Sunday, July 26, 2009

Don't upgrade to IE8 - at least if you're me

Well, not much blogging this week because I've spent a large part of it trying to get my internet browsers working again!

Here's a piece of advice for everyone - Don't upgrade to Internet Explorer 8!

The story starts with our hero deciding to remove ESRI's ArcGIS student version - only the uninstall function won't work because some of the files are corrupt so instead I have to do a manual delete since I can no longer find the disk to fix the files either. And that means using some registry cleaner tools to remove all the references to ArcGIS so my registry isn't filled with junk. And hey it is probably filled with junk anyway. So I did.

Things seemed to be working OK (although I confess CleanMyPC did delete something that stopped my Broadcom Wireless Utility from working - but that means I found a new version of it so no loss).

And then shortly afterwards I decide to install the Microsoft upgrade that upgrades MSN Explorer and Internet Explorer to version 8 (which ran even though I had already upgraded IE from 7 to 8). And then both browsers stopped working.

At first I figured it was me and I had screwed up the registry somehow and somewhere - but I found that sometimes MSN Explorer will work as long as I am not viewing a website with lots of images present - so I posted on Skeptico for a couple of hours that night with no problems. But as soon as I went to BBC News, the browser crashed. Microsoft have had a lot of error reports off me in the last four days...

So, IE8 will crash almost immediately I start it since my homepage for that is BBC News. MSN Explorer doesn't immediately crash in one user account because my homepage for that one is the blog - on other accounts it does because the homepage is MSN. So I have used it to blog and download upgrades for long periods of time, depending on the visited webpages. Most of the time they just crash.

I tried system restore - it told me nothing had changed and wouldn't let me do the system restore. I had backed up my registry, but regedit is useless. Why let me back up the whole registry if I can't import the whole registry at any point since as soon as Windows boots up the registry is in use and therefore some entries locked? I undid the changes that both CleanMyPC and RegCleaner had made. Still no difference.

So I continued blaming myself until I started to find LOTS of complaints online about IE8 and MSN Exploreror and crashes after upgrading them - two friends at work even had a similar problem to me (upgraded and now IE8 crashes on startup). I ran Dr Watson and both MSN Explorer and IE8 are getting the same error c000000000000000000000000etc5 access violation. So I am thinking that deleting a registry entry doesn't cause a memory access violation error, am I right? (Hey, I haven't been in tech support for 3 years now and that was UNIX and Oracle not Windows, cut me some slack). And MSN Mail still works without crashing.

I read somewhere that some of SpyBotSD's files may interfere with IE8 - but given the choice between the two SpyBot is going nowhere.

So, long and the short of it is I now use Firefox, I am waiting for one of my friends to run Dr Watson and see if he gets the same error and I am telling everybody not to upgrade to IE8. So don't.

Anyone else had problems?


  1. I had no problems with it. Regardless, Firefox is a better browser.

  2. I've been happy so far with Firefox but one thing I have noticed is that even though I had set my Site Meter account to ignore visits from this browser it was still recording them (and the Site Meter ignore cookie is present and the message on the Site Meter manager page said that it was ignoring visits from this browser!) - so now it looks like I have had more visitors than I have.

    I just set it to ignore my IP address but now I don't know if that means any visitors using Qwest as their ISP will not be counted.

  3. Belay that last - that may have been my misreading of the confusingly worded Site Meter page about how to get Site Meter to ignore your visits!

    It's amazing how people can butcher the English language.

    Here's what I mean:

    On the Site Meter page that you use to get it to ignore your own visits it says:

    "CURRENT STATUS:Visits from this browser to your site (my username) are being tracked."

    No matter which way around I set things, this message never changes, and it didn't when I was using MSN Explorer even though Site Meter was not tracking my visits then.

    Below this is a button, and the label on it will say either:

    "TRACK all visits to my site from this browser"


    "IGNORE visits to my site from this browser"

    Depending on whether you have pressed it or not.

    Seems fairly straight forward, right? 'What is this idiots problem?' I hear you say. Well, below the button it says:

    "NOTE: If you press the button to stop your visits from being tracked and the message above says they are still being tracked, then your browser is not configured correctly to send the "Ignore" cookie to Site Meter."

    Which message?

    The status message never seems to change and the only other thing above the note is the label on a button. And if, for instance, I pressed the button and it now has the 'TRACK...' label on it then the message above is that Site Meter is tracking my visits (i.e the message is an imperative that says 'Track all visits from this browser').

    So according to the notes, my cookies aren't set up correctly. But they are.

    So, does the 'IGNORE...' label on the button mean 'Press me now and I will start ignoring visits from this browser, and my label will change to say "TRACK..." which means press me now and I will track visits from this browser and change back to the "IGNORE..." label' or does it mean 'I am currently ignoring visits from this browser, press me if you want to change this.'?

    Is the label on the button a status message or a command message?

    Maybe I should do a post on the mangling of the English language.

    Or one on pedantic bloggers with too much time on their hands...

  4. Does SpySD actually work? I had it for years, but it detected a grand total of maybe 3 things during that time...

  5. Simple answer is never use IE, why would you need to when Firefox is so much better and can emulate IE with an add on, there's always Safari too, there's just no need to be stuck with the built in 'features!' of IE.
    Spybot SD does work, depends where your surfing takes you on how much it will find.

  6. It's your usual ;)

    It works fine even though I don't use it, FF3.5 for me, can't cope without Adblock and NoScript!

    Just get IETab for when you need to use it within a FF tab.

  7. Well, my surfing has probably taken me to most of the dark corners of the Internet, and I still don't find much.

    Granted, my cookies are deleted every time I close Firefox, so that might help...

  8. Adblock and Noscript certainly help as does deleting cookies. IETab on FF does away with ever having to start up IE. Have to keep an eye on the number of add-ons in FF though as it can become a little fat and start to slow things down abit, maybe I should bump the laptop up to 2gb memory.

  9. It's your usual ;)

    Cheeky bugger!

    Ordinarily I'd agree though given the amount of hack jobs we had to do on my desktop - but this is my laptop, which I've left pretty well alone and it has worked without problems for three years (which is a miracle given my usual tinkering).

  10. HA, I ownz the interwebs!

    Uninstalled IE8 using Revo Uninstaller. Reinstalled IE 7 and the updates for that - no more crashes (for now at least). My guess is the cumulative update for MSN and IE8 is the problem.

    My PC indeed. Just because of all those other times...

  11. Many moons ago when I wrote a massively insightful and amusing, well researched and cutting left-leaning blog, I put many hours into writing good, honest posts (about once every couple of days).

    Few people read it.

    BUT - the most commented on, most linked to and most searched for posting was one that took me four minutes to write - where I pointed out that president Zapatero of Spain looked uncannily like Mr Bean.

    I was crushed. Thanks for that - I needed to get that off my chest.

  12. Ran across your site meter problem searching for a solutio to the same problem. The answer for me was to use the Java Script code rather than the html code. You also must have java script enabled in your browser for the ignore cookie to work.