SOLVED Win7 IE8 problem


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I have win7 pro 64 bit. It has IE8 32 and 64 bit built in. I have a weird problem.

The favorites in IE8 simply displays a copy of the programs in my program list! If I click on one as a favorite while in IE8, it opens the program. If I reorganise or delete, those changes appear in the program list when accessed from the start menu (and vice versa).

If I try to save a new website as a favorite, the operation fails - a dialog box shows "unable to create" and "unspecified error"

I cannot import a favorites list (html) copied from my old computer - the import fails.

The normal default location C:/users/(username)/favorites contains what I expect to see - some folders for dell, microsoft etc websites and one for my router which I added earlier. If I double clink on one of the files, IE opens the URL as expected - but none of these are shown in the displayed favorites.

I have tried disabling and re-enabling IE8 - no change.

I have tried resetting the default settings (from "network and sharing") - no change.

Any ideas? It's driving me nuts. It's the same in both the 32 and 64 bit versions.

In case it matters, this is on a new Dell 580 i5 with a factory install of win7 pro 64 that has been running for about two weeks. The favorites did work correctly when first started, the fault has developed some time since.

No problem with bookmarks in Firefox 3.6.2 - imported fine from a file and display normally.

Thanks
Nigel
 
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TrainableMan

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If you are comfortable editing the registry then, run regedit.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Windows Search
Should be an entry "User Favorites Path". Is it set to file:///C:\Users\(username)\Favorites\ ?
 

davehc

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It looks like you may have used the "move" option at some time. But try this.
Open "File" and "Import and export".
"Import from another Browser""
Select "FireFox" which should be showing.
By default, IE8/Windows 7 will often show the wrong path (bug?) so browse to Users - Username .- Appdata - Roaming - Mozilla - Firefox - Profiles.
If there is more than one profile, select the latest.
Select the file bookmarks.html and import it..

This will add another item to your bookmarks. "FireFox" See if these work as they are supposed to. If they do, you will have to "Organise" the bookmarks again, in order to get them sorted.
 
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If you are comfortable editing the registry then, run regedit.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Windows Search
Should be an entry "User Favorites Path". Is it set to file:///C:\Users\(username)\Favorites\ ?
Thanks trainableman - found this entry and it reads:
file:///C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs \

Which clearly explains why I see what I see!

However if I modify this to read:

file:///C:\users\nigel\favorites\

and then exit regedit, and then restart, there is no change to the favorites and if I go back into regedit the entry has reverted to the first. So presumably something is running on start up which is re-modifying the registry entry?
 

davehc

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I believe the correct path, if you are going to edit the registry, is HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell
Folders
Your will have to change the entry to %UserProfile%/Favorites
 
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I believe the correct path, if you are going to edit the registry, is HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell
Folders
Your will have to change the entry to %UserProfile%/Favorites
Hi

I've done as Dave suggested - it contained
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

and I changed it to:
C:\Users\Nigel\Favorites

exited and restarted. IE8 still showing my program list as favorites. Regedit shows that the change has remained in place.

So I then changed the earlier registry entry as well, as per trainableman's first suggestion, to
file:///C:\users\nigel\favorites\
exited and restarted - still the same result, favorites is showing my list of programs, and again the entry has reverted to
file:///C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs \

So no success so far. As this is win7 I don't believe I can uninstall and reinstall IE8.

Do I have to go back to my initial out-of-the-box configuration and start again? There is not a system restore point available for that, I guess I'd need to use the restore disc I created? Or perhaps not give up yet - any further ideas?

Thanks for the help guys
Nigel
 

davehc

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If you right clcik one of your links, and select properties, what does it show as the path under "URL"
 
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Hi

it doesn't show any URL, because it's not a link - it's a program! If I right click, say on "Adobe reader 9" I get the same right-click menu that I would do if I right clicked on the program list having opened it from the start menu.

In other words my IE8 favorites drop-down menu thinks it's the start menu. If I left click an entry, it just opens the program, exactly as it would from the program list

Bizarre or what?

Nigel
 
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I'll attach a screenshot - you can see that Favorites contains the contents of my start menu program list, and behaves the same way
 

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Kalario

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Wow dude, this is really bizarre. Good luck.
 
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Kalario

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I am bookmarking this thread, curious to see how it will be fixed.
 

davehc

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Plan2!
Create another user. Login and click and paste your genuine favorites into your unew username - favorites folder. Log back into your own user and reverse the process?
 
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Hmmm. Did as you suggest - created a new user (newuser) - and lo and behold favorites working correctly in IE8. Checked registry for that user, then went back to my own user profile (Nigel), and regedited the entry to read:

C:\users\newuser\favorites

Exited and restarted. No effect, IE8 from within my user profile is still behaving incorrectly, and I've checked using regedit that the registry entry is indeed pointing to "newuser"

Shame - nice idea though.

Nigel
 
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catilley1092

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You can't remove IE8, but you can prevent it from running. Type in " Turn Windows features on or off" w/o the quotes from the Start Menu. IE8 is the third one down on my list. Uncheck IE8, click OK, it won't start again until you check it again to. I don't know if this will resolve your problem, but it will stop it from happening within IE8. Good Luck. BTW, nputtick, welcome to the forum! I hope my post is of use to you, if not, post back anytime.

Cat
 
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Not exactly what I suggested.
Hi Dave

Perhaps I misunderstood - but the actual favorites folder in my original user profile does already have the correct favorites in it, i.e.

C:\users\nigel\favorites has the following in it:

Folders called: dell, favorites bar, microsoft websites, msn websites, websites for united kingdom, windows live
A shortcut to my netgear router (which I created as a favorite before all this happened)
and a file called bookmarks.htm which I created on my old PC and copied across.

None of this shows in IE8 favorites - all I get is the same list of programs as in my start menu

The registry entry points correctly at the above folder, however the registry entry suggested by trainableman points to the program files (as explained above) and if I change it to point at the favorites folder, it reverts back when the computer is restarted.

If I change to the newuser, under that profile IE8 displays the default favorites correctly.

Could I make the new user profile the default, delete my original profile, and transfer all my program links across?

Or use the restore disk to go back to the original factory config? That would mean a lot of work reinstalling, updating etc

Or just give up on IE8 - which is driving me mad? However I suspect there is something wrong with my install and ignoring it may not be a good idea?

Thanks for your patience
Nigel
 

TrainableMan

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OK, I've had some sleep and I'm back on the case. I believe the one Dave suggested you change is what appears when you have FAVORITES showing in Windows Explorer and also it is likely what you see if you have FAVORITES enabled on the start menu, along with Pictures, Music, Games, Computer etc there on the right side of the box. So it should point to your Favorites as well but we need the system to load it properly where I said as well ...

Do me a favor and go back to the registry but not Current_User. Select HKEY_USERS so it is highlighted, that way the search will begin here. Then go to Edit - Find - enter "Favorites" (w/o quotes) and check the box "Match whole string only". Now when it finds ones that are directories they should say %USERPROFILE%\Favorites but I am betting one of those S-1-5-etc is actually YOU and these are what get loaded to Current_User when you log in, so find any Favorites that don't actially point to %USERPROFILE%\Favorites and fix them (ie change their value to %USERPROFILE%\Favorites). I am betting you will find atleast one that is pointing to StartMenu.
 
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OK, trainableman (love your handle BTW)

FIXED!

Paging through the search (using F3), the very last one was pointing at the start menu.

That entry was:

HKEY_USERS
S-1-5-2101916837985-208254040-1046599516-1000
software
microsoft
windows
current version
explorer
user shell folders
Favorites

and changed it to %USERPROFILE%\Favorites

restarted

and it worked normally - so I've gone on and imported my old PC favorites from a file, and that worked perfectly too.

Thank you so much (and thanks to Dave) :beer:
If I ever have the chance I'll buy you guys a beer or two - I'm in North Yorkshire, home of several great large and micro-breweries!

Cheers
Nigel
 
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