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  1. #1
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    Strange problem when browsing with MSIE and Firefox

    I have a strange problem when browsing with MSIE and Firefox.

    I am using Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, MSIE 10, Firefox 23.0.1, MS Security Essentials 4.3.216.0, Makwarebytes AntiMalware 1.75.0.1300.

    Recently parts of web pages have stopped working. For example, I frequently go to a discussion forum that has a New Thread button on the page. When you click on this button it opens up an editor at the bottom of the page that allows you to key in your message and post it to the forum. It also has a link on the page to change the forum from threaded view to flat view.

    This all worked fine until recently. Now when I go to the New Thread button the pointer changes from an arrow to the hand with pointing index finger but no URL appears in the lower left corner of IE or Firefox, and nothing happens when I click on the button. When I hover on the link to chenge from threaded view to flat view it shows the URL in the lower left corner of the browser and when I click on the link it changes to flat view in the session I am in but it doesn't keep the change for future sessions (which it is supposed to do).

    While investigating this problem I checked my cookies for the site and saw there was one that remembered format view mode (although it had expired a few days ago). I deleted this cookie thinking that it would rebuild itself next time I selected flat view but it didn't and still won't.

    I have another PC configured the same way as the problem PC that does not show these problems. I have compared the settings between the two PCs for all the software I mentioned above and they are the same. The only thing that comes to mind that might be different is the Windows Updates - it's quite likely there are differences there.

    I have run thorough scans with MSE, Malwarebytes, and ESET's online scanner - all come up clean.

    Any ideas what is going on here and how I can fix this problem?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Try running IE in compatibility view for the problematic web page:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/i...ie=ie-10-win-7

    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    Try running IE in compatibility view for the problematic web page:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/i...ie=ie-10-win-7

    Jerry
    Thanks for your response. I tried that but it made no difference.

    Meanwhile I just finished a 3-hour scan of the PC using a FixMeStick usb stick that boots to Linux and runs Kaspersky, Sophos and Vipre. It found one low threat Java trojan from 2011 that it quarantined but that hasn't fixed the issue(s) I am having.

    I'm not quite sure where to go from here. Clearly whatever the source of the problem is it must be basic to the PC because it affects both Firefox and MSIE on the affected machine yet both Firefox and MSIE run unaffected on the same sites on another PC that is about as similarly configured as two different PCs can be.

    I'm wondering if perhaps a Windows Update or a certificate problem (or maybe even video drivers!) is the culprit . . .

  4. #4
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    The only thing i can think of offhand that may be relevant to your issue is KB2670838: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2670838 which has a much broader range of knock-on effects on more hardware than those listed by MS. If your update to IE10 coincides with the upgrade to IE10, try the following:

    To test this scenario you need to uninstall IE10, this will automatically re-enable IE9, then uninstall the KB.

    If subsequent testing shows that your problem is fixed, you would then need to block the auto-updating of IE10 as it requires the KB to be installed before it can be upgraded: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=36512

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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    The only thing i can think of offhand that may be relevant to your issue is KB2670838: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2670838 which has a much broader range of knock-on effects on more hardware than those listed by MS. If your update to IE10 coincides with the upgrade to IE10, try the following:

    To test this scenario you need to uninstall IE10, this will automatically re-enable IE9, then uninstall the KB.

    If subsequent testing shows that your problem is fixed, you would then need to block the auto-updating of IE10 as it requires the KB to be installed before it can be upgraded: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=36512
    Thanks for your reply.

    Yes, now that you mention it I remember this problem update. I held off on installing it because my PC is a Dell. I did install it before I installed IE 10 at the end of May and I didn't notice any bad consequences at that time. Funny thing is, I just reviewed my Windows Update history and I can't find this update in the list of installed updates! It also doesn't show in the lists of hidden nor available updates. Very strange. I'll investigate this more later today.

    Would the KB2670838 update make changes that also cause Firefox to misbehave?

    On another front, it occurred to me that sometimes these kinds of issues are related to outdated video drivers. I have never updated my video card drivers on the philosophy that if it ain't broke don't fix it. The drivers I have now are dated June 2009 (!) and the card is of similar vintage. By coincidence Windows updates on the problem PC now shows a 228MB video driver update for my card with a release date of August 2013. Interesting. Last night I researched official nVidia drivers for my card and decided to go all the way and replace the OEM card that came with the PC with a $60 upgrade that reportedly works well with this PC. It should be here in a couple of days.

    I hope this will fix the issues I have been having, but if it doesn't at least I will have an updated and better video card with current drivers for a reasonable price.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    That KB did introduce graphical bugs in both IE10 and Firefox as well as oddities in some non-browser software for a number of users, I saw problems in both IE and Mozilla browsers and I have recent hardware on pretty much the latest drivers (almost all 2011>2013). Any time a new update comes along with a widespread effect, lik changing DirectX, there's a good chance that it will break some older drivers that rely on it.

    I hope that the new card (get the latest drivers, too) fixes it for you

  7. #7
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    Well, satrow, you were right. I finally got around to uninstalling IE10 and KB2670838 and reverting to IE9. I logged on as administrator and turned off MSE and Malwarebytes before uninstalling. This fixed the problems I was having with Firefox and MSIE, but ONLY WHEN I LOG ON AS ADMINISTRATOR!

    If I log on with my standard user account the misbehavior returns in both browsers. Very strange.

    Just for kicks I logged on with my standard user account, re-installed KB2670838, then un-installed it again, but the misbehavior persists in both Firefox and MSIE. If I run Firefox or MSIE as administrator from my standard account the misbehavior disappears, but if I go back to running as a standard user the misbehavior returns.

    I have cleared the cache in both browsers. I have removed the cookies for the one site in particular that I know is misbehaving (my 'control' site). But nothing makes a difference in standard mode. IE9 is at the default settings that come with a new install in both the administrator and standard user accounts. I have tweaked Firefox in my standard account but nothing I do makes any difference there.

    I am stumped. I'd like to resolve this before I replace my current video card with a new one and try new drivers . . .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggeinec View Post
    I am stumped. I'd like to resolve this before I replace my current video card with a new one and try new drivers . . .
    So, I finally installed a new video card and new drivers for that card but neither had any effect on the strange web page issues I described in my original post at the top.

    Back to the drawing board.

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