On the Service Desk where I work had an interesting problem with Internet Explorer. What was happening was that the user was able to visit a site, but items on the site, like roll-over images and pop-up windows did not work. Another thing that didn’t work was the Users Applet from the Control Panel.
At first we thought that it may have been a pop-up blocker preventing pop-up windows from being displayed. After all Service Pack 2 was installed. We switched off the pop-up blocker and still had the same problem. The Google toolbar was installed, so we removed that and still the problem remained.
The next thing that we tried was to update the Java virtual machine, so we visited www.java.com and hit the download link. The ActiveX component on the site did not work, but we were able to download the installer. There was something else odd about the java.com site that we didn’t notice before. The layout and style-sheets did not apply.
Anyway we installed the Java Machine and still no joy. Next we checked the AntiVirus – this was not only massively out of date but would also not auto-update. A quick check and an SDat download revealed that the AntiVirus had been hit by an engine and definitions overload – in other words, the whole thing was so out of date that the only way it was going to work was if we un-installed it and installed a newer version of the AntiVirus product.
Done a Virus Scan and didn’t find anything. So we downloaded an Anti-Spyware util from the Microsoft site and ran a scan. This didn’t reveal anything either.
So we searched the Internet again and came up with something that had displayed similar symptoms. This article said to re-register a bunch of DLL files and to run the SFC command line utility to check that none of the Windows files were corrupt. Again this did not resolve the problem. We even un-installed Internet Explorer and re-installed (if you can actually do such a thing with Windows XP).
In the end it turned out to be something very simple – and worst yet the fix was something that I had dismissed. My colleague downloaded the Microsoft Scripting Engine from the Microsoft Downloads Site (DOWNLOAD LINK). This very quickly resolved the fault after installing.
Also visiting pages like www.java.com were back to as we were expecting them to look like.
So if you are having problems with Internet Explorer or any of the Control Panel Applets such as the User Manager, then try downloading and installing all of the latest Microsoft Scripting controls.