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OE Tool Bar Changes Spontaneously

Posted on 2003-03-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-07
I am running OE v6 under XP HE. For no apparent reason the tool bar decides to extend to the right lopping off several icons. I can restore it to its original state by closing OE and reopening it. I run with OE open most of the time and this strange behavior happens while it it open, although I have not caught it doing the bizzare while I am looking at it. I have customized the tool bar, adding several icons not found in the default. I am also using the small icon setting and showing text labels. Can anyone give me a clue as to why this happens and, hopefully, how to stop it.
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Question by:hokehoke
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18 Comments
 
LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 8198174
Greetings, hokehoke!
Perform a repair of Internet Explorer.  From Control Panel select Add/Remove Programs. Scroll down to Microsoft Internet Explorer and highlight it. Click on the Add/Remove button. When the IE Tools menu comes up, select Repair. Click OK.

If repairing does not work, uninstall and reinstall Outlook Express.


Best wishes, war1
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Author Comment

by:hokehoke
ID: 8198763
war1, thanks for responding so quickly. MS IE does not appear in the Add/Remove list in XP HE, but I have another way to get at Repair and will try it. Also, you cannot remove OE or IE via Add/Remove Windows Components. You can only remove access to them from the Start Menu and Desktop.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:JAmenta
ID: 8228066
Repairing IE/OE can be done by running the  installation exe again.  You will be presented with the repair option their.
0
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Author Comment

by:hokehoke
ID: 8235114
war1, unfortunately repair did not solve the problem. Can't figure out how to cleanly remove OE from XP and reinstall it. Don't want to screw up anything. Any ideas?

JAmenta, thanks for the comment. I have no problem executing the repair option as I mentioned in my prior comments. Any additional ideas are welcomed.
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 8235217
hokehoke,
   Here is a Microsoft article for repairing and reinstalling Internet Explorer.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=318378
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Author Comment

by:hokehoke
ID: 8275361
Unfortunately, no further comments/answers have been forthcoming. Problem persists. Increasing points to 400.
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 8276161
hokehoke,
   Did you read the article that I supplied for repairing IE?

To repair or reinstall Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP, complete the following procedure while you are logged on as an administrator:
Use the System File Checker tool to scan all of the protected files on your computer:
Click Start, and then click Run.
In the Open box, type sfc /scannow, and then click OK.

Note that you may be prompted for the Windows XP or Windows XP Service Pack 1 installation media.
0
 

Author Comment

by:hokehoke
ID: 8600134
To all, I have not forgotten about this problem. I have been up to my neck in alligators lately. Consequently, I have not addressed the issue I raised, which is still bugging me. Hopefully, I will be able to get to it soon. Thanks for your forbearance.
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Author Comment

by:hokehoke
ID: 8799443
To war1, I ran sfc and it made no difference. I guess I have to bite down on the bullet and do a reinstall of OE. Was hoping to avoid doing so, which is part of my procrastination. Have some questions before a go there. Knowledge Base article 318378 Method 2 seems to indicate that one can reinstall only OE after making the registry change, although it is not completely clear that one can do this without reinstalling IE also. Can OE be installed alone? If I do a reinstall of OE (and maybe IE, too), will I lose my custom settings, filters, and mailboxes. I have a lot of them. I assume I would have to download and install all the security patches and other updates to OE/IE.
0
 
LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 8799548
hokehoke,
   If you are going to reinstall Outlook Express, you will have to do the registry edit and reinstall Internet Explorer.  The two programs share many files. I don't know of any other way to do it. You should not lose your settings. But just in case, you should back up your ,dbx (email) and .wab (address book) files.
0
 

Author Comment

by:hokehoke
ID: 8799912
war1, thanks for the fast response. I kind of expected a 'should not' on keeping settings and recommendation to back up. When I get some time and anticipating some downtime maybe, I'll give it a shot.
0
 

Author Comment

by:hokehoke
ID: 8819269
war1, thanks for staying with me on this. I finally bit the proverbial bullet and used Method two as described in KB 318378 resetting the registry and reinstalling IE. The download/install window appeared to indicated that only OE was actually reinstalled. I did backup before reinstalling, but none of my settings or folders where undone. That's the good news. The bad news is that it did not solve the problem. I did a little experimenting, though. As I mentioned before, when the toolbar gets altered, I can reset it by closing and reopening OE. I fiddled with changing the toolbar icons from large to small and back again. Each time I did that, the toolbar expanded to the right. The icons changed size, but the space between them kept getting bigger and bigger until the icon on the right got pushed off the page. However, if I closed and reopened OE, the excess space gets reclaimed. As I also mentioned in my problem statement, this expansion appears to happen by itself, that is, if I set the toolbar the way I want it, and then go about my business surfing, doing WP or what have you and then go back to OE (without closing and reopening it in the meantime), the expansion happens. Something is evidently changing the horizontal space setting automatically and whenever I change the icon sizes. Do you have any ideas as to what controls this and where to look? Note that I have increased the points to 500.
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 8819359
hokehoke,
   I was looking for the lock option on OE. IE has it on its toolbar.  Go to Customize, and select various text size, and change it back. See if resetting this would lock everything in place.
0
 

Author Comment

by:hokehoke
ID: 8819487
war1, nice try, but unfortunately no cigar. I unfroze the tb in IE, reset the tb in OE, and refroze in IE. Still get the shift. I wouldn't blame you for throwing up your hands on this one. There must be an answer, but it might just take too much sweat to find it.
0
 

Author Comment

by:hokehoke
ID: 8819599
FWIW, the problem does not appear in IE. Also interesting that the icon size can be changed whether the toolbar is locked or not.
0
 
LVL 97

Accepted Solution

by:
war1 earned 2000 total points
ID: 8819856
hokehoke,
   Perform a System Restore to a date before the problem first occurred.

How to Restore Windows XP to a Previous State (System Restore)
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/using/itpro/managing/restore.asp
0
 

Author Comment

by:hokehoke
ID: 8820988
war1, good thought, but unfortunately can't for two reasons: don't know exactly when problem first happened and even if I did, it was so long ago that I doubt that I would have a restore point to go to.
0
 

Author Comment

by:hokehoke
ID: 8861749
I did some newsgroup trolling via Google and confirmed that this is a known bug going
back to 1997. Apparently MS knows about it, but for some reason cannot
reproduce it and therefore has done nothing about it. I found no real
solution to the problem. Just palliative approaches: close and reopen OE (I
had found this one on my own), go to newsgroups and then return to mail, put
the cursor on the divider between the toolbar and the main window and move
it up and down as if to relocate the toolbar, drag an icon while holding the
shift key and return drag. I guess I'm stuck with the situation.

In any case, I think it is time to give up and close this item.

I am awarding the points to war1 for hanging with me and offerring a number of things to try.

Thanks to everyone who tried to find a solution.
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