Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Internet Explorer 7 just stops working and a fix

It is amazing how timely those Apple ads can be, like this one called Computer Cart. A few days ago, Internet Explorer 7 (IE 7) just stopped working on Windows Server 2003 SP2, which is my development machne. Here is what the crazy unhelpful error messages, or lack thereoff, look like:
Incorrect Error Messages
I load IE to a blank site and have just entered where I want to go ;-)
This is what I see immediately after hitting ENTER. Weird how it has replaced the address with http:///
Just entering the address again, because the error doesnt' remain consistent...
Notice one thing in common among the Most likely causes? It can't be IE 7's fault, same thing with the first error message, it's either user error or the Web site must be malfunctioning.
First thing I try is loading anything of Firefox, and of course it works. I remembered that there was an Internet Explorer Event Log. I fire up the Event Viewer, and nothing, dust bunnies and tumbleweed apparently get logged here. I have never seen an entry show up under Internet Explorer in the Event Viewer, what's it for? Do you have to flip a switch? I close event viewer and start thinking, this error smells like a IE network settings configuration error, but I never touch those. Well I guess I can cruise through settings to see if something looks amise.
Unlearn what you have learned from previous IE versions or you won't find Internet Options in IE 7 (I know, hitting ALT will show the menu bar, please most people have no idea that works).
Just for completeness...
That LAN Settings button looks interesting (not really, but I had a hunch
Ah hah! There is no proxy server on my network, I have never changed this setting, but here it is, somehow this got set. And thanks IE for providing such a usefull, not, error message. Couldn't you have said IE is configured to use a proxy server, but none could be contacted?
The way things should be. How could this have been changed? I checked the Group Policies that were being applied to my machine with Group Policy Manager, none touch this setting. I can only conclude then that there is a bug in IE 7 that somehow turns this bit on.