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?