The new version 8 of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser has some features that version 7 doesn’t.
But that’s no guarantee that upgrading to IE 8 will go smoothly on your PC.
The perils of software updates were brought home to computer-repair business owner Bob Millard as he attempted to heal the XP systems of three clients who had recently moved from IE 7 to IE 8:
- “I have a computer repair business. In the last two weeks, I’ve had to fix three XP laptops after the installation of IE 8 made them inoperable. In each case, after the update, the desktop on each of these computers was blank except for the desktop wallpaper.
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“It didn’t matter whether you started the system in normal or safe mode, all desktop items — including the taskbar — were missing. The only way I could get them back was by using one of my bootable utilities that would allow me access to the restore points. On two of these laptops, restoring back a few days corrected the problem.
“On one of them, even though I got all the desktop functions restored, I didn’t have Internet access or any access to USB devices. I tried to remove IE 7 (IE 8 was gone after the restore) but there was no remove/uninstall option in the Add/Remove Programs window.
“I was able to use a remove-IE7 utility that I have [IE7 EasyRemove, available at the Drive Headquarters site] to get back to IE 6, and now the system is working again.
“Bottom line: There are big issues in Internet Explorer 8 land.”
Despite the potential pitfalls, I recommend that if you must use Internet Explorer, install the latest version that won’t trash your system. If IE 8 crashes and burns, revert to IE 7. If IE 7 brings you grief, roll back to IE 6 — but only long enough to get things working again. Old versions of IE are too insecure for today’s scary Web.
| Bob Millard will receive a gift certificate for a book, CD, or DVD of his choice for sending a tip we printed. Send us your tips via the Windows Secrets contact page.|
The Known Issues column brings you readers’ comments on our recent articles. Dennis O’Reilly is technical editor of WindowsSecrets.com.