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| Go back to the Index Page | Bo's Browser Wars | MSIE News Front | Updated 06/04/05 |

Welcome to Bohunky0's MSIE Help & How To Page VII

Page Index
Got a problem you can't find on these pages? Click here and tell me about it

  1. Browser Hijacking, it ain't funny any more
  2. Stop Image Resizing
  3. Where is that webpage, image or banner add coming from?
  4. Start MSIE 6.0 in Kiosk Mode
  5. Disable Add-On Toolbars and Buttons
  6. The Case of the Dissappearing Favorites Folder:
  7. Problems with MSN Messenger?

  8. Can't log onto secure websites? Try these tips

  9. And the Favorites Just Keep Coming and Coming but Won't Leave
    Got some strange links in MSIE 5 or 6 that you cannot delete no matter what? Hint, think WSH!

  10. There is no option for saving a webpage as an Archive file (MHT) under Save As...

  11. Cannot Print with Internet Explorer 6.0

  12. Common Outlook and Outlook Express problems and solutions:

  13. Tabs on Task Manager Not Showing

  14. Emailing Pictures is a Snap in Windows

  15. Problems with the history folder

  16. You Get a Outlook Express Error Message:
     Err Msg: "This Program Has Performed an Illegal Operation and Will Be Shut Down"
    Or
    This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.

  17. Removing MSN Messenger From Outlook Express 

  18. WheresJames Outlook Express Archiver - Freeware

  19. Get back the disconnect option

  20. Remove the Internet Explorer Content Advisor Password

  21. What the heck is this file on my Desktop named, "~"?

  22. IncrediMail to Outlook Express, the conversion factor

  23. You get the following error message and then MSIE shuts down:
    AppName: iexplore.exe
    AppVer: 6.0.2800.1106
    ModName: ntdll.dll
    ModVer: 4.0.1381.298
    Offset: 000327a6

  24. Browser Hijacking, Run MRU List, and Typed URL's, the rest of the story

  25. Configure Internet Explorer to work as an FTP client

  26. Disable Error Reporting to Microsoft

  27. Outlook Express And Security Zones

  28. Cannot Logon Hotmail Using a POP3 Email Client Such as Outlook Express or Outlook

  29. Cannot Save Files as Archive, MHT Format

  30. Send Your Mail Later With Outlook Express

  31. Saving Your Outlook Express Mail Rules

  32. Print Outlook Express Address Book

  33. Print Your Favorites list With URL's

  34. OE very slow when starting, and Internet Explorer forms slow

  35. Hotmail lists "Your e-mail message has been idle and this link has become inactive."

  36. Outlook Express Freezes When Clicking on a URL Link

  37. We've Talked About this Before but Browser Hijacking is on the Increase and Some of the Attacks are Getting Very Sophisticated

  38. Get rid of IM and no slow OE startup


Get rid of IM and no slow OE startup 

 

If you have OE 6 go to tools | windows messenger | options | preferences 

and in the general area uncheck "run this program when windows starts" and "allow this program to run in the background." After doing this IM does not load on startup and OE loads as usual.


We've Talked About this Before but Browser Hijacking is on the Increase and Some of the Attacks are Getting Very Sophisticated

 

One size doesn't fit all 
It's a sad truth that malicious individuals can hijack a Web browser in a variety of ways. And since there is no standard hijacking technique, there is no standard repair technique. If your browser is hijacked, a significant chance exists that the repairs that worked in the past will not work for you in the present. I will therefore cover several repair techniques.

 

Begin with a thorough scan
When faced with an IE hijacking, you should first scan the computer for viruses, Trojans, adware, and spyware. It's highly likely that one of these items is the hijacker. Until you ensure that your computer is free from these parasites, youíll only be treating the symptoms rather than the actual problem. Some known parasites can not be detected by certain anti-parasite applications but most are. Our current favorite is Spybot Search and Destroy. You'll find more on this on our Featured Freeware site. SS&D is more for the experienced user but it covers a wide rang of issues. For the more novice among you, try Lavasoft's AddAware which can also be found on our Featured Freeware site. Which ever one you choose, be sure to download, install and then update the product (Also free over the internet). Then run a full system scan and choose to fix any problems that might be found.

Unfortunately, I have yet to discover a single program that effectively scans for every potential form of spyware, adware, virus, and Trojan. I therefore recommend using several different programs. I know it's time consuming to download all these utilities and perform a separate full-system scan with each, but this is a critical step in the troubleshooting process.

Scan for viruses first. My antivirus program of choice is Norton Antivirus by Symantec. There are some very good freeware products and the best of breed and the one we use on our test machine, is AntiVirģ Personal Edition  Our tests show that it is every bit as good as Norton and McAfee

Now that the system is virus free, it's time to scan for adware with a utility such as PestPatrol (which also removes spyware) or my personal favorite, which is SpyBot-Search & Destroy or our second choice Ad-aware from Lavasoft. Another good tool is, BPS SpyWare/Adware Remover from Bullet Proof Soft. Unfortunately BPS SpyWare/Adware Remover is not freeware but is pay for play but it deserves an honorable mention here. We do appreciate most Freeware but we are not fanatical about it.

After you have scanned the system for virus, adware, and spyware, reboot and try to change IE's home page. If you're still unable to do so, then it's likely the hijacker has modified the Windows registry or configured a malicious group policy.

 


Before we begin
Warning: The following section involves editing your system registry. Using the Windows Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems requiring the reinstallation of your operating system and may lead to the loss of data. BLCOW does not and will not support problems that arise from editing your registry. Use the Registry Editor and the following directions at your own risk.


For more on the System Registry, see Bo's Tweaky Clean Windows.

 

Clean the registry
When a program hijacks IE by modifying the registry on a Windows NT/2000/XP system, the change often impacts only the current user. This is because many users don't have local administrative privileges and can only modify the HKEY_CURRENT_USER portion of the registry, not the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE portion. If the user has local administrative privileges or the machine is running Windows 9x/Me (which won't protect the registry), the change could be applied to all of the users on the system, depending on hijacker's level of sophistication.

With this in mind, log on as the person who's having the problem and open the Registry Editor. Then, navigate through the registry tree to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel

Check for the existence of keys named ResetWebSettings or HomePage. If such keys exist, delete them.

Next, navigate to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

Verify that the information stored in the Default_Page_URL key and Start Page key is correct. If these keys contain values that reflect an undesirable startup page, double-click on the key to open its dialog box and then replace the existing value with an appropriate one.

There are two more registry entries you should check, but you'll need to ensure you have the proper permissions before doing so. As I mentioned before, if you're using Windows 9x/Me, any user can modify the registry, but if you're using Windows NT/2000/XP you'll need local administrative privileges.

Navigate to the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

As before, check the Default_Page_URL and the Start Page keys for inappropriate values and change the values if necessary. Next, navigate to:
HKEY_USERS\Default\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

Once again, check the Default_Page_URL and the Start Page keys for inappropriate values, and change them as necessary.

 

Check for malicious policies
Another method IE hijackers can use to prevent you from fixing their handiwork is to change the systemís policies. Normally, you shouldnít have to worry about this with Windows NT, 2000, or XP. With those systems, I've never heard of a browser hijacking that involved a modification of a group policy. If you're running Windows 9x/Me, however, itís very possible that an unauthorized policy may have been placed on your system.

To determine if this is the case, search the hard drive for files with a POL extension. If such files exist, they may or may not be malicious. I recommend booting the system into MS-DOS mode and renaming the policy file with an extension of PCY instead of POL. This will disable the policy without deleting it.

Now, boot Windows normally and play around to see what effect, if any, disabling the policy has. If you're suddenly able to edit IE's home page, then itís probably safe to assume that the policy was malicious and didnít belong on the system. If this is the case, go ahead and delete the policy file.

On the other hand, if you're still unable to edit IE's home page and unable to perform some normal tasks, the policy is probably legitimate and you should reenable it. You can do this by booting the system into MS-DOS mode again and renaming the policy file so that it once again has the POL extension.

Hijack This!
Hijack This is a utility which scans the Windows registry and hard drive for IE settings that have been modified. If modifications are found, each modification is listed, and you may then choose which modifications to keep and which to remove. You can download Hijack This here

Once HijackThis is open, click the Scan button to start a new scan. Once the scan is complete, a list of modifications will be displayed,

 

{See image to the right}

When the scan is complete, you can select the suspicious entries and either click the Fix Checked button to remove them or click the Info On Selected Item button to learn more about each oneóyou'll need to highlight each entry individually,

 

I found using HijackThis to be extremely effective, but itís not for the novice. I strongly recommend backing up your Windows installation before running HijackThis because it's easy to accidentally damage Internet Explorer. For example, ViRobot Expert, an  antivirus product, integrates itself into Internet Explorer and Outlook. If you had ViRobot Expert installed and then used HijackThis to remove all IE modifications, you would be removing ViRobot Expert's IE component, thus weakening your security. Be sure that your anti-virus scanner doesn't embed itself into IE or if it does, do not remove it's parameters.

StartupList: 
Another handy HijackThis tool

Integrated into HijackThis, StartupList generates a list of every application that starts automatically when Windows boots. This list is more in-depth than the one provided by Msconfig, but doesn't provide a GUI or a means to control whether programs start or not.

To run StartupList, click the Config button from the HijackThis main window. Then click the Misc Tools button. Click the Generate StartupList log button, then click Yes. The list is saved as a text file with the name startuplist.txt in the directory where HijackThis is located. HijackThis automatically opens the text file with Notepad. Most will find there is more control over things by using the Microsoft Configuration Utility bundled with all recent Windows OS's. To open MsConfig, do the following:

  1. Press the Windows Key + R to bring up the Run Dialog

  2. Type 
    MSCONFIG 
    and then click OK

  3. Switch to the Startup Tab

  4. Uncheck any suspicious entries.

Preventing reinfection
If all goes well, by now you've been able to reclaim your Web browser. If not, you may have to reinstall Windows. Simply reinstalling Internet Explorer or upgrading it to a newer version doesnít usually get rid of the problem (believe me, Iíve tried). Once you do get Internet Explorer back under your control, there are several basic steps that you can take toward preventing this problem from occurring in the future. However, we have become increasing alarmed at the newest flaws that are appearing in MSIE even after the update, In Windows XP, to Service Pack 2. Please take a look at our article, 
"Alternative Browser's To MSIE due to IE flaws

If you're using an always-on connection, such as through a DSL or cable modem, use a good personal firewall. Use reputable antivirus software and keep it current. Do not run, save, or download programs that you donít trust.

Regularly delete all temporary Internet files and cookies from your browserís cache. Itís possible that IE cached the malicious code, so youíll want to make certain that itís gone for good from your system. Make sure that you have all of the latest security patches in place, especially for Windows, IE, and Outlook.

Still another way to prevent the problem from happening again is to use a freeware utility called Browser Hijack Blaster. This program constantly monitors Internet Explorer for modifications. If a modification is attempted, Browser Hijack Blaster alerts you to the impending modification and asks if you want to allow it or prevent it from happening. Browser Hijack Blaster is compatible with Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP. This product is also highlighted on our Featured Freeware site.

 


Outlook Express Freezes When Clicking on a URL Link

Reader Vianet writes: When I try to link to a URL within a message in Outlook Express 6, it freezes up on me and I have to shut down Outlook Express and go back in to continue working.  Can you help?  Thanks

Try re-registering the following system files one at a time by using the run command:

Here is how;

  1. Press the Windows Key + R to bring up the run dialog.
  2. Type the below one at a time in the Open command line.
  3. Then click OK
  4. Do this for each of the following files in turn:

    regsvr32 urlmon.dll
    regsvr32 Shdocvw.dll
    regsvr32 Msjava.dll
    regsvr32 Actxprxy.dll
    regsvr32 Oleaut32.dll
    regsvr32 Mshtml.dll
    regsvr32 Browseui.dll
    regsvr32 Shell32.dll


    You should get a message saying the registration has succeeded after each one.
  5. If there are any other messages or you wish to know more about this tool, please see our article on the use of the Regsvr32.exe tool.

Hotmail lists "Your e-mail message has been idle and this link has become inactive."

 

Many of you have been writing in about new problems with their Hotmail accounts. This is a new security feature in Hotmail which, on the surface would seem to be rather, shall we say, "Stupid"?

 

After researching this problem to ad-nausium, we have determined that the link is truncated after a set amount of time. It was designed by the paranoid folks at Redmond to prevent an email message from setting up a redirect from an HTML based email. Personally we think that this is not such a good idea and that the service should, at the very least, inform its customers about this feature and give them the option as to rather or not they want to use it. But hey, that's just us. We have discovered a nifty little tool from Lockergnome that seems to do the trick. See:

 

TransURL - URL Translation Utility


OE very slow when starting, and Internet Explorer forms slow
See also: Compact Your OE Folders

This is an indication of missing or corrupt settings or files for the Protected Storage Service. This is a Windows service that allows you to save passwords for your Identities. This MS Knowledge Base article describes the problem and gives several possible solutions:

Q251787 - Delayed Response When Editing Internet Explorer Forms and Outlook Express May Take a Long Time to Start

 

Compact Your OE Folders:

Like most database programs, OE does not actually remove an item from a *.dbx file when you delete a message. Instead it merely tags the item for removal at a later time, mainly when you next compact your folders. Until then, the deleted message is still occupying disk space, which can cause OE to perform more slowly when accessing the *.dbx file. To recover disk space and keep your files as small as possible, you need to compact your folders regularly. In the OE Folder list (View| Layout| Folder List), click Outlook Express so that no mail or news folder is open. Now click File| Work Offline so that no new messages will be arriving. Finally, click File| Folder| Compact All Folders. This process can take several minutes and you should not attempt to use your computer until it is finished. If an error occurs, such as "cannot compact, folder in use", just close OE, wait a second or two, then re-open OE and begin the process again. This will compact not only your news folders, but also all of your mail folders and the all-important Folders.dbx. To compact only news folders, click Tools| Options| Maintenance| Clean up Now, then click Compact.

To compact a single mail folder, just click once on the folder to select it, then click File| Folder| Compact. To compact a single newsgroup folder, right-click on the newsgroup, then click Properties | Local File | Compact. 

 


Print Your Favorites list With URL's

Reader Bobbie writes: I would like to know if there is a way to "print" my favorites with the URL's?      
Thanks, Bobbie

Sure Bobbie, here is what you need to do:

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, and then click Internet Explorer.
  2. On the File menu, click Import and Export.
  3. In the Import/Export Wizard, click Next.
  4. Click Export Favorites, and then click Next.
  5. Click Favorites, and then click Next.
  6. Click Export to a File or Address, type c:\bookmark.htm in the Export to a File or Address box, and then click Next. Or
    The default for WXP is My Documents\bookmark.html
  7. Click Finish, and then click OK.
  8. Quit Internet Explorer.
  9. Double-click My Computer, double-click drive C, or My Documents\, and then double-click the Bookmark.htm file.
  10. On the File menu, click Print, click to select the Print table of links check box, and then click OK.

    NOTE: If you do not want the printed list to contain the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for each link, click to clear the Print table of links check box.
  11. Quit Internet Explorer

Print Outlook Express Address Book

 

If you store all your important phone numbers and such in your Outlook Express address book, you may want to have access to it when you are sitting at your computer. If this is the case, you do have the option of printing the contents of your Outlook Express address book. You can print the entire address book or only information for selected contacts.


1. Open Outlook Express.
2. From the Tools menu, click Address Book.
3. From the File menu, click Print. If you want to print selected entries, use the CTRL button and click the contacts you want to print. Then you can click File | Print.
4. Select the print style you want, and click the Print button.

There are three different print styles you can choose from when printing your address book: memo, business card, and phone list. The memo print style will print more information as opposed to the business card style. The phone list style will simply print contact names and phone numbers.


Saving Your Outlook Express Mail Rules

Outlook Express mail rules are a great way of keeping your e-mails organized. You may find that you spend a considerable amount of time creating mail rules so Outlook Express is set up to handle your messages exactly the way you want it to. Seeing how you may have dedicated so much of your time to this, you will probably want to back up your mail rules in the event that you have to rebuild your system or transfer the settings to another computer.

Fortunately, Outlook Express allows you to back up all the mail rules you have created. To do so, open the Windows registry (See Bo's Tweaky Clean Windows) by clicking Start, clicking Run, and typing in regedit. Click OK. Navigate to the Outlook Express settings in the registry

(HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\your identity string\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0.

Expand Rules and click Mail key. From the File menu, click Export. Specify the location to where you want to keep the copy of your mail rules. Type in a name for the file (it will have a "reg" extension) and click Save.

When it comes time to restore the entry, simply go to where you place the *.REG* file and double click on it. Bad Big, Bada Boom, rules saved and restoered.

 

 


Send Your Mail Later With Outlook Express

Normally when you compose an e-mail, you send it immediately. You press the Send button and off it goes. However, there may be times when you want to compose an e-mail but do not want to send it to the recipient right away.

If you are using Outlook Express, you have the option of sending an e-mail later. Once you have your e-mail composed, click the File menu. You will notice there is an option called Send Later. If you select this option, the e-mail message will be placed in your outbox but will not be sent until the next time you press the Send/Recv button.


Cannot Save Files as Archive, MHT Format

 

Reader Norm writes: I have  WIN 98  IE6
 
I installed a Singapore isp ie6 file and it does not allow all 4 file save as options for web pages. Specifcly, I want to save the complete web page with graphics files but can only save HTML file...
 
Any help would be appreciated.

This can, sometimes, be caused by a corrupted or unregistered " Inetcomm.dll" file. The first thing to do is attempt to re-register that file.

You can use the Regsvr32 tool (Regsvr32.exe) to register and unregister object linking and embedding (OLE) controls such as dynamic-link library (DLL) or ActiveX Controls (OCX) files that are self-registerable. This may be necessary to troubleshoot some issues with Windows, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or other programs.

Here is how:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to bring up the run dialog box
  2. In the Open line, type the following:

    Regsvr32 Inetcomm.dll
  3. Click OK
    You shouldn't need to type in the complete path to the file as it is stored on the Windows Path parameter lines. In either System32 or System or both.
  4. When you use Regsvr32.exe, it attempts to load the component and call its DLLSelfRegister function. If this attempt is successful, Regsvr32.exe displays a dialog indicating success. If the attempt is unsuccessful, Regsvr32.exe returns an error message, which may include a Win32 error code.
You can find more information about the Regsvr32 tool at:
http://www.uninets.net/~blaisdel/Regsvr32Info.htm
 
Try a repair of MSIE:
Only works with Windows 9.x kernel builds
If that is not the problem, then try a repair of Internet Explorer. This can only be done in Windows 9.x kernels which include, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE and Windows Millennium. Here is how:
  1. In control Panel, double click Add or Remove programs
  2. On the General tab
    1. Highlight any file in the program list and press the "M" key on your keyboard. This takes you to all programs beginning with the letter "M".
    2. Scroll down until you reach, "Microsoft Internet Explorer and Internet Tools".
    3. Highlight it by click on it
    4. Press the Add/Remove button (trust Me)
    5. In the resultant dialog  choose the "Repair Explorer" radio button.
    6. Click OK and follow any and all onscreen prompts and be sure to reboot when the tool finishes.
After the reboot, open MSIE and try your save options again.
 
Could be a Host File problem or a browser hijacking:
Look for a file named HOSTS (no extension, could be hidden) rename it OLDHOSTS. You will need to be sure that Windows has show all files extensions enabled. here is how:
  1. In Control Panel
  2. Double click Folder Options
  3. On the View tab, scroll down the list to:
    1. Show Hidden Files and Folder is selected
    2. Hide extensions for unknown file types is unchecked.
Do a search, in Windows Explorer for "Host" in the C:\Windows folder. there is no extension to the host file. Once found, rename the file to OldHost and reboot the computer. If it is needed, MSIE and Windows will create a new fresh Host file. Generally, in my experience, the host file is not necessary and seems to be a good place for a parasite to establish itself.
 
You can open the host file in any text editor, I suggest opening it in Notepad and make any changes to it that you would like and be sure to save those changes before you quit the program. It is also a good way to see what is going on and locating any malicious intent.
 
Spyware, Trackware, Keyloggers, Browser Hijacking...oh my!

If you did not create the file, then you may have parasites, or you are using a web accelerator program that would be causing this problem. If you are using a web accelerator, go to Add/Remove programs and remove it from your system.
 
Check for parasites using on of the many freeware programs. Our favorite is SpyBot Search and Destroy but it is more for the experienced user. Our second choice would be Addaware by Lavasoft. You can learn more about these programs on our Featured Freeware page. Just click on the Disk security link on that page.
 
SS&D has an option to lock the host file and the Microsoft Internet Explorer Home Page as well as many more options for the security of the browser. It also has an immunization for the browser sot hat some known types of parasites can be automatically blocked from the browser.

See also: Browser Hijacking, it ain't funny any more


Cannot Logon Hotmail Using a POP3 Email Client Such as Outlook Express or Outlook
Presents a parabolic loop username & password never pars the server logon key at Hotmail's website

 

Reader Ravi writes: "I use IE5 with Outlook Express for my email client. I have a Hotmail account and set the default mail to hotmail. however, when I try to get my mail it asks me to enter my hotmail account username and password again, when I enter them it just keeps asking me to enter them over and over again."

 

The answer we provided didn't work for Ravi, but he did find an answer at a newsgroup and sent it along to us and asked that we post it here. Thanks Ravi and here is his answer to the logon problem:

  1. In control Panel:

    1. Double click on Internet Options

    2. Switch to the Security Tab

    3. Click the Custom Levels button

    4. Scroll down the list to "User Authentication"

      • Logon

        • Select anything but the Anonymous logon radio button

    5. Click OK

  2. Click Apply

  3. Click OK

We have duplicated the problem and found the solution does work. It appears to be a security change with the Microsoft Passport accounts settings. Though we do not use Hotmail we do use Passport .NET and find it strange that a new account setting was not given to Microsoft customers. Oh well, such are the wonders of Microsoft.


Outlook Express And Security Zones

One of the most common ways in which viruses are spread is via e-mail. Outlook Express 6 therefore, has some security features built in to protect against viruses. Security zones in Outlook Express determine whether active content can be run from within an HTML message. You can configure the security zone for Outlook Express using the following steps:

  1. Click Start and select Outlook Express.
  2. Within Outlook Express click the Tools menu and click Options.
  3. From the Options window, select the Security tab.
  4. Under Virus Protection, select Restricted sites zone. This option should be selected by default in Outlook Express 6. Previous versions of Outlook Express used the Internet zone, which is less secure because it allows most active content to run.

Disable Error Reporting to Microsoft

 

Reader Ken writes: 

Sometimes I get a popup window from explorer asking if I want to send error report back to Microsoft and if I click yes it sends a message back. Can I disable this popup with internet explorer because it sometimes freezes my computer. Thank you...Ken

Answer: Sure can Ken. Here is how:

To disable Internet Explorer Error Reporting, use one of the following methods, depending on your computer.

Internet Explorer 6 for Windows XP

  1. Click Start, click Run, and then type sysdm.cpl in the Open box.
    Alternatively, Press Windows ˇ Key + Pause/Break
  2. Click Advanced, and then click Error Reporting.
  3. Click Disable error reporting to disable both user and kernel-mode error reporting, or click to clear the Programs check box.
  4. Click OK two times.

Note Administrators can disable error reporting in Windows XP Professional by setting Report Errors to Disabled in Group Policy Editor (Gpedit.msc) in the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Error Reporting folder.

Other versions of Windows:
If you have Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, you will need to edit the System Registry. Before doing anything to the registry be sure to back it up or at least the key you are going to make changes to. Please see, "Bo's Tweaky Clean Windows", for more on how to use the registry editor and how to back up and restore it if something should go amiss.

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Blaisdell's Little Corner of the Web, Bohunky0, nor any of it's affiliates can guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

If you are an Administrator and want to redirect crashes to an internal reporting committee:
It may be useful to disable Internet Explorer Error Reporting so that when Internet Explorer crashes, the default operating system error handler is called instead. It may also be useful to redirect the crashes so instead of establishing a connection to Microsoft, they connect to an internal server to report crashes. To redirect Internet Explorer Error Reporting to report crashes to an internal server, use the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Common\DWFileTreeRoot

The value is a String, and should be in the following form:

"\\server name\share name"

Each user needs write access to the share or it will not work. To set up the server so that it is capable of collecting the dumps, see the following Microsoft Office XP Resource Kit Web site for details about how to configure the server:

http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/xp/two/adma05.htm

To disable Internet Explorer Error Reporting so that the default operating system error handler is shown if a crash occurs, set the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

IEWatsonEnabled = (DWORD) 0
DWNeverUpload = (DWORD) 1
DWNoExternalURL = (DWORD) 1
DWNoFileCollection = (DWORD) 1
DWNoSecondLevelCollection = (DWORD) 1

A value of 0 disables Internet Explorer Error Reporting, and a value of 1 enables it (removing the key also enables Internet Explorer Error Reporting).

Administrators/s NOTE; Concerning Office:
If you do change Internet Explorer Error Reporting to report to an internal server, you should refer to the Office XP Resource Kit and the documentation for the "Corporate Error Reporting Tool" to view and diagnose which crashes should be reported to Microsoft to find a possible fix.


Configure Internet Explorer to work as an FTP client

Learn how to tweak Internet Explorer to work as a fully functional FTP client.

 

Interacting with FTP sites from Internet Explorer can result in a number of confusing and frustrating errors. As a result, users often end up using a separate software program to access FTP, even though it would be much simpler to be able to handle tasks from within IE itself.

 

Here is a solution:

 

There are several tweaks you can make to Internet Explorer that will make it more FTP-friendly. First, you can set up IE so that it can browse FTP directories, just as if they were folders in Windows Explorer:

  1. Click Tools | Internet Options.
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. Under Browsing, check the box labeled Enable Folder View For FTP Sites.

Next, if you're on a computer that's behind a firewall, you'll need to set up IE to use passive FTP:

  1. Click Tools | Internet Options.
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. Under Browsing, check the box labeled Use Passive FTP.

If you need to upload files to an FTP folder, you must use a special URL in the following format:

ftp://username@ftp.domain.com/directory/

This will result in the user being prompted for a password. Once the user supplies the password, a directory comes up, and the user can drag and drop files to and from the FTP window.


Browser Hijacking, Run MRU List, and Typed URL's, the rest of the story
Reader Richard Writes: 

I am currently running win xp and ie 6.
 
every time i log off my history(of URLs) from the address bar is deleted. The clear history value is set to 20 so it is not this.
 
also when i run any thing from the start menu when I log off the entry which was previously type is again deleted. ie if I type regedit, logoff and then back on it has gone.
 
I think it may be a registry problem.
 
There are plenty of tips to delete History, but I wish to keep mine!!
 
Can you offer any help/advice.
 
Kind regards
 
Richard

There are options within IE and in Windows XP as well that can be used to remedy this situation. the question is however, how did this happen to begin with if you did not change any settings. There is a new version of SPAM running the net which is called Browser Hijacking. Also certain scripting language can, and often does, change some of your Windows settings. More on Browser Hijacking further down in this email. But for now, lets see if we can change the settings in Windows and in IE back to their normal parameters and make them stick.

If you have McAfee Virus scanner Installed, see this first, or else skip this and go to the next instruction
NOTE:
Some versions of McAfee virus scan will disable the history or typed url's. If you are running McAfee VirusScan 6, follow the this procedure:

  1. Open VirusScan console
  2. Select "Pick a task..."
    1. Select "Change my VirusScan settings"
      1. Select "Configure VShield background scanning"
      2. Select "Customize your VShield settings"
      3. Select the "Internet Filter" icon from the icons down the left hand side On the "Detection" tab, in the 'Applet filters' section, remove the tick next to "ActiveX Controls".

Once this is performed, if you do have McAfee, then follow the next step. If you do not have McAfee, just follow the step below.

First the History in the Addressbar which Is actually called, "Typed URL's:

  1. Close all open instances of Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE)
  2. In Control Panel
    1. Double click on Internet Options
    2. Switch to the Content tab
    3. Click on the button, "Autocomplete".
    4. Under use Autocomplete for: checkmark, "Web Addresses".
    5. Click the Advanced tab, click to clear the Use inline AutoComplete check box in the Browsing section (if this check box has been selected).
    6. Click OK
    7. Click Apply
    8. Click OK

Typed URL's is a funny animal in that it will only take affect after the first few url's. This may, or may not be instantaneous it depends to a large degree on your web viewing habits but it will take affect within the next few times you log off and log on. Be patient, you should start seeing typed url's stick very soon. If you do not, then follow the step below for a System Registry Edit.

To do this in the system registry:
Use this system only if the effect doesn't change in the instructions above.

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. BLCOW nor any of it's affiliates, cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For more information on the Windows System Registry, see: Bo's Tweaky Clean Windows

  1. Log on as the user.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. Type regedit, and then click OK.
  4. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Comdlg32

    NOTE: If the Comdlg32 key does not exist, follow these steps:
    1. Click the Policies key.
    2. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
    3. Type comdlg32, and then press ENTER.
  5. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  6. Type nofilemru, and then press ENTER.
  7. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  8. Type 0 (Enable=0, Disable=1), and then click OK.
  9. On the File menu, click Exit.
  10. Reboot the system for the changes to take affect.

 


Now, for the Run MRU list being cleared at shutown or startup:

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. BLCOW nor any of it's affiliates, cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For more information on the Windows System Registry, see: Bo's Tweaky Clean Windows

First you must make certain that you are not using any tweaking utility such as X-Setup, Windows Washer, or one of the others. If you are, then this is being caused by one of them.

All the listings are stored in the key:

HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU

The key we want to change however is:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU

In the right hand pane there should be three string values. Those are

  1. (Default)
  2. a
  3. MRUList
If they do not exist, you will have to create them. More on that further down:

Most likely the items that should be in the right hand pane are not there. This means that you will need to build them yourself. Here is how:

  1. Start Registry Editor [Windows Key + R or click Start | Run and type
    REGEDIT
  2. Click OK
  3. The registry editor starts
  4. Navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU
  5. At the above Registry key, in the right hand pane (But only if it doesn't exist) create a String value:
  6. After creation, reboot to lock in the value

 


If you think that your browser is being hijacked, see the following:

Browser Hijacking & Tools

Browser Hijacker Blaster [Recommended]
Guard-IE
IE-Spyad
Spyware Blaster
Settings Sentry [From the maker of Spyblocker]
BHO's (Browser Helper Objects [Recommended]

Any of the products below will completely remove most hijackers, unless it is one which has just started spreading.

Spybot S&D [recommended. This is more for the experienced user. If you are new to computing or to the internet choose
Ad-aware]
Ad-aware
Aluria Spyware Eliminator
HijackThis

StartPage Guard 1.3
http://www.pjwalczak.com/spguard/index.php
 

How to Block Comet Cursor in Internet Explorer 5 and 6
http://tech.tln.lib.mi.us/blockcc.htm
 
Spyware
http://www.simplythebest.net/info/spyware.html

Restrict Web Sites from Installing Software
 
These restrictions allow you to block unwanted web sites from downloading software onto your system. This can be useful in disabling the installation of some common "cursor" programs. 
 
Open your registry and find the key below. Start/Run/Regedit
 
Create a new sub-key for each site you want to block, naming it based on the top-level domain for the site. For example to block nameofsite.com you would create a new sub-key called:
 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\InternetSettings\ZoneMap\Domains\
nameofsite.com.  Under the sub-key create a new DWORD value called "*" and set it to equal "4".
 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains

Value Name: *
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Value Data: (4 = restricted)

Restart Internet Explorer for the change to take effect.
 
Note: This setting can also be applied on a user-by-user basis by modifying the same key under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive.

You get the following error message and then MSIE shuts down:
AppName: iexplore.exe
AppVer: 6.0.2800.1106
ModName: ntdll.dll
ModVer: 4.0.1381.298
Offset: 000327a6

 

Reader Mark writes:
I have 6.0 and it keeps giving me an error message and then shuts down. AppName:iexplorer.exe     ModName:ntdll.dll

ModVer:5.1.2600.1217    AppVer: 6.0.2800.1106

For the simple cure, do the following more complex options follow:

  1. Close all open instances of MSIE
  2. In Control Panel, double click on Internet Options
  3. Switch to the Advanced Tab
  4. Uncheck the line that reads, 'Allow third party extension's
  5. Click Apply
  6. Click OK
  7. Start MSIE (Microsoft Internet Explorer) and see if the problem is resolved. If it isn't, please read on.

Re-Register the file itself:
ntdll.dll
is a Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Operating System file that resides in the %windows%\System folder. It is possible that third a party program has changed this file but as you do not mention your operating system, I can not be sure. The appropriate version number for Windows XP at least is 4.10.1998.

If you are running Windows Me or Windows XP then this is proper as they both have proprietary protections in place to avoid the old problems, inherent to Windows 9.x kernels, of replacing a third party Windows compliant file in order to run the third party program or software. The newer versions of Windows such as the afore mentioned XP both Pro and Home, W2K, and NT, do not allow the third party software to install their own versions of an important operating system file.

On closer inspection of your case however, it appears that the older Iexplorer.exe file which was version 5.5 is not reading the newer version file which is of course 6.0. The NTDLL.DLL file may be corrupt or out of a certain date sequence. As the file does exist on your tree path, you can attempt to re-register the file and see if that works. Here is how:

  1. Close all open instances of MSIE (Microsoft Internet Explorer).
  2. Press the Windows Key + R to bring up the RUN dialog
  3. In the Open command line type the following or copy and paste it there:

    Regsvr32 NTDLL.DLL
  4. Then click ok
  5. When you use Regsvr32.exe, it attempts to load the component and call its DLLSelfRegister function. If this attempt is successful, Regsvr32.exe displays a dialog indicating success. If the attempt is unsuccessful, Regsvr32.exe returns an error message, which may include a Win32 error code.

    For a list of Win32 error codes, refer to the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/netdir/adsi/win32_error_codes.asp

  6. If the dll file is registered successfully you will receive the above named confirmation. At this point in time, you will need to reboot the system in order for this change to take affect.

  7. Once the system is back up, try your MSIE again to see if that was indeed the problem.

Control BHO's:
If this did not resolve the issue or if after a certain amount of time the error returns then it is possible that you have received a third party BHO (Browser Helper Objects). Please see my Featured Freware page for more information and how to get rid of them, including some pretty good BHO blockers or removers.

Don't forget Spyware:
Another thing that no internet junkie should be without is a good spyware eradicator. If you are an experienced computer user then you should download and install Spybot Search and Destroy, if you are a novice, the get a copy of AddAware by Lavasoft. We have links to these programs under our Featured Freeware Disk Security section.

Which ever one you choose I strongly urge you to install, then immediately check for updates through the chosen program's update feature. Both of these products update free over a net connection. Once this is done, run a full system scan and if you have never used a spyware eradicator before, you will be alarmed at the amount of junk on your system. SS&D offers much more control and checks for a lot more stuff than does AdAware but care should be taken as not all items should be removed. There may be some registry entries which are simply system file pointers that bare a resemblance to spyware, trackware or browser hijacking.


IncrediMail to Outlook Express, the conversion factor

 

Reader Karen writes: I have been using IncrediMail as my e-mail client for some time now, and am completely sick of it. I would like to switch to Outlook Express, but the problem is that I don't want to lose all of the messages that are stored in the program. I can't find any proper way to export them and was wondering if you knew how to do it.

 

We applaud your efforts to try other software. We use OE all of the time here at BLCOW and find it simple and easy to use despite all of the hype about security that you hear OE can be made very safe with just a few adjustments.

 

As soon as you want to switch from IncrediMail to another email program, you discover a good reason to switch that is at the same time a reason not to switch: IncrediMail does not offer you to export mail to a common format that would allow you to import your precious messages to the new email client. Fortunately, there is IncrediConvert. To export mail from IncrediMail to another email program with IncrediConvert:

 

If you want to export your messages to another program than Outlook Express, use the import functionality of that program to import from Outlook Express.


What the heck is this file on my Desktop named, "~"?

Reader Tom writes: Every once in a while, I get this weird file on my desktop. The name of it is simply the tilde character (~). What in the world is this?

 

Yeah Tom, I have had the same thing happen to me on our work machine, or should I say our machine that works...some times.

 

The file is, get this, a backup of your Windows Address Book. Weird, eh? It's there because of an old patch for Outlook Express. The patch was released because there was a vulnerability that could allow an attacker to run malicious code on your computer. Sound familiar? It is after all, the Microsoft mantra. Here's the catch - there was a bug in the patch (what do you mean your not surprised?). Whenever you make a change to your address book, Windows will make a backup in the directory where you start Outlook Express, which is most likely your desktop. Instead of this backup being called what is normally is, you end up with a tilde file on your desktop that likely has confused you to no end. Right?

 

This page contains more information on the file, and tells you what you can do with it. Microsoft also has some information {MSKB Article} on how you can resolve the problem. Apparently this glitch can also stem from using Internet Explorer 6 SP1. Let the good times roll! Their site does give you a work-a-round or, what they like to call a Hotfix. Bill's propensity for whimsical names is getting to be a real drag eh? At the Redmond campus, they do not call this a goof up, they call it an innovation. Next time you hear that from Microsoft, just think, "Goofups"!

 

The Hotfix includes a System Registry Edit. Not sure what that is or how to do it? See, "Bo's Tweaky Clean Windows".

 

This strikes me as odd because Microsoft wants to know your life history in order to get a fix that a patch should have been supplied for. Heck, this Outlook Express patch came out back in April of 2003 and Microsoft assured folks that they were going to supply a patch which would fix this problem. I am writing this as of June 2004. Did I sleep through the patch release?

 

A good Work-a-Round for you to try:
If you do not want to go through the Hotfix jungle, I know I don't, then you can simply rename the file to something like

addressbook.wab and then transfer the file to a floppy diskette for safe keeping. If you do not want to see it on the desktop anymore, then simply right click the outlook Express icon and in the resultant context menu choose Properties and make sure that the Read Only attribute is unchecked and in the Startup section type in where you want the file to be stored. C:\ works well. Why do this? Well, it puts it out of the desktop environment and into the backwater of your PC..you know, "Out of sight out of mind"?


Remove the Internet Explorer Content Advisor Password

 

Users wanting to disable the Internet Explorer Content Advisor will sometimes find they have forgotten the required password. Fortunately, this annoying little problem can be solved quickly with a Windows Registry edit.

 

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Blaisdell's Little Corner of the Web, Bohunky0, nor any of it's affiliates can guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys and Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it. If you are running Windows NT or Windows 2000, you should also update your Emergency Repair Disk (ERD). For more, see "Bo's Tweaky Clean Windows"

The Problem

The Content Advisor in Internet Explorer is a fine example of good intentions sometimes leading to undesirable consequences. As users surf the Web under the watchful Content Advisor's eye, there will likely come a point where the restrictions imposed will become undesirable, even if only temporarily. However, users wanting to disable the Content Advisor will sometimes find themselves barred from making changes because they have forgotten the required password. Fortunately, this annoying little problem can be solved quickly with a Windows Registry edit.

The Solution 
Edit the correct Windows Registry key Removing the Internet Explorer Content Advisor Password from its Windows Registry key will disable all of the restrictions. If you have ever edited the Windows Registry, the procedure will seem quite familiar. However, if you are new to the experience, don't worry as Registry edits go, this one is fairly painless. (Always back up the Windows Registry before you begin editing.)

Here is the basic procedure:

  1. Open regedit.exe (usually performed via the Run command).
  2. Navigate to this key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Ratings
  1. Right-click the key and delete it.
  2. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to Tools | Internet Options | Content.
  3. Disable Content Advisor. (Enter a new, more easily remembered password if you want.)

This simple Windows Registry hack will disable the Internet Explorer Content advisor and return Internet Explorer to its default state.


Get back the disconnect option:

 

Reader Steve writes:
After closing internet explorer in windows xp home I used to get a window offering me the option to diconnect, now I don't and I have to manually disconnect from the status icon in the system tray, any ideas?

 

Answer

The Auto Disconnect feature is designed to terminate the connection to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) after a designated period of inactivity. In addition, it prompts you to disconnect from your ISP after you close all instances of Internet Explorer.

When you change the Auto Disconnect option, the setting may not take affect immediately. You will need to close Internet Explorer and disconnect from your ISP. When you reconnect to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the settings should take affect.

To enable the Auto Disconnect feature, use the appropriate method for your version of Windows and MSIE: In Windows XP, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Connect To, and then click Show all connections.
  2. Right-click your Internet connection, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Advanced tab, click to clear the Allow other network users to control or disable the shared Internet connection check box.
  4. Click OK to close the Internet connection Properties dialog box.

Windows Millennium Edition

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Internet.
  2. Click the Connections tab, click your Dial-Up Networking connection, and then click Settings.
  3. Under Dial-up Settings, click Properties.
  4. Click the Dialing tab.
  5. Click the Disconnect when connection may no longer be needed check box to select it.
  6. Click OK, click OK, and then click OK again.

Internet Explorer 5, 5.01, 5.01 Service Pack 1, 5.5, Windows 98 Second Edition

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Internet Options.
  2. Click the Connections tab, click your Dial-Up Networking connection, and then click Settings.
  3. Under Dial-up Settings, click Advanced.
  4. Click the Disconnect when connection may no longer be needed check box to select it.
  5. Click OK, click OK, and then click OK again.

Internet Explorer 4.0, 4.01, 4.01 Service Pack 1, Windows 98

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Internet.
  3. Click the Connection tab, and then click Settings.
  4. Click the "Disconnect if idle for nn minutes" check box to select it.
  5. Set the number of minutes you want Internet Explorer to remain idle before it disconnects from your ISP.
  6. Click OK, and then click OK again.

Internet Explorer 3.0, 3.01, and 3.02

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Internet.
  3. Click the Connection tab, click the "Disconnect if idle for n minutes" check box to select it, and then click OK. Note that n is an number of minutes you can adjust up or down.

Internet Explorer 2.0

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Internet.
  3. Click the AutoDial tab, click the Auto Disconnect check box to select it, and then click OK.

    NOTE: The AutoDial check box must be selected for the Auto Disconnect check box to be available.

The Registry:

This behavior can occur if the Loadwc.exe file is absent or damaged, or if the BrowserWebCheck string value is absent in the registry.

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. BLCOW cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. Not to sure how to use the system registry? Check out Bo's Tweaky Clean Windows

Method 1

Modify the registry to cause the Loadwc.exe file to load automatically when you start Windows 95. To do so, add the BrowserWebCheck string value with a data value of loadwc.exe to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Method 2

Subscribe to a Web page. For information about how to do so, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

171227 How to Use Subscriptions in Microsoft Internet Explorer

The BrowserWebCheck (Loadwc.exe) component monitors Web pages for changes, and either notifies you when a Web page is updated or downloads the Web page for off-line viewing.

NOTE:Auto Disconnect can also stop responding if another application is using the connection. The other connection may not be obvious, as applications such as Active Desktop, some screen savers, offline content collection for Internet Explorer, and some scheduled tasks may use the Internet connection in the background.

When you change the Auto Disconnect option, the setting may not take affect immediately. You may need to close Internet Explorer and disconnect from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). When you reconnect to your ISP, the settings take affect.

WheresJames Outlook Express Archiver 
v1.34 [1086K] Win98/2k/XP FREE

http://go.lockergnome.com/321

{E-mail archive tool} Outlook Express Archiver allows you to easily export and archive your Outlook Express mail and newsgroups messages in plain HTML format. A simple step-by-step wizard guides you through the process and allows you to select the folders to be included. Mail and attachments are exported to HTML format and can then be viewed with any Web browser without the need to have Outlook Express installed. This is especially useful if you back up your old mail to a CD and want to browse the CD without having to use Outlook Express. Your archived mail is organized in folders, just like it was in OE, and you can even choose from different templates (or create your own) to customize the HTML design. Using Outlook Express Archiver does not delete any of your original e-mails in Outlook Express.


Removing MSN Messenger From Outlook Express 
See also: Halt Messenger Services at Startup:

Windows Messenger (Instant Messenger, that is) is tightly integrated into Windows XP as well as many other programs such as Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. If you're an instant messenger guru or don't mind the program always being there, this may be fine. However, many find this integration with other programs more of an annoyance than anything. Fortunately, you can make a few configuration changes to disable, remove, or completely get rid of the chat program altogether. For example, you can remove MSN messenger from Outlook Express using the following steps (you may also find that Outlook Express starts faster after doing so).

Open the registry editor and navigate to the following system key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express.

Right click the Outlook Express folder, click New, click DWORD value, and name the new registry key Hide Messenger.

Right click the Hide Messenger key you just created and click Modify.

In the Value data box, type 2 and click OK.

Messenger Services at Startup:
Starting Windows with the Messenger Service is, well at least to some of us, a huge pain in the back side. Here is a solution to get it to stop.

If your new computer is running Windows XP Home or Pro edition, you can use the steps below. If you have SP1 installed, Windows added a new feature to the "Add or remove program" tool in the control panel called "Set program access and defaults." You can use this feature to remove Windows Messenger from the Start menu, the desktop, and other locations.

However, if you don't have Service Pack 1 installed, you can do the following, depending on whether you are running the Home or Pro version.

Pro version:
1. Click Start | Run, type gpedit.msc, then press Enter.
2. Double-click the following items to expand them: Local Computer Policy, Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Messenger 3. Double-click "Do not allow Windows Messenger to run" and click Enable.
4. Click OK, then quit the Group Policy snap-in.

For users running the Home edition:
1. Start Windows Messenger
2. Click Options on the Tools menu.
3. Click the Preferences tab, click to clear the "Run this program when Windows starts" check box, and then click OK.


You Get a Outlook Express Error Message:
 Err Msg: "This Program Has Performed an Illegal Operation and Will Be Shut Down"
Or
This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.

 

Reader Debbie writes:

My problem: After I connect to the Internet (dialup) and launch Outlook Express or any other mail program, my mail downloads normally, however, when I attempt to open new messages, I received the following error message:

"This program has performed an illegal operation. If this problem continues, contact the program vendor."

This also happens when I click "new message." I can, however, right click on the message and print it.

Can you help? Thanks so much.

Sure Debbie, see this Microsoft Knowledgebase Article:
OLEXP: Err Msg: "This Program Has Performed an Illegal Operation and Will Be Shut Down"

Problems with the history folder / Hyperlinks don't change color

 Some specific problems with the history folder can be caused by:

 If none of the above apply, or hyperlinks don't change color after being visited you may just have a problem with the history folder itself.  Corruption of the folder or its contents can cause display issues and sundry crashes or freezes when trying to access history information from within IE.

 

Shut down all programmes and boot into dos if you are using Windows 95 or 98. If using Windows ME use an appropriate disc to access DOS. Run the following commands from the windows directory, typically c:\windows\>
smartdrv

deltree history

deltree tempor~1

 

Reboot using ctrl, alt, del if using Windows 95 or 98.  If using WindowsME remember to remove the boot floppy.

Windows 2000 users will have to log in as Administrator to be able to delete the folders in question directly from within Windows Explorer. Windows XP users will use the same procedure.

 

NOTE:

Different operating systems use different paths to the history, temporary internet files and cookies folders.  Check your system to make sure that you are using the correct path for your machine.  For example, you may find your folders are located at ...\documents and settings\{identity}\{dir} or similar


Emailing Pictures is a Snap in Windows

 

Reader Hank writes:

 

I use Outlook, and my digital pictures are too big to send by e-mail (more than a megabyte each). How can I easily reduce their file size for e-mailing without having to learn Photoshop or some other complex program?

To easily reduce the file size of your picture to send via e-mail, do the following:

1. Open your specific picture in Microsoft Paint (standard in most, if not all, Windows OSs): 
File | Open | (picture's filename).

2. Use this pull-down menu: Image | Stretch/Skew.

3. Reduce Stretch percentages by same amount (to keep formatting the same), say 50 percent in both horizontally and vertically. You can experiment before saving to get the right balance between file size and picture readability by using Undo.

4. Once you have an acceptable photo size for e-mailing, save the file: File | Save As | (filename and file type as JPEG File Interchange Format: jpg; jpeg). (Note: If you want to keep your original file intact, choose Save As and type in a different name.)

Now you are ready to e-mail your photo.

 


Tabs on Task Manager Not Showing:

Reader Dave writes:

Hope this e mail finds you in good health and spirits. It seems my son has fallen prey to the "Commander Toolbar" scam. He has MILLIONS of pop-ups, when before this, never had any. I tried to delete the ietb.dll and sbb.dll files (in WINDOWS/SYSTEM32 folder), but the machine won't let me. I looked on the web and found a fix,but it involves more downloading od spyware stuff, which I would rather not do. Also, when I hit CTRL-ALT-DELETE, only the task window appears, not the WINDOWS TASK MANAGER screen with all the tabs. Anyhow, I am going to try to defrag and put in the XP disc and repair the files, but other than , I am lost .... before I reformat, any ideas ? As always,thanks for all your help.
 
Possible Answer:
 
First I would urge you to download a spyware eradicator. these tools are invaluable these days and no one should be without one in their security arsenal. Our favorite is a freeware program called Spybot Search and Destroy. You can find it on our Featured Freeware Page at:
 
http://www.uninets.net/~blaisdel/freeware_index.htm
 
Once there, click on disk Security. Read our review and then download, install, and immediately update the product. Once this is done do a full system scan and select to fix problems. This will remove the spyware or trackware installed within the commander Toolbar.
 
Once this is accomplished, switch to the Immunize section of SS&D and immunize your browser from known spyware, trackware, and addware.
 
As for the Task Manager:
 
This behavior can occur if Task Manager is running in Tiny Footprint mode.

When you double-click the empty space in the border around the tabs, Task Manager switches to this mode.
 
To switch Task Manager to its normal display mode, double-click the top border of the window.
 
To work around this behavior, perform the following steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run. (Windows Key +R)
  2. Type taskmgr.exe.
  3. Hold down CTRL+ALT+SHIFT at the same time, and while holding them down press ENTER.

Common Outlook and Outlook Express problems and solutions:

  1. Blocked attachments. 
    MS has now set OE to block all attachments. 
    See these articles for explanations: 

  2. Outlook Express crashes when composing messages 
    MS introduced a bug in the latest security patch (810847). 
    Go to Windows Update and get the latest IE security patch and that should fix it. See http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=813489

  3. All messages are lost. 
    There are two contributing factors to this problem. To fix this issue 

    1. Turn off background compaction under Tools | Options | Maintenance for each Identity you have, and then compact manually and frequently using File | Folder | Compact all. This will make OE more stable. 

    2. Turn off email scanning, autoupdate, and internet filter with your antivirus software. 
      Many antivirus products interfere with the operations of OE resulting in loss of messages. Turning off these options does not affect the ability of your antivirus software to block infections. If you do lose your messages, you can try using my DBXtract program to attempt to recover the lost messages. Note that dbx files are hidden in Windows 2000 and Windows XP. 
      http://www.oehelp.com/DBXtract/
       
      Alternatively one can also use DBXpress, which is faster and more accurate than DBXtract, and it also has the capability of reading directly from the disk and bypassing the file system. 
      http://www.oehelp.com/DBXpress/
       

    3. If you have upgraded your version of IE and OE or your OS version, and all your messages are lost, then see this article (note that the technique in the article does not only apply to the issue addressed in the article title): OLEXP: Mail Folders, Address Book, and E-mail Messages Are Missing After You Upgrade to Microsoft Windows XP 
      http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;313055
       
      If File | Import | Messages does not work, ignore the error message, which is erroneous in itself, and try one of the following techniques to get your messages back: 

      1. Right click on each dbx file or a selection of them and go to Properties and clear the read only attribute of the files. 

      2. Then try File | Import | Messages again. 

      3. Import the dbx files individually. See the last paragraph on this page for how to do that: http://www.oehelp.com/backup.aspx 

      4. As a last resort use DBXtract 
        http://www.oehelp.com/DBXtract/

  4. How does one reinstall IE and OE? 
    This article seems to work for other OSs than just XP: How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express 
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;Q318378
     
    See point 11 below first.

  5. How does one backup and restore or transfer OE messages and settings: 
    Note that there is also a link in this article to MVP David Guess's free OEBackup program (www.oehelp.com/OEBackup/
    http://insideoe.tomsterdam.com/backup/index.htm
     

  6. Links in email don't work: 
    see the links on this page 
    How to Configure Outlook Express to Open Links in E-mail Messages in a New Browser Window

  7. Outlook Express is slow. See the various performance issues and how to address them on this page: http://insideoe.tomsterdam.com/problems/performance.htm

  8. Outlook Express won't start. 
    This is usually due to a conflict between what is recorded in the registry and what is in the message store. Often, one can fix this problem by deleting folders.dbx. If that doesn't work, then try moving all the dbx files to another directory and see if that fixes it. Alternatively, see these articles. http://insideoe.tomsterdam.com/problems/performance.htm#nostart http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q245/4/19.asp 

  9. Address book information
    The Windows Address Book 
    http://insideoe.tomsterdam.com/files/wab.htm
     

  10. Links are broken in email messages: 
    This is fixed with the Mondo Patch for OE6 SP1 (which is the millimeter the MVPs got the behemoth to move): October 2002, Cumulative Update for Outlook Express 6.0 SP1 (Q331923) http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/recommended/q331923/default.asp 

  11. Installation issues: 
    Most of the problems with a faulty installation are due to other programs running during the install and interfering with the updating of necessary files. Antivirus software is notorious for this. To minimize such interference, in Win98, WinMe, and WinXP go to Start | Run and type msconfig and disable all startup items and non Microsoft services. Then reboot. Then proceed with the installation. Startup items can then be re-enabled. Since Win2000 does not have msconfig, one has to manually go to this registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run 
    **You can export this key and then delete all values under it. 
    **Then disable all antivirus services under Computer Management | Services and then reboot. 
    **Then install. 
    **After the installation you can import the key back into the registry to restore the values and re-enable the services.

  12. Microsoft does not email security patches to you. 
    If you get an email that appears to come from Microsoft with a security update attached, do not open the attachment. It is a virus. No matter how official the email looks, it is a hoax. 
    See this article: 
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/news/patch_hoax.asp
     

  13. Screening unwanted email and Spam 
    Everybody gets unwanted email these days. Much of this email is either trying to sell you something you probably don't want or else is trying to infect you with a virus via an email attachment. 
    What can you do? 

Slowdown problems and solutions:

  1. OE very slow when starting, but everything else normal

    The usual cause is a missing or corrupt "Imagehlp.dll" in C:\Windows\System. Without this file, OE will be very slow to open, although usually nothing else is affected. If you uninstall a version of McAfee VirusScan and then install a later version without first restarting your computer, the McAfee install routine will delete "Imagehlp.dll" by mistake. You can either extract this file from your Win98 CDROM (using Start| Run, SFC.EXE, Extract a single file), or from your IE5/6 setup files using a command line at the setup folder like this:

    extract win98_32.cab /a Imagehlp.dll

    On some systems, it is found in win98_26.cab. For IE5 users on Win95/NT, it is found in setup295.cab.

    Another cause of slow starts is opening OE at its home page, rather than the Inbox. Because that page is an HTML file, it is usually slower to display than is the Inbox. Click Tools| Options and place a check mark for "When starting, go directly to my Inbox folder."

    On the other hand, this might also cause the problem if the Inbox is very large. The Inbox is a very active folder, and I strongly recommend that you not use it to store messages. Create subfolders and move messages into them as soon as possible so that the Inbox stays small.

    Leaving the Preview Pane open in combination with opening directly to the Inbox can result in a slower startup. You can turn the Preview Pane off under View| Layout, or add the Preview button to the OE toolbar to toggle the pane on and off with a single click.

    Sometimes removing or disabling Windows (or MSN) Messenger causes OE to open slowly. This will shown by an entry in the system error log: The server {FB7199AB-79BF-11D2-8D94-0000F875C541} did not register with DCOM within the required timeout. To fix this, open Regedit and navigate to this key:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
        \CLSID
            \{FB7199AB-79BF-11d2-8D94-0000F875C541}
                \InProcServer32

    In the right-hand pane, double-click on the (Default) value and delete whatever is entered there, leaving it blank. Click OK. Now perform exactly the same step with the key directly underneath, namely

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
        \CLSID
            \{FB7199AB-79BF-11d2-8D94-0000F875C541}
                \LocalServer32

    Once both (Default) values are empty, OE will open normally.

OE very slow when starting, and Internet Explorer forms slow

This is an indication of missing or corrupt settings or files for the Protected Storage Service. This is a Windows service that allows you to save passwords for your Identities. This MS Knowledge Base article describes the problem and gives several possible solutions:

Q251787 - Delayed Response When Editing Internet Explorer Forms and Outlook Express May Take a Long Time to Start

OE gradually slows down

This is almost always a sign of folders in need of compaction and/or a defragmented disk. Clean up your newsgroups, compact your folders, then run Disk Defragmenter (Start| Programs| Accessories| System Tools).


The Outlook Express registry key

\HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    \Software
        \Microsoft
            \Outlook Express

This key first appeared in the registry with Outlook Express 4, and is not used for much at all in OE5/6 except for keeping track of your version history. But if you installed OE5/6 as an upgrade to OE4, this key might still have your OE4 settings stored there. If your key has no other personal settings, and you have to actually look to be sure, it does not have to be included in any backup of an Identity's registry keys. If you see any personal settings at all in any of the sub-keys, you must include this key in any backup. This key is shared by all Identities, although only the very first Identity might have account information stored here.


The Address Book registry key

\HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    \Software
        \Microsoft
            \WAB

The first sub-key "Synchronization" keeps track of the last synchronization between the WAB and a Hotmail address book on the Hotmail server. You will see a sub-key for each Hotmail account in the current Identity whose address book has been synchronized. The "WAB Sort State" stores the sorting order you have established in the WAB. The WAB4\LastFind sub-key stores the history for the Find People function.

The final key, "WAB4\Wab File Name", deserves special attention, as this is where OE stores the path and file name for the *.wab file being used. You can change the location of the WAB only by editing the path stored here. (see also How to move your Address Book and Multiple WABs).

The Address Book key, like the *.wab file itself, is shared by all Identities.


The Internet Account Manager registry key

\HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    \Software
        \Microsoft
            \Internet Account Manager

When first created by installing OE, this key contains only an Accounts sub-key with the 5 default LDAP accounts for Bigfoot, Infospace, Infospace Business, Verisign, and WhoWhere. But when you complete the Internet Connection Wizard (labeled on the desktop as "Connect to the Internet"), two sub-keys for your default email and news accounts are added, normally named 0001 and 0002. Only the first Main Identity stores its account information under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Account Manager. If you setup an email and/or news account using the Internet Connection Wizard and have never created a new Identity, then your mail and news accounts are stored in  this key. If you have created a new Identity and deleted the original Main Identity, this key is not used at all by your Identity.


The Identities registry key

\HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    \Identities

The Identities key contains a sub key for each Identity. When an Identity is created, Windows generates a long number called a Global Unique IDentifier (GUID), and creates an Identities sub key with that GUID for its name.

With the exception of the first Identity created when OE is first installed (named "Main Identity" by default), each Identity stores all of its information under the HKCU\Identities\{GUID} key. Only the first Main Identity stores its account information under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Account Manager. If you backup and restore often, or if you dual-boot, or if you clone your OE to another computer, it is recommended that you do not use the default Main Identity. Create a new Identity using File| Identities| Manage Identities and then import your mail messages from the old Main Identity. Following this, you can delete the Main Identity using the Manage Identities dialogue.

If you are absolutely certain that your Identity is not the original Main Identity (and simply renaming it does not change the way it is stored in the registry!), you can backup even more simply and safely. In that case, you need only export these keys:

\HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    \Software
        \Microsoft
            \WAB

\HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    \Identities
        \{GUID}

Before you restore your Identity's registry file, you must open OE at least once! You can cancel the New Account Wizard if it begins, then close OE. That assures that OE creates the default Main Identity. Then and only then should you restore your Identity registry file. After restoring, open OE, which will open as Main Identity. Switch to your newly restored Identity using File| Switch Identities. Then click File | Identities| Manage Identities and  Remove the Main Identity. If you use multiple Identities, be sure to backup all the {GUID} keys.

 


Cannot Print with Internet Explorer 6.0

 

Reader Michelle writes:

Operating system Windows2000 with MSIE version 6.0
The problem is I receive a internet explorer script error when I try to print a web page.  Printer works on all other programs in the system but not IE I don't know what else to try.  The error that pops up says the following:
   Internet Explorer Script Error
   An error has occurred in the script on this page.
    Line:  93
    Char:  1
    Error:  Access is denied
    Code:  0
    URL:  res://C:\WINNT\system32\shdoclc.dll/preview.dlg
                    Do you want to continue running this page?
                                Yes    No
 
Have you ever seen this I have a active virus program and have ran it and no virus was found.  I'm at my wits end.  HELP

Possible fixes:

This issue occurs because the HTML source code for the Web page does not work correctly with client-side script such as Microsoft JScript or Visual Basic script. Geek Speak for, "The program cannot understand the page scripting or language".

See Script_errors involving preview.dlg when printing

Additional things to check:

Verify that Active Scripting, ActiveX, and Java are not blocked

Verify that Internet Explorer or another program on your computer such as an anti-virus program or a firewall are not configured to block scripts, ActiveX controls, or Java applets. Active Scripting, ActiveX controls, and Java applets are turned off at the High security level in Internet Explorer. By default, Internet Explorer 6 and some versions of Internet Explorer 5.x use the High security level for the Restricted sites zone. By default, Microsoft Windows Server 2003 uses the High security level for both the Restricted sites zone and the Internet zone. To reset the Internet Explorer security settings for the current Web page, follow these steps:

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  3. In the Internet Options dialog box, click Security.
  4. Click Default Level.
  5. Click OK.

See the documentation for the anti-virus program or firewall that you are using to determine how to turn on scripting, ActiveX and Java applets.

Remove all the temporary Internet-related files

Remove all the temporary Internet-related files from your computer. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  3. Click the General tab.
  4. Under Temporary Internet files, click Settings.
  5. Click Delete Files.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click Delete Cookies.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Under History, click Clear History, and then click Yes.
  10. Click OK

To update the scripting engine for Internet Explorer on Microsoft Windows 2000, download the latest scripting engine. To do so, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=C717D943-7E4B-4622-86EB-95A22B832CAA&displaylang=en

Some additional steps to take if the above is not sufficient:

Turn off the features that you do not need

Smooth Scrolling

To turn off the Smooth Scrolling feature, follow the steps for your version of Internet Explorer.

For Internet Explorer 4.x, follow these steps:

  1. Start Internet Explorer, and then click Internet Options on the View menu.
  2. On the Advanced tab, clear the Use Smooth Scrolling check box.
  3. Click OK, and then quit Internet Explorer
Install the current version of Microsoft DirectX

For information about how to install the current version of Microsoft DirectX, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.aspx?url=/windows/directx/downloads/default.htm


There is no option for saving a webpage as an Archive file (MHT) under Save As...

 

Reader Eve writes:

Hi, My problem is that when saving a Web page the only options I have available to me are (a) to save as HTML (then I don't get the graphics) and (b) save as Text.  The other options have gone so I cannot save as HTML complete.  I can't say when this happened.  The only thing I have recently installed browser-wise is the Google toolbar.  I don't know if this is relevant or not.  Hoping you can shed some light on this for me. Using Windows XP Home edition.

Eve

Answer: This problem is generally caused by Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0 not being installed on your computer. The ability to save a Web page as a Web archive file is provided by the Inetcomm.dll file, which is installed by Outlook Express. It is possible that this file has not been properly registered on your computer or, some other program may have unregistered the data linked library file. Here is a work-a-round:

  1. Lets assume that the dll file mentioned above is not registered properly or has some how become unregistered. Hey, it happens.
  2. By default, Inetcomm.dll, is stored in the services folder, or C:\Windows\System32.
  3. To be sure that the file is on your computer, do a search of the main drive where MSIE is and your Windows OS is stored. Once you know that the file is indeed on the system, then do the following:
    1. Press Windows Key + R to bring up the run dialog
    2. Type the following or copy and paste it into the run dialog

      Regsvr32 Inetcomm.dll

    3. Press OK
  4. After the dialog which says that file has been registered successfully, reboot the system and try to save a web archive file again. You should now have that option.
If the DLL file is not on the system, then you will need to re-install MSIE 6.0 and all of the updates and service packs now loaded. For a Windows XP machine see this MSKB article:
 
How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP - MSKB

On a side note: The Google Tool Bar is fraught with spyware or more commonly known as addware or tracking ware. I would suggest that if you want to use this toolbar that you run Spybot Search & Destroy - A must have to clear out the tracking parts. Or, simply uninstall the program in Windows Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs applet.

Here is an alternative to adding the Google Toolbar. 

See: Make an Application Button On the Links Toolbar


And the Favorites Just Keep Coming and Coming but Won't Leave
Got some strange links in MSIE 5 or 6 that you cannot delete no matter what? Hint, think WSH!

 

We've Been Getting A Lot of These Questions Lately:

Reader Ben writes:

I am unable to remove some links out of my Internet Explorer Favorites folder and I am not sure why. I delete them and then they are back the next time I start my computer. There are some that I cannot even delete - the error message pops up saying "unable to find source." How do I get rid of these Favorites?

Answer: If you're unable to permanently delete a favorite, it may be because a Web site has exploited a feature of Internet Explorer 5.0, or a file with an .HTA extension is being run by Windows Scripting Host.

If you are running Internet Explorer 5.0, SHAME ON YOU! Upgrade to a later version. There are a lot of problems with the older versions of IE, the most important of which is the lack of support from Microsoft. The latest version of IE may not be exactly Fort Knox in terms of security, but it is at least patchable when new Windows Updates are issued.

If you are running any version above 5.0, then it is probably the Windows Scripting Host issue. You can search your computer for .HTA files and delete any that seem suspicious, or disable Windows Scripting Host. This is not a bad idea, as WSH allows scripts to run that could be worms. WSH is installed by default in Windows 2000 / ME / XP /2003.

When Windows, Internet Explorer, or some other products are installed or upgraded, Windows Scripting Host may be reinstalled. You would then have to repeat the removal steps.

Important note: Some applications require Windows Scripting Host. They will not function if it is disabled or removed.

  1. Go to Start | Find, and click Files or Folders.
  2. In the Named box, type wscript.exe, and then click Find Now.
  3. Right-click on the file, and then click Delete.

If you are like me (a little anal about deleting files I may want to have later on) you can choose Cut and then Paste it into a different location. This way you can always get it back if necessary, without having to try to find it on a CD or a site to download it.

To resolve the problem of reappearing Favorites, look at the Startup folder on your Start Menu. If there is anything that you do not recognize, or if there is an entry for Unknown Application, delete it. That can be the trigger that reloads the links each time you start your computer.

If the problem is a link that will not delete, there are not many easy fixes. MyRealPics (Also known as MyRealFiles) seems to be one of the more prevalent Favorites that will not die then head on over to our friends security site and download his Files utility. On the next boot you will be able to move, copy, or delete any file on your system. Download it here http://www.gibinsoft.net/gipoutils/bin/moveonb.exe of learn more about it here: http://www.gibinsoft.net/gipoutils/.

The manual method is listed below:

(Tested with WIN XP Home)
If MyRealPics is running on an administrative account, then you will not be able to access the Favorites from another account.

  1. You will not be able to move the Favorites folder just anywhere. Move it to All Users / Shared Documents. The Favorites will be moved to this folder and will still work in IE but, most important, can be accessed through any account.
  2. Create a new folder named "Favorites" in your account and copy all your Favorites *excluding* MyRealPics to it.
  3. Create a new account (You can create a new administrator account. Creating a Limited Account may enable you to skip step 4,6, and 8).
  4. Log off and log in with the new account.
  5. Move the Favorites from the All Users / Shared Documents to the new account's desktop or any other document and settings folder.
  6. Log off and log into an Administrative account 
  7. Delete the new account which you created, along with all folders and files when asked (MyRealPics has now been deleted).

This method will work with any other links that will not delete in the normal ways.


Can't log onto secure websites? Try these tips

Reader Jim writes:

 I may have missed my problem and the solution but here is what I have been experiencing-
       I have windows 98 and msie 6
       I can not open secure web pages
       I have had this problem for several months and spoke to aol but they could not
       resolve it for me. Any suggestions?

Here are some possibilities:

For those of you who have Windows XP click here

As you have already spoken to AOL tech support, I will assume that they have informed you of all of the browser capable settings but just to be sure, lets review. The very first thing you should check is to see if the cipher strength is 128 bit. Here is how to find out:

  1. In MSIE click Help | About Internet Explorer
  2. The cipher strength should be 128 bit encryption

If the cipher strength isn't 128 bit, then you should head on over to the MSIE 6.0 homepage and download the update.

There are some known issues with ie6 sp1 and XP (But this is the first time I have heard about it in any of the Windows 9.x kernels), basically Because login servers are secure, and must check the validity of the passwords that you enter.

The way it does this is to use a cookie which goes to the server and returns an OK to your computer if it is correct. However, cookies are not allowed in a standard install of IE6, so the site can't verify the user name and password and so returns an error or it freezes.

To solve the problem:

  1. Go to Internet Options, then Privacy.
  2. Select 'Web Sites' near the bottom
  3. Go into 'Edit' on the right hand side, and in the 'Add Web Address', type the secure web site you are trying to access
  4. Click on 'Allow'
  5. Click OK
  6. Click OK again.
  7. Shut down IE6 then restart and you should be able to log in without further problems.
Other IE6 Settings which may need attention
  1. From the Tools menu, select Internet Options - then select the Privacy tab
  2. If the Settings slider is available, move the slider to the bottom. This allows the browser to 'Accept All Cookies'
  3. If the Settings slider is not available, click the Default button. Clicking the Default button displays the slider.
  4. Move the slider to the bottom. A confirmation appears beside the slider once the setting has been adjusted: 'Accept All Cookies'. The site will not work if this setting isn't turned on, so click the Apply button
  5. Click the OK button
  6. Close all Internet Explorer windows 
  7. Restart Internet Explorer and try again.

Now that that is out of the way and if those settings changes do not resolve the problem, then it is safe to assume that, for what ever reason, some of the Windows registration runtimes have not been set. This we can do manually. Here is how:

Re-Register these files:

Rename windows\system32\catroot2 folder to catroot2old (This should be done in safe mode). If you are unsure where to find the System32 folder, it is, by default, "C:\Windows\System32\".

Then reboot to Windows and register the following DLLS using regsrvr32 Do this by pressing the Windows Key + R to bring up the run dialog and typing the following or you can set up a simple batch file to automate the procedure. See more on this after the DLL section below

regsvr32 softpub.dll
regsvr32 wintrust.dll
regsvr32 initpki.dll
regsvr32 dssenh.dll
regsvr32 rsaenh.dll
regsvr32 gpkcsp.dll
regsvr32 sccbase.dll
regsvr32 slbcsp.dll
regsvr32 cryptdlg.dll

To create a batch file to automate the procedure do the following:

  1. Open Notepad (Windows Key + R and type notepad click ok
  2. In Notepad, copy the below as it appears:

    @echo off

    regsvr32 softpub.dll
    CLS
    regsvr32 wintrust.dll
    CLS
    regsvr32 initpki.dll
    CLS
    regsvr32 dssenh.dll
    CLS
    regsvr32 rsaenh.dll
    CLS
    regsvr32 gpkcsp.dll
    CLS
    regsvr32 sccbase.dll
    CLS
    regsvr32 slbcsp.dll
    CLS
    regsvr32 cryptdlg.dll
    CLS
  3. Click Save As and call the batch file you just created, Rereg.bat and save it to the desktop for easy access.
  4. Once the file has been saved, go to the desktop and double click it to start the instruction set.
  5. Once the files have been registered, reboot the system and try the secure site again.

Some spyware has been known to cause such problems, I suggest that if nothing here has worked for you that you see
Bo's Featured Freeware, read the reviews of Spybot Search and Destroy and click the adaware link which will take you to their site at Lavasoft. Which ever one you choose, be sure to download it, install it, then immediately download any updates (Also free) and do a full system scan.

For those of you who have Windows XP and this same problem:

There is a problem on the net right now with Verisign. Applications are trying to make an SSL connection and failing, which is causing this delay. It drove me nuts until I was able to fix it with the following solution.

1) For Windows XP locate a file named HOSTS in the following folder:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc

2) Open the file in Notepad, and add the following line:

0.0.0.0 crl.verisign.com

3) Save the file (you may need to reboot ).

You should also be aware that the W32.Blaster.Worm will display this type of problem. Update your antivirus software and do a full system wide scan to be sure. You can find out more about Blaster and it's variants at either Symantec or McAfee websites. See also:

http://www.1usa.com/downloads/w32.blaster.worm/ and the winsock fix http://members.shaw.ca/techcd/WinsockXPFix.exe

Lastly, did you get the security patch?
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-039.asp


Problems with MSN Messenger?
Try these tips:

Reader Jay writes:

Hi I hope you can help me.
How do I stop MSN messenger automatically signing me in & having that automatic option....sign in as blablabla@hotmail.com appear?
Also how do I clear the list of e-mail addresses on the drop down menu of Net Messenger Services & stop XP from remembering these e-mail addresses?

Answers:
.

Sure Jay, here is some times which you may find useful.

To get rid of windows messenger log on id's from the dropdown menu do this:

1. Log onto Windows as ADMINISTRATOR
2. go to control panel --> user accounts
3. Click on your username (administrator) once you click on it , a window will open
on the left top you would see "Manage my network passwords" click on that
4. You can remove the login email address from there

To stop MSN Messenger from logging in at startup try this:

Windows XP Home
1. Click Start | Settings | Control Panel
2. Click Performance and Maintenance
3. Click Administrative Tools
4. Double click Services Scroll down and highlight "Messenger"
5. Right-click the highlighted line and choose Properties.
6. Click the STOP button.
7. Select Disable in the Startup Type scroll bar
8. Click OK

Windows XP Professional
2. 1. Click Start->Settings | Control Panel
3. Click Administrative Tools
4. Click Services
5. Double click Services Scroll down and highlight "Messenger"
6. Right-click the highlighted line and choose Properties.
7. Click the STOP button.
8. Select Disable in the Startup Type scroll bar
9. Click OK

To prevent Windows Messenger from signing in when you run Outlook Express

1. In Outlook Express, click Options on the Tools menu.
2. On the General tab, click to clear the Automatically log on to Windows Messenger check box.
3. Click OK

To prevent Windows Messenger from signing in when you run Outlook:

1. In Outlook, click Options on the Tools menu.
2. On the Other tab, click to clear the Enable Instant Messaging in Microsoft Outlook check box.
3. Click OK.

Here are sum tips to try if your having trouble signing into MSN OR WINDOWS MESSENGER:

FIXES


1. Click Start, then Run, and enter the following:
regsvr32 softpub.dll
2. Click OK
(DONT FORGET THE "SPACE BETWEEN regsvr32 and softpub.dll)

Another common problem:
1. The date on your computer needs to be set properly -- double click the clock verify that the time and date are set.
2. If your password information is not saved, verify that you are typing it in with the correct case (uppercase or lowercase).
3. Change your password @ http://memberservicesnet.passport.com/memberservice.srf to something smaller (under 10-12 characters), then try signing in again.
4. If you use a firewall (like ZoneAlarm, Norton Internet Security etc. ),it's possible that Messenger doesn't have the correct rights to access the Internet, especially since you upgraded. You may need to re/add Messenger to the allowed list of programs in your firewall if this is the case.
5. If you disabled your firewall in the past, it still may be blocking Messenger -- try restarting it and see if that helps the situation. You also might try uninstalling an installed firewall, to verify that it isn't causing a problem (even if it is
disabled).
6. Clear your IE cache and cookies -- open Internet Explorer, click the Tools menu, then Internet Options, then click the Delete Files button, and when that's complete click the Delete Cookies button.
7. Check your IE Security settings -- open Internet Explorer, click the Tools menu, then Internet Options, then Advanced tab, scroll to the Security section, and verify that "Check for server certificate revocation" is unchecked. Also verify that 'Use SSL
2.0' and Use SSL 3.0' is checked
8. Click OK.


The Case of the Dissappearing Favorites Folder:

Reader Stef, writes:

Hi Bo, I’m running MSIE 6.0, sp2, under WinXP pro, sp1. I’m normally using an account with administrative privileges, but I have created a limited account to surf safely the net. The problem is that I can’t save anymore pictures in their original format and name, but I’m always presented with a “untitled – bitmap” save form. I’m having this problem on 2 different pcs, while I didn’t on another one. I also can’t see the favorites, even if I copy a whole directory under documents and settings/limited account/favorites. But for that I think I can just import them from the admin account…

Please this Microsoft Knowledgebase article:

As for the missing Favorites Folder?

This issue can occur if the default user profile on your computer was copied from an existing user's profile. When you do so, personalized settings for Internet Explorer are not created.

This requires a Registry Edit:
If you do not know how to use the system registry, please see Bo's Tweaky Clean Windows:

Warning: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Blaisdell's Little Corner of the Web, Bohunky0, nor any of its affiliates, can guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.
To resolve this issue, delete the ActiveSetup registry branch from the following registry key on the affected computer:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft

Reset the Attributes:
Perhaps the attributes have been accidentally reset or perhaps that the access privileges need to be reset to share all.

During an IE install (or upgrade),  the favorites folder is set with a 'system' attribute and that is when folks may find a problem.  That kind of access problem usually doesn't 'just happen' - The random loss of access is more often related to file associations. Instructions for resetting the folder attribute is at the end (%%%  Folder Attribute %%%) -- resetting the file types is a bit easier...

Check the attributes, here is how:

  1. Close MSIE
  2. Press Windows Key+R to open the run dialog and hit enter or click OK
  3. Navigate to:
    C:\Documents and Settings\YouID\Favorites> (NOTE: YourID needs to be changed to the ID you are using for that machine. The same thing needs to be applied to all other machines or users)
  4. Type:
    ATTRIB -H -S /S /D C:\Documents and Settings\YouID\Favorites
  5. Hit the enter key to activate the command
  6. Type EXIT and hit the enter key
  7. Reboot the systems involved after Appling the command and switches

If this was the problem, Favorites should now be visible.

If that wasn't the problem, try one of the following:

Try to re-set IE as the default browser.
Open IE -- View (or Tools) | Internet Options | check the option "Internet Explorer should check to see if it is the default browser". Close IE and the next time you start IE, it may ask about the default browser. If you select yes, this may re-enable the default associations.

Reregister the activation file:

  1. Press Windows Key+R to bring up the run dialog
  2. Type the following:
    Regsvr32.exe shdocvw.dll
  3. Press enter
  4. After the file has been successfully registered (Registerserver and dllinstall in shdocvw succeeded", reboot the system for the change to take affect

After the reboot, open MSIE and see if the Favorites folder is back to where it should be.


Disable Add-On Toolbars and Buttons

SUMMARY: Disable third-party toolbars in Internet Explorer 6.

If you surf the web often, you may have come across various extensions to your web browser such as toolbars, extra link buttons, etc. Or, perhaps you have new buttons and toolbars on Internet Explorer 6 appear without warning and would like to remove them.

If you want to quickly remove these add-ons to your browser without having to go through the "Add/Remove Programs" routine, just click the "Tools" menu and choose "Internet Options". Click the "Advanced" tab on the multi-tabbed dialog box that follows. Scroll down underneath "Browsing" until you find the checkbox "Enable third-party browser extensions". Uncheck this box and press "OK" to close the dialog box.

Finally, close all Internet Explorer browsers and restart them. Voila! The extra toolbars and buttons should now be gone.


Start MSIE 6.0 in Kiosk Mode

SUMMARY: Run Internet Explorer 6 in full-screen kiosk mode, automatically displaying a given website.

You can start Internet Explorer 6 by automatically loading a website and running in kiosk mode, filling the entire screen with the site and hiding all toolbars and menus. This may be useful in batch files.

To do this from the "Start" menu, choose "Run", then type in the following and press "OK".

iexplore -k SITE

Replace SITE with the name of the URL to visit. For example, the following would start Internet Explorer 6, running MalekTips in full-screen mode.

iexplore -k http://www.malektips.com

Or, from a batch file, enter the following:

Start "" "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" -k SITE

Replace SITE with the name of the URL to visit. If the above results in a "File Not Found" error, replace the second quoted string with the path to Internet Explorer on your system.


Where is that webpage, image or banner add coming from?

SUMMARY: Find out what exactly makes up a shown webpage in Internet Explorer 6.

Just because you happen to visit a webpage at a given URL does not mean that webpage just comes from one address. Banners may be loaded from other URLs, integrated content may come from elsewhere, scripts may be loaded from other sites, and more.

To see just where your webpage in Internet Explorer 6 is coming from, click the "View" menu and choose "Privacy Report". You'll see a list of all the webpages and graphics that make up your page, plus the cookies that websites tried to set on your machine and whether or not they were accepted or blocked, based on your privacy settings.

Click "OK" to close the dialog box when done.


Reader Peter asks:

Question: Just a quickie, any idea how to disable the automatic Image shrinking "feature" in IE? I've found it problematic to get that little box with the arrows on the corners to show up so I can expand the image that I didn't want to have shrunken down in the first place.

Answer: I am assuming that what you are talking about is the image resizing?

 Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 automatically resizes images that would be too big to see on your monitor at once. This helps prevent the use of the horizontal scroll bar that would normally be required to view the whole image. While some like this automatically occurring, others would rather see the entire image, by default. To turn this 'feature' off:

1. Open up Internet Explorer 6, choosing the "Tools" menu, then "Internet Options".
2. From the multi-tabbed dialog box that follows, click "Advanced".
3. Scroll down to "Multimedia".
4. Uncheck "Enable Automatic Image Resizing".
5. Press "OK" to close the dialog box.
 
6. Click Apply
7. Click Okay


Browser Hijacking, it ain't funny any more

Question 1
How can I get my MSIE search bar back to the default? - Claire

Several Possible answers to this one Claire.
Browser Hijacking, which is what this is formally called, is becoming more and more predominant. As usual, just when we think we have figured out how to stop one form of the problem, someone comes up with another method of doing it.

Some other forms of hijacking which we have seen. Problems and solutions:

Lets take them up, in no particular order.

Solution 1:
Based on my experience, there is an Internet Explorer search assistant program installed on your computer. Please go to Add/Remove programs to see if there is such a program. If so, uninstall the program.

Solution 2:
If the problem still occurs, please try the following steps.

  1. Double-click My Computer.
  2. Click View | Folder Options (Tools | Folder Options in XP)
  3. Click View
  4. Click "Show hidden files and folders".
  5. Click Apply
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click Start menu
  8. Click Search
  9. Click All files and folders.
  10. Type
    "hosts" (without the quotation marks) Under the "All or part of the file name"
  11. Click Search or Find depending on your operating system.
  12. After the Hosts.txt file is found, rename it to "Host.txt.old
  13. Reboot the system
  14. Windows will create a new Host.txt file

See if this resolves the issue. If it doesn't, keep reading.

Solution 3:
If the problem still occurs, change the AutoSearch search page back to the default search page.
This instruction requires that you make a System Registry Edit. Please see: Bo's Tweaky Clean Windows before continuing.
Here is how to make the edit.:

  1. Quit Internet Explorer.
  2. Click Start | Run
  3. Type

    Regedit,
  4. Click OK.
  5. Find the key below:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl

  6. Set the Default value to a data value of

    "http://home.microsoft.com/access/autosearch.asp?p=%s" (without the quotation marks)
  7. Quit Registry Editor, and then start Internet Explorer.

The problem should now be resolved.

Solution 3a:
A flavor for the same theme, only different:

  1. Use Regedit.exe (Regedit32 in Windows 2000), then navigate to this branch

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchURL]
  2. Double-click the "(Default)" string value and delete the data value stored in this string value.
  3. Navigate to this branch:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search]

  4. Double-click the "SearchAssistant" String value and change it to:

    http://ie.search.msn.com/{SUB_RFC1766}/srchasst/srchasst.htm

  5. Close Regedit, and restart IE

Solution 4:
A simple fix to halt this type of problem, or at the very least, curtail it in the future.

One thing you may want to do, after you have cleansed your system, is to check the certificates of your Active X components. Delete anyone not shown as safe. If someone isn't willing to verify their Active X components by signing them, then you should not accept them. Once this is done, open MSIE (After you have cleaned the system with the tool we will show you below) Click Tools | Internet Options and switch to the Security tab and press the customize button. Be sure that:

**Download Signed Active X Controls are set to Prompt
**Download unsigned active x controls are set to Disable
**Initialize and script active x controls is set to Disabled
**Run Active X controls is set to Prompt (Set it to Prompt so that you know
who and what is trying to download an active x control.

Solution 5:
I would also strongly recommend that you grab a copy of our favorite spyware eradicator Spybot Search & Distroy, or at the very least, grab a copy of Lavasift's AddAware. Which ever one you choose, download it, install it, then update it over the net and run a full system scan.

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