Microsoft's Patch Tuesday fiesta last week apparently doesn't get along all that well with IE 6 and IE 7 on XP or Vista.
Microsoft gave IE a security makeover last week, but there were complications. According to Computerworld, Microsoft is investigating the issue, which surfaced on message board and help sites almost immediately, and may update its Knowledge Base article on the topic.
Bill Drake on the Vista Community board outlines the fun:
When I installed the Patch Tuesday updates on my WXP Box with MSIE6 installed. I had the same problems with IE6 startup as others are mentioning in these newsgroups.
Specifically, about 60% of the time, I would get an "Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and must close" dialog. I dutifully reported the failure to Microsoft and then repeatedly tried reopening IE6 until it would successfully open.
The above occurred when opening my default homepage, which is "My MSN" - and is heavily customized.
Cleaning my Internet Explorer Tempfolder and moving to a blank opening page solved the problem. However, this was not an acceptable solution.
I then rebooted the machine, restored my default homepage and tried opening IE6 again. Now, the machine is working correctly, even after multiple open/close cycles.
I suspect the KB942615 update should be coded to force a reboot and does not. Consequently, some part of the update that requires a reboot before the update is fully applied does not get done.
As a result, installing this update without the reboot causes IE6 to run in a "half-updated/half-not-updated" mode - which causes the problem described above to occur.
For those experiencing this problem, please try moving to a blank opening page - and then reboot your machine again after the KB942615 update is installed. Once this is done, restore your default homepage. See if this procedure resolves your problem.
Anyone else have this experience? Sounds painful.