Iexplorer loads on startup

By kcking
Sep 20, 2009
  1. Ive seen several different instances of iexplore issues on the forums, but none seem to be experiencing exactly the same issues as I am. When windows loads the "restore last sesson" box pops up and i have 2 iexplore.exe processes running in task manager.
    After ending the processes everything seems fine until i attempt to open any program, then the iexplore processes return (sometimes more than 2)

    I have checked the msconfig, run ad-aware, spysubtract, and CA Internet Security numerous times in and out of safe mode.

    Here is my HijackThis Log. Im not sure what else you may need.
    Thanks for your help.
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    There's nothing wrong with your Windows system and there is no spyware. The reason you have 2 iexplore.exe processes is simply because you have 2 tabs open in your Internet Explorer. Each tab requires an iexplorer.exe process.

    -- Andy
  3. kcking

    kcking TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    I don't have Internet Explorer open when this occurs. I use Firefox. This happens every time windows loads, without any programs or browser windows running (except Anti-Virus)
  4. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    OK, now I understand your problem. I have not encountered this problem. Best guess is there is something in your user profile. Do you have another user account? If so, see if this problem exists in that one too.

    -- Andy
  5. kcking

    kcking TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    I had already removed all other user accounts.

    I started following the "8-step Viruses/Spyware/Malware Preliminary Removal Instructions" thread and ccleaner seems to have cleared up the issue.

    I believe it was due to Miro, which i had recently installed and then uninstalled do to performance issues.

    Sorry i didn't catch the thread before postings.

    Also, should i continue with the steps on the thread even though the issue seems to fixed?
  6. kcking

    kcking TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Spoke to soon.
    I tried to perform a windows update, which automatically opened Internet Explorer (even though Firefox is default) and four instances of iexplore.exe popped up in task manager.

    Also ctfmon loaded. I have it unchecked in msconfig so im not sure if IE needs it to run, but it didn't end after closing out of IE and ending all of the iexplore processes.

    I did update to IE 8 shortly before i encountered this issue, but it doesn't give me an option to uninstall in A/R Programs.

    Here's a new hijackthis log after uninstalling limewire and running ccleaner
  7. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Now we're back to my points!

    First, when you click on Windows Updates in Control Panel, it will always open IE instead of FF. It's because Windows Update only works work with IE and no other web browser.

    Next, I pointed out that for each tab in IE, there is a corresponding iexplorer.exe. Were there 3 or 4 tabs in your IE? If so, there is no problem.

    Next, cftmon get re-added to your startup list from many Windows and other MS apps that you can't avoid it. It's no big deal.

    Finally, if you upgraded to IE8, there must be an uninstall program in Add/Remove Programs. I checked mine and there is. Check again and look for Windows Internet Explorer 8

    -- Andy
  8. kcking

    kcking TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    IE only opens with 1 tab and the iexplore processes stay in task manager even after i have closed the browser window. Also, when i begin ending the processes they automatically begin to re-spawn (sometimes 2 or 3 in place of the 1 i ended) giving me up to 6 iexplore.exe processes in task manager w/ no browser windows open.
    After ending the processes several times they will eventually 'give up' and all seems to return to normal.

    Windows Internet Explorer 8 does appear in A/R Programs, but there's no "remove" option like with previous versions.
  9. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    I just checked my Add/Remove Programs list. If you highlight Windows Internet Explorer 8 then a "Remove" button appears.

    -- Andy
  10. kcking

    kcking TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    I really appreciate your help with this issue btw.

    Every other program has that option except for Internet Explorer 8. It shows the 'Size' 'Used' and 'Last Used On' like the others, but there is no 'Remove' box.

    So here's where Im at:
    I went through the 8 steps from top to bottom (Again, sorry i didn't catch the thread before posting)
    IE now only loads the 2 iexplore processes (as it should) and they both end when the browser window is closed, but now i just receive a blank screen. It shows 'Connecting' and then '' as if it has finished loading, but the screen remains blank.
    Refreshing and resetting to default settings make no difference. Should i try reinstalling IE 8 over itself or will that just make things worse.
    This wouldn't be a problem except for Windows Update.

    Here are my 3 logs if they might help (Also if you see anything else fishy)
  11. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Did you actually highlight Windows Internet Explorer 8 in Add/Remove Programs? When I do, a Remove button appears in the lower right corner.

    Out of curiosity, try another user account or create a new one and see if IE8 still has the same problem. This lets us narrow the problem to either IE8 or your user profile.

    -- Andy
  12. kcking

    kcking TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Yes when I highlight IE8 there is no option to remove. Never had this issue with other IE versions.

    Had same results on new user account. IE loads to blank screen and no option to remove in A/R Programs.
  13. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Sounds like IE8 did not properly install.

    If you installed it recently, you might be able to use System Restore to uninstall it (go to restore point prior to when it was installed.)

    Although I doubt it will work, try uninstalling it in Safe Mode.

    I chcked MS Support KB and found this: and it has an alternate method to remove IE8 in WinXP

    To uninstall Internet Explorer 8, follow these steps:

    1. Carefully select and then copy the following command:
    2. Click Start, and then click Run.
    3. In the Open box, type Cmd.exe, and then press ENTER.
    4. Right-click inside the Cmd.exe window, and then click Paste to paste the command that you copied in step 1.
    5. Press ENTER to uninstall Internet Explorer 8.
    6. When the uninstall program is finished, restart your computer.

    -- Andy
  14. kcking

    kcking TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    I tried System Restore to no avail before going thru the 8-Steps. If i where to try it now would it effect anything ive done so far? Things are much better than they where so I definitely don't want to end up back where i started with the iexplore processes on startup.

    I tried the alternative uninstall method and receive "The system cannot find the path specified" after entering the command.
  15. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    System Restore fails if you uninstall a program that is listed in the restore point you want to use. Since you just did a lot of spyware/virus removal, no it will not work.

    In the alternate method, did you insert "c:\windows" for %windir% ? The %windir% is parameter that you replace with the directory path to your windows directory. So you need to enter: c:\windows\ie8\spuninst\spuninst.exe If you didn't, try it again.

    -- Andy
  16. kcking

    kcking TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    I substituted c:\windows for %windir% and received the same message
  17. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    You need to run a Windows repair now. Repost if you need instructions on how to do this.

    -- Andy
  18. kcking

    kcking TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    By windows repair are you referring to System Recovery?
  19. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    No. There is a feature in the Windows installation program where you have it "repair" your current installation instead of re-installing it. You boot from the CD and it first offers you a choice to install Windows or "Repair using Recovery Console" which you do NOT want, so select to install Windows. Then after a few screens it asks you what kind of installation you want and one is a "repair" this is the one you want so select 'r' for repair. It then appears like an installation but it's checking over your installation for missing or corrupt files and replacing them.

    Try it and report back with results.

    -- Andy
  20. kcking

    kcking TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Ok everything seems to be working fine after the Windows Repair :D
    Also solved my issue posted in 'Software & Utilities in General'

    Thanks so much for all your help

    You can have a mod close both posts if you like (Im not sure how to go about doing that)
  21. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    FYI: the first 2 HJT programs you ran were an outdated version. IT wasn't until you used the thread here and then got the current version.

    As for multiple iexplore.exe tasks showing in the Task Manager, that is 'normal' with IE8.
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