Time to explore an alternative to Microsoft IE 6


I’ve had an unusual problem with the Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser since last week, when I downloaded two Microsoft updates to IE 6.0.

Now, every time I type “www.yahoo.com” or any other Web address, IE expects me to start typing with “http://” as well as the rest. Otherwise, the Web page will not open.

I have gone into Microsoft’s knowledge base and other sites to see how to resolve this but been unable to. Short of reinstalling Internet Explorer, is there a simpler fix?

– Karthik Krishnan

You sound tech-savvy, K.K., so you might want to eliminate the middleman (IE 6) and jump ahead to the latest rock-solid Beta 2 release of the version 7 of IE that soon will replace IE 6.

For my nickel, it’s better to remove the current edition of Internet Explorer and update to the latest one at www.microsoft.com/ie. When you go there, you will find an offer to try out IE7, the long-awaited next generation of Microsoft’s browser software that incorporates useful new features.

Goodies include a tabbed display that lets users open several Web pages and then call up the desired one by clicking its tab just below the toolbar.

Also in the mix is a streamlined interface that reduces the zoo of icons now atop the browser. A feature many will appreciate is a new printing module that ensures that a Web page will be printed on a sheet of paper without information dribbling off to the side, a very common irritation for current users.

The reason that I dangle IE 7 before your tech-weary eyes is that the fix for what ails you is far from simple, but here goes:

Many information technology specialists advise their clients that when this happens, the fix is to find a specific addition made to the Windows system registry during installations. It should be removed.

But editing the Windows registry is time-consuming and dangerous, because one risks corrupting some piece of key data that will cause serious problems. So, if you want to go this route, click on Start and Run and type in “regedit” and click OK. In the registry editor, click on File and then Export to export a copy of the registry before you started messing around so it can be restored if needed.

Now open the first of the entries on the left and search for this whopper:


CLSID 1/2lcub 3/4 c90250f3-4d7d-4991-9b69-a5c5bc1c2ae6 1/2rcub 3/4 ” (without the quotation marks).If it exists on your machine, remove it. Game over.

I have a picture/logo in the header of a Word 2003 document. Each time I scroll up or down, the picture/logo disappears. Can you tell me how to hold the picture/logo in place?

– Wilson Chiu, via e-mail

There are many different ways to view a document in Microsoft Word, Mr. W., so many, in fact, that on the tool bar tucked between Edit and Insert is one called View. Click it open and pick Header/Footer. The header will appear on every page as you work in this setting. A Normal option shuts down the header view.

I got a Dell Inspiron laptop for Christmas. Initially it worked fine. After about a month, I started having this problem: Every time I turn it on, I get a box in the upper left-hand corner of the screen saying “autoplay,” with the searchlight icon moving back and forth. I assume it’s looking for a disc. I keep clicking on “cancel,” but the box keeps popping back up. It comes up for several minutes.Why is this happening, and what can I do about it?

– Pat Kelley, via e-mail

To fix things, go to the My Computer icon on the desktop and open it. This shows all the drives on your computer. Pick the icon for your disc drive and give it a right-click. In the tabbed menu that pops up, select the option called – a drum roll, please – Autoplay. This menu lets users customize all sorts of things about what the computer does when a peripheral is plugged in, including my favorite: Do Nothing.

If you want, you can use the AutoPlay tab to stop future scans or specify what program the computer runs when it finds file types such as Music, Video, Pictures, DVD Movies and blank CDs. These settings can be fixed so that the program in question runs automatically when its associated file is spotted, or it can prompt the user each time.

Got a question? Send a note to Jim Coates at [email protected]