Messed up IE9

Discussion in 'DIY Computers' started by Andrew, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    I have just installed an SSD in my PC and took the opportunity to do a fresh
    install of Windows 7 (64-bit).

    I wanted to get the entire Users directory off the SSD and onto my spinning
    disk, to reduce wear to the SSD and also to completely separate OS and
    applications from data, something which I've never been disciplined enough
    to do before. I booted in recovery mode to a command prompt and used
    robocopy to copy Users onto the spinning disk. I then created a hard
    symlink from c:\users to f:\users. I rebooted but was unable to log in. I
    panicked*, copied Users back to C and then used system restore to repair. I
    then instead just manually changed the locations of My Documents, My
    Pictures, Temporary Internet Files etc to the spinning disk. (This is not
    ideal as a lot of data is still held in the Users directory)

    Somewhere along the way (either moving Users and using system restore, or
    relocating the folders) I have upset IE9. When right-clicking on a picture
    and choosing Save As, it always saves as untitled.png (even if it's a JPEG).
    I've Googled and suggestions include deleting temporary internet files
    (tried that), relocating the temporary internet files folder (done already
    but tried again), deleting downloaded program files (I have none anyway),
    and changing the setting "Do not save encrypted pages to disk". None of
    these work.

    Secondly, when downloading a file (ZIP, EXE, whatever) it always fails on
    the first attempt with "this file cannot be downloaded". Re-requesting the
    download then works, but the problem is that I sometimes download stuff from
    file hosts that give you a "one shot attempt" at downloading a file. If it
    fails and you re-request it, you have to go through the process of
    re-requesting the file, entering a captcha, etc etc.

    Thirdly, whenever saving an EXE file, the extension is removed and the file
    is renamed as FILENAME_EXE not FILENAME.EXE! So .EXE files have to be
    renamed with the extension restored before they can be run.

    Does anyone know how to fix these annoying problems?!

    * I realised later that the reason moving Users hadn't worked is because the
    recovery console had assigned completely different drive letters to my
    drives compared to the ones that I get once booted up. I'd created a hard
    symlink to f:\users but f:\ was actually a completely different drive when
    in Windows!
     
    Andrew, Aug 15, 2011
    #1
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  2. Andrew

    Dave-UK Guest

    I don't, but have you tried uninstalling IE9 and then re-installing it?
    (Programs & Features > View installed updates > Scroll to IE9 , right-click, Uninstall.)
     
    Dave-UK, Aug 15, 2011
    #2
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  3. Andrew

    Raj Kundra Guest

    I could not find the uninstall for it, so ended up doing restore to the day
    of install.

    I used IE9 for 4 days and then back to IE8.

    Too many little niggles; the worst one is typing words you want to search in
    the address bar.

    I wondered who came with the great idea.

    I am sure someone will be along with even better browser suggestion.
     
    Raj Kundra, Aug 15, 2011
    #3
  4. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    "Dave-UK" wrote in message news:4e493ee9$0$2937$...
    Sensible suggestion - I didn't even think of that I must admit! I gave it a
    try but it didn't help.

    When IE9 is removed it leaves you with IE8 again, so I tried with IE8 and
    the problems exist with that too. In fact they're worse, because Save As
    only gives BMP as an option and it will not download files at all. Whereas
    with IE9 pressing "retry" will get the download working, IE8 always says
    that it cannot connect. The "Getting File Information..." dialog appears
    but is followed every time by a message:

    [Window Title]
    Windows Internet Explorer

    [Content]
    Unable to download <filename> from <server address>.

    Unable to open this Internet site. The requested site is either unavailable
    or cannot be found. Please try again later.

    [OK]


    I think I'm going to have to reinstall Windows. I just wish I knew whether
    it was moving the Users folder that caused this, or whether it was simply
    specifying a new location for the Downloads directory that did it. If it
    wasn't moving Users that did it, I'd like to have another go at relocating
    the entire Users directory to a different physical disk. I suppose I could
    reinstall everything and image the drive so it could be properly restored if
    anything goes wrong.
     
    Andrew, Aug 15, 2011
    #4
  5. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    "Raj Kundra" wrote in message news:j2bj89$eer$...
    It's not in the Programs list, you have to click "View Installed Updates"
    and then it's listed as "Windows Internet Explorer" rather than "Microsoft
    Internet Explorer" or simply "Internet Explorer".
    Yes, that is a bit weird but I got used to it.
    My usual advice would be "install Firefox", however that has more issues
    than IE these days. I have occasional lockups with it on my laptop ever
    since they introduced hardware acceleration. Sometimes the driver is able
    to reset the GPU and everything carries on albeit with some graphical
    corruption (blacked out areas of the screen), other times it completely
    freezes the PC necessitating a hard power off. Granted that could be a
    graphics driver fault as much as it is a Firefox fault, but I'm using the
    latest driver. On this desktop PC, Firefox has very annoying micro pauses
    which manifest when it has been loaded for a long time or if there are a lot
    of tabs open. It literally freezes the PC for half a second every 10
    seconds or so. It makes doing anything quickly impossible. I ditched it in
    favour of IE9 but now I've broken IE9! Maybe time to check out Chrome...
     
    Andrew, Aug 15, 2011
    #5
  6. Andrew

    Chris Whelan Guest

    On Mon, 15 Aug 2011 18:16:32 +0100, Andrew wrote:

    [...]
    I've had no problems with FF5; I'm using it on Linux however. FF6 will be
    released very soon.

    Opera is very fast, if a little quirky,even on limited hardware.

    Chris
     
    Chris Whelan, Aug 15, 2011
    #6
  7. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    "Andrew" wrote in message
    [snip]

    The solution to the problems was to create a new user account. A colleague
    at work suggested this to me and I don't know why I didn't think of it!
    This fixed the weird issues with IE9. The same colleague also suggested
    that a far easier way to relocate the user profile is to edit the single
    entry that's in the registry for the location of the user profile.

    In case anyone is reading this and has an SSD and would like to not have it
    hammered to death within a year or two due to the millions of tiny files*
    that build up under C:\Users\<your profile name>, the registry key for each
    profile can be found here:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\

    There is a key under here with a big long UNID for each user profile and
    each key has a string value ProfileImagePath which defines where the folder
    for all that user's files is.

    These are the steps to create a new account and relocate the profile
    elsewhere:

    Create a new user account (the one you want to move off the SSD).
    Log into this account once to get Windows to generate the directories and
    the registry entry for it.
    Log off and back into your other account.
    Edit the registry setting for ProfileImagePath to where you are going to put
    the profile directory.
    Use robocopy with /copyall /mir /xj parameters to copy the files from
    “c:\Users\<new profile name>†to “x:\Users\<new profile name>â€, x being your
    spinning disk.
    Restart in recovery mode on the Windows DVD and get a command prompt up to
    remove the original “c:\users\<new profile name>†directory (rmdir /Q /S
    c:\users\<new profile name>) as you can't do this in Windows as files will
    be locked open.
    Reboot and log in as <new profile name>

    The only thing it did was lose the wallpaper picture, but everything else
    seems fine and IE can save images, download files, use cookies etc.


    * this will be SEVERE if you use Windows Live Mail as unlike Outlook or even
    Outlook Express it stores each email message as a separate text file on the
    file system. An absolute killer of performance and guarantee of premature
    failure for an SSD.
     
    Andrew, Aug 17, 2011
    #7
  8. Note that not only will a current generation SSD wear out *slower*
    than a spinning disk, dealing with millions of tiny files is probably
    the best possible way to demonstrate SSD superiority for access speed.

    Separating OS and user data is still a pretty good idea, though it's
    nothing like as important as it used to be since Windows has pretty
    much stopped eating its own C: drive these days and hard drives are so
    large that it's easy to protect a system disk from running out of
    space.

    Cheers - Jaimie
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Aug 17, 2011
    #8
  9. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    "Jaimie Vandenbergh" wrote in message
    Even the newest SSDs have a finite number of read/write operations that will
    see them expire long before most mechanical drives. Modern mechanical
    drives are pretty reliable. I've got a 17GB Seagate that I bought in 1998
    and it's still works although admittedly it's now pensioned off into an old
    machine where it isn't hammered to the extent it was when serving as my
    primary drive. There is no way this SSD will still be working in 13 years
    time!
    Separating data is very important when you have an SSD with only 96GB
    (89.3GiB). I've installed Win 7 64-bit, Office Pro and a few other
    essential apps and already 40.3GiB of that has gone. I haven't even put any
    of my dev tools on yet.

    On my old Win 7 install on the spinning disk, the AppData folder alone in my
    user profile is 2.03GiB in 38,779 files and 5,206 folders.
     
    Andrew, Aug 17, 2011
    #9
  10. Nope. Read the P/E table and paragraph below it at

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-reliability-failure-rate,2923.html

    Now, SSDs are currently *probably* more likely to fail due to
    firmware/controller errors than normal hard drives (there isn't
    appropriate data out there right now to be confident that that is
    true) but not through general use unless you have a really
    pathological write pattern (rolling logs on a seriously busy
    webserver, for example).
    Anecdote, as ever, is not the same as data. How many drives have died
    along the way in the interim? My second ever hard drive, a 200meg
    Seagate from anout 1993, is still working inside my Amiga A1200. It
    has spent most of the intervening years powered down, of course, so I
    don't really count it.
    Why not? How much data are you going to write to it in that time? 100
    Terabytes?

    It's been a good two-three years since SSDs were likely to die due to
    write cycles. It's getting like people religiously
    discharging/recharging batteries to avoid memory effects - which
    stopped being a problem in the 90s, as tech changed. Unwittingly,
    they're causing more damage to the current Li-Ion batteries than just
    using them normally.

    Cheers - Jaimie
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Aug 17, 2011
    #10
  11. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    "Jaimie Vandenbergh" wrote in message
    Interesting reading. If anything, it supports my argument. According to
    that article, a memory cell in a 25nm SSD can only be written to and then
    erased 3000 times before it is likely to wear out. That's nothing compared
    to the number of read/write operations you can expect from a mechanical
    drive to any given sector(s) on the disk before it fails.

    The paragraph below that table makes a fundamentally flawed assumption that
    write operations will be spread evenly over all the cells of the disk. In a
    real file system this simply isn't the case. Certain areas of the disk will
    get much more use than others. You can't generalise and say it's possible
    to "write 114 TB before conceivably starting to experience the effects of
    write exhaustion" because if all the writing was done to a few cells of the
    drive it would expire long before that. That is why SSDs fail relatively
    soon compared to mechanical drives. Indeed if the number of times you can
    write and erase any given cell is really as low as 3000 then surely one
    could write a nasty little prog that would repeatedly write random values to
    the same sector on the disk and destroy the disk within a matter of minutes.
    I have older drives too, but I didn't choose those as an example because
    they don't get any kind of regular use. I've been relatively lucky with my
    own drives. The only drive I can recall that "failed along the way" is a
    Fujitsu 40Gb with faulty Cirrus Logic controller. At work, most failures
    seem to happen with external drives in enclosures that get too hot because
    of inadequate ventilation. I don't work on the PC support side of the
    business so I don't really know what kind of failure rate we get with drives
    in customer desktop PCs but, as a software developer, the machines I see
    tend to outlive their usefulness long before the hard disks fail.

    Another "anecdote"; I was going through some old drives at work to see if
    any were worth keeping for myself (and erasing rather than sending to the
    crusher) and found a 2001 vintage 20Gb drive that was in one of our web
    servers for some years. The SMART information shows a power on hours count
    of 56314 hours - just under 6 and a half years of 24/7 operation. The drive
    still works and I've just run Eraser over it. The bearings are a little
    noisy now but the media is absolutely 100% OK with not a single reallocated
    sector. Would an SSD tolerate that kind of usage? I'm not so sure...
    It's not so much the total amount of data written to the disk that matters,
    rather the amount of hammering specific cells get that can result in quicker
    failure compared to mechanical drives.
     
    Andrew, Aug 19, 2011
    #11
  12. You really should look up how SSD controllers work, beacuse it's
    exactly the opposite of this. Your google term of the day is "ssd wear
    levelling", but the wikipedia article is a bit minimal. Try the
    others.

    Cheers - Jaimie
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Aug 19, 2011
    #12
  13. Andrew

    Johny B Good Guest

    One phrase: "Wear Levelling Algorithm".
     
    Johny B Good, Aug 19, 2011
    #13
  14. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    "Jaimie Vandenbergh" wrote in message
    I stand corrected. My knowledge of flash storage is obviously woefully out
    of date! This is the first SSD I've owned myself.

    Nevertheless, I still like the hack for moving the users folder. There's no
    way I was going to use precious space on the SSD for My Documents or the
    stuff under AppData, even if it did mean that Windows Live Mail loaded
    fractionally quicker. I've got much better uses for the performance of the
    SSD.

    I was toying with the idea of disabling hibernation to free up 8Gb of space,
    but while Windows boots quickly off the SSD it's faster still coming out of
    hibernate. Plus there's the convenience of being able to leave all your
    apps open and come back to them exactly as they were.
     
    Andrew, Aug 20, 2011
    #14
  15. :) - happy to help!
    I'm surprised that you bought one, thinking that it'd die off in short
    order.
    I'm all for keeping large media files (movies and audio that spinning
    disks can serve up quicker than they're needed) elsewhere, probably
    all of My Documents if it's large, but I'd definitely leave all the
    other system-created user stuff on the SSD. The user registry hives
    and all the per-user application support files being quick-access will
    speed up general use as much as having the OS on SSD.

    I don't really see the point of wasting an SSD by only putting 20gig
    of /Windows and /Programs on it. Yes, it improves boot times, but not
    much else.
    Does your machine not have a reliable and low-power sleep mode? That's
    near instant coming back, and won't eat up 8gig of your SSD.

    Cheers - Jaimie
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Aug 20, 2011
    #15
  16. In <>,
    You don't want to fill it up too much though because AFAIK free space
    helps the wear levelling.
     
    Tony Houghton, Aug 20, 2011
    #16
  17. Yes, that's certainly true.

    It's a pity, because one of the nice things about SSDs is that they
    don't slow down as they approach full, like a fragmented spinning disk
    does.

    Oh also, for Andrew: forcing 8gig of writes to the SSD every time you
    hibernate puts a vast amount more write-loading on the SSD than normal
    operation would. Just occurred to me.

    Cheers - Jaimie
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Aug 20, 2011
    #17
  18. Andrew

    Albert Ross Guest

    Oh bugger! I started getting that graphics lockup occasionally, from
    days to weeks between episodes.

    And here I was uncharitably blaming a Microsoft update when it was
    Firefox!

    Does the latest version still do it? Firefox 6 AFAICR? I haven't
    upgraded yet.

    IME Chrome surpasses Opera in usability.
     
    Albert Ross, Aug 22, 2011
    #18
  19. Andrew

    Albert Ross Guest

    Yes that's why I was following up the Firefox-specific post by Andrew.
    Don't use IE for long enough to discover any problems but I always
    have Firefox open with a bunch of windows and tabs. It used to eat
    resources and have a memory leak, both of which are much improved.
    Still becomes unstable after it's been open and in use for many days
    which *appears* to relate to scripts only found on certain sites.
    Yes the bluescreen refers to a graphics driver which is why I assumed
    a MS update had hosed it.

    Time to start collecting all updated drivers, programs etc. for a
    format and reinstall which is overdue and see what is fixed and what
    is newly broken.
     
    Albert Ross, Aug 24, 2011
    #19
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