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How to fix the 10 Internet Explorer issues

Issues viewing Web pages

1. "Page cannot be displayed" errors

2. Red x instead of pictures

3. View, Source doesn't work

To address the issues above, you may need to try one, some, or all of the following three procedures.

Empty the cache

The first thing to do when Internet Explorer is misbehaving is empty your Internet Explorer cache. Often the cache is not corrupt or damaged – it is simply too large.

1.Click Tools, then Internet Options, and then click the Delete Files button.

2.A Delete Files window will appear. Select the option to Delete all offline content, and then click OK.

3.Click Settings and reduce the size of your cache to, say, 50 to 100 MB (more if you routinely download very large files).

This will invariably fix the dreaded red x, View, Source, and sometimes "Page cannot be displayed" errors.

Emptying the cache will not be sufficient to fix things if a hidden file in the cache folders, called index.dat, is corrupt. Our best alternative in such a situation is to delete the cache folders in their entirety, but this cannot be done from within Windows under normal circumstances.

Index.dat is a system file, and any attempt to delete it while Windows is running or while the user is logged on will be blocked. Therefore, we need to reboot into DOS mode or, when running later versions of Windows that support user accounts, we need to log in to Windows using a different Administrator account to that which is affected.

Issues related to default browser settings

4. Error messages when attempting to send a page or link by e-mail

First, reset your default e-mail client from within Internet Explorer. To do this go to Tools, then Internet Options, then Programs, then select your e-mail program of choice.

To re-register your e-mail program:
Click Start, then click Run, and then type the appropriate command based on the following e-mail programs:

Outlook Express:
"C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\Msimn.Exe" /reg

"c:\program files\microsoft office\office\outlook.exe" /checkclient

Make sure the path to msimn.exe or outlook.exe is correct for your machine. Type the command line exactly as it appears, including quote marks and spaces.

If using a non-Microsoft e-mail program:

A program must be Internet Explorer aware to automatically list itself as a default program option. If the program does not appear, there are a couple of things you can do. First, you can right-click the executable file for the program, and see if Register appears as an option, (which should cause the program to be listed on the drop box on the Program Tab)

Otherwise, there's a manual method, but it involves editing the registry and adding the program under:

HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\Software\Clients\mail
HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\Software\Clients\news

You will need to contact your program's vendor for the appropriate syntax.

5. Hyperlinks not working

Hyperlinks will not work if a computer system does not know which Web browser is set as the default, which happens if the settings that control this choice are damaged or incorrect. The easiest way to fix the problem is to allow your preferred Web browser to rewrite the appropriate settings by resetting your default browser. Rather than walk through the steps required to achieve this in this column, I refer you to my previous column about how to set up your browser as the default.

6. "Open in new Window" doesn't work

Sometimes resetting our default browser is not enough to get hyperlinks to work again, especially if they trigger a new window. Open in new window is dependent upon several system files, therefore you should ensure they are correctly registered.

Click on Start, then Run, then run the following commands. After you run each command, a small window should appear stating that the command was successful.

regsvr32 Shdocvw.dll (if that doesn't work, try shdoc401.dll)
regsvr32 Oleaut32.dll
regsvr32 Actxprxy.dll
regsvr32 Mshtml.dll
regsvr32 Urlmon.dll

Some programs that control pop-up windows and advertisements can stop hyperlinks from working. Also, some third-party add-ins are known to cause a problem and must be uninstalled when misbehaving in this way. Disable all third-party Internet related programs (not your firewall) and test.

7. Internet Explorer freezes, shuts down without warning, or the computer reboots.

This problem is often caused by out-of-date video drivers. Go to the Web site run by the manufacturer of your video card and download, then install, the latest (non-beta) drivers for your video card.

Alternatively, you can try the following:

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

2. Click Display (in classic view of Windows XP), click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced.

3. Click the Performance or Troubleshooting tab (depending on your operating system), and then reduce hardware acceleration a notch at a time until your system stabilizes.

8. Internet Explorer opens off screen, or tiny, or minimized, or the window will not move

If your taskbar is set to Autohide, turn the setting off and then maximize the problem window. While the window is maximized, increase the height of your taskbar from one row to two. The maximized window will automatically resize itself to fit into the smaller area available with a taller taskbar. Then, return the taskbar to its normal single row and allow the maximized window to resize once more. This will make Windows re-calculate window size and boundaries, overwriting registry keys that may be damaged.

If the affected window is partially off screen, so that the Minimize, Maximize, Restore, and Close buttons are hidden, you can access the same options by clicking on the Internet Explorer icon on the far left edge of the Internet Explorer title bar, or by right-clicking on the Internet Explorer button on the taskbar.

If resizing your Taskbar does not work, run Regedit and remove the following registry key values which are most likely corrupt. Do not delete the entire key, just the last word which will appear in the right hand pane.

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\window_placement

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\OldWorkAreas\OldWorkAreaRects

Then reboot.

9. The computer keeps disconnecting from the Internet

This one can raise suspicions of malware. But, before you reformat your computer, do the following.

1. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Connections tab.

2. Under Dial-up or Virtual Private Network settings, click the Settings button.

3. Under Dial-up settings, click the Advanced button and make sure that Disconnect when connection may no longer be required check box is cleared, and that the Disconnect if idle check box is cleared as well.

1. In Outlook Express, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Connection tab.

2. Turn off the option to Hang up after sending and receiving, and then close the Options window

3. On the Tools menu, click Accounts, and then click the Mail tab.

4. Make sure that each connection is set to use Any Available. If not, highlight the account then click on Properties.

5. Click the Connection tab and ensure that the option "Always connect to this account using" is turned off.

10. "A runtime error has occurred. Do you wish to debug?"

This is another symptom that tends to raise suspicions of Malware or Spyware.

1. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Advanced tab.

2. Make sure that Disable Script Debugging (Internet Explorer) and Disable Script Debugging (Other) are both enabled.

3. Make sure that Disable a Notification about ever script error is disabled.


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