IE8 Decides to take unauthorized breaks

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IE8 Decides to take unauthorized breaks
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richard37066
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October 23, 2010 - 8:58 pm
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Hey Folks -

Someone described these confounded things as the machines you love to hate. My hate quotient is rapidly escalating.

The latest: - "Internet Explorer has stopped working". There are times when everything just locks up. Other times there's a grey haze that covers the screen, the hourglass keeps a'turnin then finally the dreaded message. The only option is to log out and then come back in and start all over. What's worse is that there are times when it will repeatedly stop working ON THE SAME SITE, SAME PAGE!

Dell XPS410, Windows Vista Home Premium, IE8.

Have used CCleaner, Malwarebytes anti-malware, restart, System Restore. Nothing changes. The only thing I haven't tried is my good framing hammer - but that might be a tad costly. Anyone have a clue and a cure?

Respectfully,

Richard

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Jim Hillier
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October 23, 2010 - 9:18 pm
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Hey Richard - The issues you are describing are generally symptomatic of an incompatible (or corrupt) add-on.

Try running Internet Explorer without any add-ons: Go to[b:smvz4p78] Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools[/b:smvz4p78]. Expand the 'System Tools' folder and you will see [b:smvz4p78]Internet Explorer (No Add-ons).[/b:smvz4p78] Just click on that to start Internet Explorer in no-add-on mode.

If the problems no longer occur when using this mode then we can be pretty sure that one of the add-ons is the culprit and we can offer a guide on how to find exactly which one it is.

If the problems still exist in no add-on mode then we shall need to look elsewhere....but we'll start there because that is the most likely.

Cheers.....Jim

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richard37066
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October 25, 2010 - 12:38 pm
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Jimbeaux, my friend -

I apologize for the delay in replying. Have been immersed in building a porch for Momma.

I followed your instructions and to no avail. It would appear that IE8 simply does not like this one site and a redirect that one must use. I'm inclined to think that it is the site, itself, and will contact them today.

As an aside - Is it possible for IE8 to become corrupted in one fashion or another? Is there any merit to the notion that uninstalling IE8 and then re-installing it will cure its' ills? This, of course, could be construed as the approach of the novice - get a bigger hammer!

Respectfully,

Richard

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Jim Hillier
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October 25, 2010 - 4:54 pm
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Hey Richard,

Your initial post intimated this was a universal problem but your follow up post seems to suggest it is happening mainly on just one site?? We will need to clarify that before proceeding any further mate.

Yes, anything can become corrupted, including IE.....unlikely but possible. Internet Explorer settings can also 'magically' change all by themselves. Uninstalling and re-installing Internet Explorer is an option but, as you suggest, it should be last resort, only after all else has failed.

Cheers....Jim

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Flying Dutchman
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October 25, 2010 - 5:36 pm
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[quote:3catnqdl]Internet Explorer settings can also 'magically' change all by themselves.[/quote:3catnqdl]
Maybe putting IE settings back to default is worth a try.

I am human

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Jim Hillier
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October 25, 2010 - 5:45 pm
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Could be FD, that's what I was hinting at. But first we need to ascertain whether or not this is happening across the board or just when accessing a particular site.

Cheers....Jim

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richard37066
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October 26, 2010 - 6:38 pm
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Ozbloke and FD -

Must clarify things. Yes, there is something "universal" about IE8 crapping out in that is does happen on occasion all across the board.

Most tellingly is the following since it happens every time. I have DirecTV satellite television since I live in the boonies. Before potentially wasting my time just surfing the channels, I check their listings on their site for programs of interest. The first posting that one gets omits all of the local channels. Understandable since my local channels would not be the same as yours. It provides an option to specify one's locale so as to fill in the appropriate local channels. Their link is "Missing Local Channels?". Clicking on that link - or redirect - will bring up another page upon which it asks for one's Zip Code. Within a second or two - before I have a chance to enter my Zip - an orange notification bar appears down in the task bar. Just surfing the cursor over the notification reveals a small window in which one is notified that Internet Explorer has stopped working.

DirecTV says that they don't have a problem.

Could it be that IE8 just doesn't like that page?

FD - Where would I return IE8 to its' default settings?

I'm confused.

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Flying Dutchman
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October 26, 2010 - 7:23 pm
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Hi Richard,

I don't know what customization you may have made to IE, so keep in mind (from MS):
[quote:rgcbbh6m]
The Reset Internet Explorer Settings feature does not clear the favorites or clear the feeds.
It disables all toolbars, browser extensions, and customizations that you install. To use any of these disabled customizations, you must selectively enable each customization through the Manage Add-ons dialog box. For Web pages that have ActiveX controls, you must approve running each ActiveX control the first time that you encounter it.
It also deletes temporary Internet files and cookies and clears the browsing history, saved form data, saved passwords, and auto-complete data.

[b:rgcbbh6m]Note[/b:rgcbbh6m]: The Reset Internet Explorer Settings feature might reset security settings or privacy settings that you added to the list of Trusted Sites. The Reset Internet Explorer Settings feature might also reset parental control settings. We recommend that you note these sites before you use the Reset Internet Explorer Settings feature.
[/quote:rgcbbh6m]

After you take care of the above:
Click on Start and in the Start Search box, type (or copy/ paste from here without the quotes) "inetcpl.cpl" and hit Enter.
This will open the Internet Options box. Go to the "Advanced" tab. Click twice on "Reset" under Reset Internet Explorer settings. And then on all necessary "Apply" and "OK". Start IE and do your thing to see if that makes any difference.

Good luck and let us know how that went.

I am human

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richard37066
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October 27, 2010 - 3:00 pm
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Flying Dutchman -

Reset IE settings per your instructions. No change at all with reference to that one persistant problem.

Could it be that DirecTV lied to me?

Lay some more words of wisdom on me.

Respectfully,

Richard

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Flying Dutchman
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October 28, 2010 - 6:45 am
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Well Richard, I'm running out of ideas here as I'm no user of IE and not on Vista.

But, lets take things from the beginning.
You said
[quote:2c0kybps]Yes, there is something "universal" about IE8 crapping out in that is does happen on occasion all across the board.[/quote:2c0kybps]
Could you, please name other sites that give you this problem and describe the exact symptoms?
Can you remember if the problem occurs after you perform some other, specific action on your machine?

You also said
[quote:2c0kybps]Could it be that DirecTV lied to me?[/quote:2c0kybps]
Were you ever able to access the local channels list with IE8? Can you remember if you started experiencing this problem after something specific changed on your machine, like installing a Windows hotfix or a new security application (and which), uninstalling a program, tweaking the registry?

Are you on Vista 32bit or 64bit? If on 64bit, which IE are you running?

Please reply to the above questions the best you can.

Now, a few things for you to try.
Can you, please, check if resetting IE settings did disable all add-ons?
Go to Tools and click on "Manage Add-ons". Look in "Toolbars and Extensions" and check if all your add-ons are disabled. If not, disable all of them manually and try again. If the problem is fixed, then it was due to an add-on. So, enable them one by one and see if the problem shows up again. Once it's there again after enabling an add-on, you have nailed the culprit.

If that's not the case, could you, please, try to access DirecTV's site in Compatability View? Go to Tools and click on "Compatability View Settings". This will open a box which is, more or less, self-explanatory. Try the Compatability View on other sites you face this problem. This is probably not a compatability view issue, but it won't hurt checking.

If that doesn't fix it, could you, please, try to boot into Safe Mode with Networking? This is not the best of situations to be in (from a security point), so do only the test in that mode and reboot back to Normal Mode as soon as you're done.

If none of the above make any difference, could you, please, try accessing DirecTV's site and others with another browser (like Firefox, Opera, etc.)? To minimize any hassle, use a portable version - that way you can run the browser right away avoiding any installation procedures.

Report back.

I am human

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Chad Johnson
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October 28, 2010 - 8:01 am
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[color=#FF0000:3b20q4gr][size=50:3b20q4gr]One other PITA question - have you tried a different browser? Does it work in Firefox? Chrome? IE7? IE8 with compatibility mode turned on?

OK. that was more than one PITA question. [/size:3b20q4gr][/color:3b20q4gr]

~ahem~

I should not post before coffee.

I will attempt to stop asking questions already asked by others.

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richard37066
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October 28, 2010 - 1:25 pm
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Ziggie. You're forgiven - although I'm offended that you're stealing my act!

Flying Dutchman. An update and a revelation.

I got up the courage (read: stupidly brave) to try something else. Downloaded Google Chrome. Accessed the DirecTV site and went through the necessary procedure without incident. Immediately reverted back to IE8 and was met with the same failure.
HOWEVER: - taking a clue from you, and while I was using IE8, I punched the "Compatibility View" button while on the DirecTV site. SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!! It was there all of the time but I never thought of using it.

Now, there's a whole bunch of things about this confounded machine that this old head doesn't fathom, but this one takes the cake! Why, after using IE8 for a couple of years, should it all of a sudden decide to burp a couple of days ago? Google Chrome worked just fine and my perception is that it was faster.

I'd really like to understand this whole mess and the most pertinent clue seems to be the fact that, all of a sudden, it will work in "Compatibility View" but not in the normal mode.

Confusion reigns.

Respectfully,

Richard

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David Hartsock
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October 29, 2010 - 11:02 am
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I'd really like to understand this whole mess and the most pertinent clue seems to be the fact that, all of a sudden, it will work in "Compatibility View" but not in the normal mode.
[/quote:25totcu6]
OK. Follow along as I share a tail of gloom and doom...

The web is based on a language named html, which stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML is like any other language where each "word" has a specific meaning. Unfortunately, Micosoft - in their infinite wisdom - doesn't fully understand the language, and in other cases uses their own meaning for "words". As a result what a site owner attempts to present to a visitor isn't always what the visitor sees. How's that for an explanation ?

The html language is standardized by an organization know as the [url=http://www.w3.org/:25totcu6]World Wide Web Consortium[/url:25totcu6], or W3C. the W3C decides what each command, or tag, should do when viewed in a browser. Thanks to the W3C we know that a <p> tag denotes a paragraph, a <h1> tag denotes a primary header, etc. Unfortunately IE hasn't followed the W3C standards nearly as close as other browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Opera, which are commonly referred to as "standards compliant" browsers. They aren't perfect, but they are orders of magnitude better than IE6, IE7, and IE8 in most cases. To complicate matters there is no consistency between the different IE versions.

So what does that mean to you? Well, this makes authoring websites much more complicated. I have to create a site, then I have to add special arguments and instructions to deal with each IE version. Basically I have to create a standards compliant site, an IE6 site, an IE7 site, an IE8 site, etc -which complicates things to no end- so the visitor will have a functioning site and see what I intend them to.

Unfortunately not everyone updates there site for each new version of IE (and why should they have to?). As a result each new version of IE breaks some of the things that worked in previous versions.

Microsoft began to see the light in late 2008. They developed IE8 so it was a "little" more compliant than previous versions, but it still "broke" some sites that worked in IE7. To fix this MS added "compatibility mode" to IE8 in late 2008. Don't confuse compatibility and compliant! Compatibility mode just forced IE8 to draw a webpage like IE7 would thereby "fixing" broken sites instead of fixing their browser. This is one of the reason that most "geeks" stay away from IE if at all possible.

So suppose you enable compatibility mode for DirectTV and used it for a year with no problems. Now DirectTV updates their site to better function with IE8. Hmmm. In reality compatibility mode should force the site to use code targeting IE7, but you never know. Compatibility mode also has a list of sites that other think need to be rendered like IE7. This list gets updated occasionally also, so it is possible that DirectTV either made the list, or was dropped from the list causing your problem.

Microsoft has made a huge step in the right direction with IE9, which is currently in beta, by focusing on compliance. It is a dream compared to earlier Internet Explorers. I haven't ran across a single site in normal browsing that didn't render as it should. I haven't used it a bunch and I'm sure there are many sites that this change will break, but it is definitely a step in the right direction!

Wow, that was longer than I expected!

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Flying Dutchman
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October 30, 2010 - 8:06 am
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Thanks Dave for stepping in.
I'd never explain all this so vividly and in such detail. Probably why you run a site and forum and I don't

Cheers

I am human

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richard37066
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November 1, 2010 - 11:07 am
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Dave -

Whew! I asked to be informed such that I could understand and you lay the whole magilla on me! I DO understand, thanks to you, but I don't understand why MS can't get their act together and be "compliant" like the rest of them. I suspect that I'm not alone in this secondary confusion.

Upon the advice of a friend, I downloaded Google Chrome and have been using it for several days - it couldn't be any worse than MS, could it? It has worked very well, in my estimation, and seems to be somewhat faster than IE8. I'm fairly certain that I'll continue using it unless something rears its' ugly head and frustrates me all over again.

To one and all: - Once again, my many thanks for your efforts towards the resolution of my problem. You're well aware that I'm a floundering novice when it comes to these things and I don't know what I'd do without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Respectfully,

Richard

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