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Issue #361: June 22, 2014

Q: Switched from EP to WIN7 and IE 11. Can go to web sites however if I try to enter a password IE states IE is no Longer connected. Happens with all sites requiring a log in. Switched to AOL and their browser is ok. A lot of complaints about this on the “chit chat” sites however, no solutions. Have all the WIN 7 and IE updates installed and have tried Compatible settings. MS seems mute on this.

– Andy L.
Niceville, Florida

A: I hope you mean you switched from WinXP to Win7, Andy, because I’m not familiar with anything called “EP”. Wait, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure EP was a setting on my first VCR. That was a long time ago. But I digress.

I think the reason you’re not reading much about your issue from Microsoft is that it’s a pretty non-specific problem. I mean, failure to connect can be caused by a variety of things, and I think you’ll there are not very many vendors willing to jump up and shout “Me! It was me! It’s my stuff that’s causing the problem, and here’s how you fix it.” What a great world that would be though. Anyway, I’m also wondering about the wording IE is throwing when this occurs. I would bet that it’s not actually saying “IE is no longer connected”, and by the way, if you’re using that phrase when searching for answers online, that may be another reason that Microsoft seems mute on your issue. I’d be quicker to believe that it’s saying something like “Internet Explorer has stopped working.”

Regardless of all the above, it is my considered opinion that you have a malware infestation. Of course, there’s no way with the limited amount of information we’ve exchanged to tell you exactly what malware, much less how to remove it. So the best advice I can offer is to boot in Safe Mode and see if the problem goes away. If it does, then the problem probably lies within something IE is loading, and you can turn to IE’s browser helper objects and other add-ons for an answer. Of course, this all assumes you’ve already put your system through a deep, thorough malware scanning process, probably using multiple tools to ensure you’ve done the best job you can do of eliminating at least the easy malware. Do that first if you haven’t already.

Q: I will be viewing an email or web page when my computer starts to minimizes the window automatically. Can you help with this problem?

– Adrian W.
Crestview, Florida

A: I guess we’ll find out, Adrian. First let me say this almost sounds as if someone is playing a joke on you. That would be a pretty good one – windows just randomly minimizing themselves. I had never heard of this happening before reading your e-mail, so I did a little research. If it makes you feel any better, you’re apparently not the only person having this problem with Windows 7. It seems to occur more often when someone is running a window full-screen, but not always. I found one solution that sounded plausible to me, and worked for someone who had a problem similar to yours. Go to Control Panel and click on “Ease of Access Center”. Find and open “Make the mouse easier to use”. On this page there is a section called “Make it easier to manage windows”. Make sure the box that says “Activate the window by hovering over it with the mouse” is unchecked. Your problem should go away.


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