installed turnabout a while back and had some of the behavior you described above (mulitple instances of IE popping up). I have since uninstalled it and have not run into that problem again.





  • User profile image
    Cider

    Sounds like a bug.  I hope to God it doesn't affect the 9000-odd machines which got the patch here today!!!

     

    Do you have Dev Toolbar installed?  From the threads on it, this seems a common denominator...

  • User profile image
    SlackmasterK

    I've noticed a problem with IE starting about the same timeframe... Though it's a totally different problem. Whenever I'm visiting specific types of websites, the kind of which I'll leave up to you to figure out, I get a popup with a bunch of boxes and pipes (|).  It's a familiar dialog, it seems to be asking me to enter my first name, but in a foreign language.  This is obviously part of the site.  However, whenever this happens, MSIE's CPU utilization jumps to 99%, hangs, and won't respond to an end-task.  The only way it will die is if I run "TaskKill -F" on iexplore.  I've run spybot s&d, MSAS, and McAffee to no avail (nothing found). No mysterious tasks are found via Taskmgr or ProceXP from Sysinternals. I've been running IE 6 with all plugins disabled except Acrobat, WMP, and Java.  I can only surmise they're trying to get through an old hole that isn't there anymore. 

    This is really just an annoyance, of course, as these sites have resources I need access to.  If I hit ESC to stop loading at just the right time, I can avoid the freeze and get my data.  Any ideas?

  • User profile image
    rrottman

    In fact I had dev bar installed.

    I was not able to resolve the issue other than by reinstalling IE 6. Which I did. The phenomenon is gone. I resits using Microsoft Update for a while though.

     

  • User profile image
    Zeo

    If I were you...I wouldn't trust your system. You've been compromised by some sort of IE error or spyware. Whichever the case, your registry has got to be messed up pretty badly. Reinstalling IE is like putting a band aid on a heart attack.

    I mean who knows maybe your system will work now...but what about when you install some other application?
     
    And what happens when you install another patch from Microsoft?

    You'll be up a creek trying to figure out if its related to this problem....or related to some other problem...

    I would use this as an opportunity to re-install and setup a good back up routinge.....because I'll bet you your life that your not doing routine backups.

  • User profile image
    Steve411

    rrottman wrote:


    Thanks for the answer, Zeo, however I am pretty sure it is not linked to spyware.



    "EEEEEH! The price is wrong ..."

    Whenever your browser has issues with new windows, it is either connected to 1.) A popup blocker (probably the crappy MSN) 2.) A toolbar 3.) SPYWARE (always the first) 4.) Viruses

    Seriously, dont say it isnt spyware because in 90% of all cases it is, and im a 112% positive that its spyware in your case.

    Back when I did tech support for a small company here everyone that had problems with Internet Explorer were infected by some sort of spyware; so use SpyBot to get rid of it.

    No joke.
    - Steve

  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    Steve411 wrote:
    rrottman wrote:

    Thanks for the answer, Zeo, however I am pretty sure it is not linked to spyware.



    "EEEEEH! The price is wrong ..."

    Whenever your browser has issues with new windows, it is either connected to 1.) A popup blocker (probably the crappy MSN) 2.) A toolbar 3.) SPYWARE (always the first) 4.) Viruses

    Seriously, dont say it isnt spyware because in 90% of all cases it is, and im a 112% positive that its spyware in your case.

    Back when I did tech support for a small company here everyone that had problems with Internet Explorer were infected by some sort of spyware; so use SpyBot to get rid of it.

    No joke.
    - Steve


    I concur...I think we did a study and found that 63% out of 10,000 calls have spyware on them. 63 Instances of iexplore is not something to laugh at. Wierd coincidence...

  • User profile image
    pikatung

    Next time it happens, try this

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;902932

    I had the exact thing happen to me before and this worked quite well (note you have to restart after you run the commands)

  • User profile image
    Loadsgood

    Steve411 wrote:
    rrottman wrote:

    Thanks for the answer, Zeo, however I am pretty sure it is not linked to spyware.



    "EEEEEH! The price is wrong ..."

    Whenever your browser has issues with new windows, it is either connected to 1.) A popup blocker (probably the crappy MSN) 2.) A toolbar 3.) SPYWARE (always the first) 4.) Viruses

    Seriously, dont say it isnt spyware because in 90% of all cases it is, and im a 112% positive that its spyware in your case.

    Back when I did tech support for a small company here everyone that had problems with Internet Explorer were infected by some sort of spyware; so use SpyBot to get rid of it.

    No joke.
    - Steve


    Did you not listen to the thread creator? It ISN'T spyware, that has already been accounted for.

    It happened after he installed patches, and has occured to multiple people. There must be a bug in the way Windows Updates distributed it, or an install problem on their machines, or an invalid certificate, or any number of other reasons. Heck, those people might not have restarted their machines after applying updates (I've had problems after not restarting my computer after applying updates, even though I had shutdown it).



    It isn't always spyware, especially when a spyware scan has been done.
    Loadsgood.

  • User profile image
    ProTON

    Steve411 wrote:


    Whenever your browser has issues with new windows, it is either connected to 1.) A popup blocker (probably the crappy MSN) 2.) A toolbar 3.) SPYWARE (always the first) 4.) Viruses

    Seriously, dont say it isnt spyware because in 90% of all cases it is, and im a 112% positive that its spyware in your case.



    I've done Windows tech support for 5 years now and from my personal experience I must say I see sence in his words.

    If you scaned your machine with MS AntiSpyware or Ad-aware SE doesn't mean anything. If some complicated type of spyware are already there you can't detect it with such tools. You need something with advanced heuristics. Personally I trust NOD32, it scans for viruses, spyware, adware, malware and other types of *ware. You can get it at www.eset.com and after installing make sure you switched advanced heuristics and spyware detection options on (they are on by default, but well... you never know).

    Moreover, _maybe_ your computer is clean, but there are some remainings of old spyware in places like LSP. You can reset it by typing "netsh winsock reset" in command prompt.

    If none of this helps then I'd suggest installing Windows on a clean machine, updating with all patches available, and then begin installing your software and making configuration changes one by one till you find what's wrong.

    I installed MS patch on like 200 PCs here at the office (XP, 2k, with very different software and configurations) and at home (XP x64) and doesn't have a problem. And I have DEV toolbar installed too, so it's not the case either.

  • User profile image
    rrottman

    First of all, thanks for taking part in the discussion. Although we might have different opinions about the aspects of this nightmare, the debate is the value! Wink

    In order to find the root cause for the issue we have installed everything on a clean machine and - guess what - it happened again!

    We can defenitely eliminate the spyware idea. It's badly programmed patches, it might be a combination of things (configuration, drivers, ...).

    And more than ever I hope Microsoft is going to address it. I see more and more people having problems with the latest patches.

    One key learning though is: No automatic updates anymore.

    (Blame me for accepting automatic updates but actually my Microsoft trust level has been pretty high so far. Smiley )

  • User profile image
    ProTON

    Just wondering what kind of hardware you are using?

  • User profile image
    Kental

    I'm wondering what kind of hardware you're using as well.  I've talked to seven seperate bases that have installed the patches and not a single one of them has a reported problem through any 3C0 (Workgroup Manager).  Tens of thousands and not a single problem amongst them is a hard thing to argue with.

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