Error message when you start Internet Explorer in Windows XP: "Microsoft Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience"

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Article ID: 921470 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

This article describes several causes and resolutions for an error message that may occur in Internet Explorer.

SYMPTOMS

When you start Internet Explorer, you may receive the following error message:
Microsoft Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

CAUSE

The problem may occur for several reasons. These reasons include, but are not limited to, the following issues.

Issue 1: Problems with third-party software

  • Safe mode troubleshooting
  • Conflicts with third-party browser extensions
  • Malicious software has been installed
  • Third-party software is installed on your computer, and it is preventing Internet Explorer from working correctly

Issue 2: Internet Explorer settings and optimization

  • Internet Explorer is not optimized
  • Internet Explorer has conflicting or inappropriate settings

Issue 3: Problems with core Windows files

  • Problems with .dll files or use of unregistered .dll files
  • There are damaged or missing core Windows files

Issue 4: Corrupted or damaged user account

  • User account corruption

RESOLUTION

Where to start

Use the Windows Error Reporting tool

Click Send Error Report when you are prompted to send the error report to Microsoft.
  • If a fix or a workaround is available, click More Information after you send the error report to Microsoft. This helps you obtain the fix or information about how to work around the issue
  • If the Windows Error Reporting tool does not provide information about a fix or a workaround, follow these steps:
    1. Click Click here in the Internet Explorer Error Reporting dialog box to view the error details. Error signature information similar to the following is displayed:
      AppName: Iexplore.exe
      Modname: module_name.dll
      AppVer: 6.0.2600.0
      ModVer: 5.0.1.10 1.
      Note In this example of the error signature information, module_name.dll is a placeholder for a module that is referenced in this error after the modname (module name) entry.
    2. Note the module name that is listed in the modname entry, and then locate this file on the hard disk.
    3. Right-click the file, click Properties, and then click the Version tab.
    4. Click Company in the Item Name list to verify that the file is a Microsoft file. The associated company name is displayed in the Value list.
    5. The file may not be a Microsoft file. In this case, the information that is displayed in the Value list for Company and for Product Version may indicate which program, service or driver the file is associated with.

Issue 1: Problems with third-party software

Part 1: Test by using "Safe Mode with Networking" startup option

Be aware that any Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) connections that require a user name and password will not work in safe mode. Most DSL connections and dial-up connections are PPPoE. Therefore, they will not work unless they use a persistent connection to the Internet, such as a cable connection.

To start the computer in safe mode and test your Internet connection, follow these steps:
  1. Restart the computer. Press the F8 key repeatedly when the screen goes blank.
  2. Click Safe Mode with Networking, and then press ENTER.
  3. If you are presented with an option to select a version of Windows, select the appropriate version, and then press ENTER.
  4. After the computer has started in safe mode, test your Internet connection.
    • If you can open Internet Explorer without any errors in safe mode, there is usually a third-party tool or program conflict. A clean restart may help you resolve the conflict. Restart the computer in normal mode, and then go to Issue 2.
    • If you cannot open Internet Explorer when the computer is in safe mode, there may be a problem with some core Internet Explorer files. Go to Issue 2, and then go to Issue 3.
    • If you have already tried the procedures in Issue 2 and Issue 3, continue with the following procedures.
For more information about safe mode options, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
315222 A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP

Part 2: Disable third-party browser extensions

Some Web sites use browser extensions to provide additional content, such as Flash movies. One of these extensions may be damaged or may conflict with Internet Explorer. To disable all third-party browser extensions, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, right-click Internet Explorer, and then click Internet Properties.
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. Click to clear the Enable third-party browser extensions (requires restart) check box.
  4. Click Apply, and then click OK.
  5. Start Internet Explorer.
If the error message no longer appears after you disable third-party browser extensions, use the Manage Add-ons feature to determine which browser extension is causing the issue. For more information about how to manage add-ons in Internet Explorer Service Pack 2, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
883256 How to manage Internet Explorer add-ons in Windows XP Service Pack 2
After you determine which add-on is creating the problem, you can use Add Or Remove Programs in Control Panel to remove the associated program.

Part 3: Run antivirus software and spyware-fighting software

If you have antivirus software or spyware-fighting software installed, update it and run the software. To download third-party antivirus trial software, visit the following Miicrosoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/antivirus-partners/windows-xp.aspx
For more information about virus software and other malicious software, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/default.mspx
After you have determined that your computer does not have malicious software installed, test to see whether the problem is resolved. If it is not resolved, go to Issue 2.

Part 4: Remove a third-party program

  • Use Add or Remove Programs to remove a third-party program
    1. Click Start, click Run, type appwiz.cpl, and then click OK.
    2. Click the appropriate program from the list of installed programs, and then click Change/Remove.
    If the issue continues to occur, go to Issue 2.
  • Manually remove a third-party program

    Contact the third-party program manufacturer if you need help in removing a third-party program. For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
    http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-us
For more information about third-party program issues, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
913505 Winshow browser hijacker causes errors and unwanted Web sites to open in Internet Explorer

Issue 2: Internet Explorer settings and optimization

Optimize Internet Explorer

By optimizing Internet Explorer, you can clear old files and settings that may cause conflicts. These files can also prevent you from connecting to the Internet. To optimize Internet Explorer, follow these steps:
  1. Start Internet Explorer, and then click Internet Options on the Tools menu.
  2. Click the General tab, and then click Delete Files under Temporary Internet Files.
  3. Click to select the Delete all offline content check box, and then click OK.
  4. Click Delete Cookies, and then click OK to confirm the deletion.
  5. Under Temporary Internet Files, click Settings, and then click View Objects.
  6. Delete all the objects.
  7. Close the Downloaded Program Files window, and then click OK in the Internet Options dialog box.
  8. Start Internet Explorer.

Issue 3: Problems with core Windows files

Reregister a Windows file

If the modname entry indicates that a Windows file is causing the issue, try reregistering the file. To reregister a file, follow these steps:
  1. 1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
  2. At the command prompt, type regsvr32 <module_name>, and then press ENTER. Make sure that you replace <module_name> with the name of the .dll file found in the error.
  3. A dialog box appears with the following message:
    DllRegisterServer in <module_name> succeeded.
  4. Try to start Internet Explorer.

Issue 4: Corrupted or damaged user account

If you continue to receive the same error message, the user account that you are currently using may be corrupted. If you have multiple user accounts on your computer, test by logging in as a different user. If this resolves the problem, we recommend that you create a new user account, and transfer your settings and files to that new account. For more information about how to create and configure user accounts in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
279783 How to create and configure user accounts in Windows XP
If you created a new user account, and you want to remove it, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
279783 How to create and configure user accounts in Windows XP
If logging in by using a new user account resolves the problem, use the File and Settings Transfer Wizard to transfer your settings from the old account to the new account. For more information about how to use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306187 How to use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard with a wizard disk in Windows XP
You can also manually copy the files from the old user account folders, such as the My Documents folder.

Caution If you manually copy files from the My Documents folder, you may not transfer all the files that you have created or that you use. You may have saved files to a different location. Also, be aware that your settings, such as your favorites, will not be transferred when you use this method. We recommend that you verify that all the files and settings have been transferred before you delete the old account.

Properties

Article ID: 921470 - Last Review: September 28, 2011 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, when used with:
    • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbprb KB921470

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