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Internet Explorer Non-ASCII Characters in Address Bar

Posted on 2008-01-26
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I have a user that is running Windows XP SP2 with Internet Explorer 7 and when he clicks on the drop down arrow in the address bar to view his list of recently visited websites Internet Explorer hesitates for a moment and then displays a set of non-ASCII characters in the address bar.  I've run virus and spyware checks that have turned up nothing.  I've verified that there are no unusual programs installed on the PC or add-ons installed in Internet Explorer and that there are no unusual language sets installed and I tried re-installing Internet Explorer on top of itself, but the problem still persists.  The attached screen shot shows what it looks like.  Does anyone know what's causing this and how to fix it?
Internet-Explorer-Non-ASCII-Char.jpg
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Question by:karinerivet
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LVL 97

Accepted Solution

by:
war1 earned 258 total points
ID: 20752186
Hello karinerivet,

You can delete the history and start anew.  View and Delete Address Bar History
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/iehv.html
OR
Edit this registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs]
http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/635/

Hope this helps!
war1
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:MotoCrazy
MotoCrazy earned 246 total points
ID: 20752235
Resetting IE to install-defaults will do what war1 posted and more. It will delete all history, temp files, cookies, and add-ons. May want to try that.

Right-click IE desktop icon --> Properties --> Advanced tab --> Reset button on bottom right
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Assisted Solution

by:and235100
and235100 earned 246 total points
ID: 20754945
This could be a malware problem (outside chance)
Run a full system scan with:
HouseCall: http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
SuperAntiSpyware: http://www.superantispyware.com/download.html
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Author Comment

by:karinerivet
ID: 20759814
Thanks.  These are all great suggestions and I'll try to give them a try soon.  I'll report back after I try them.
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Author Comment

by:karinerivet
ID: 20807389
The suggestions you made didn't work so I tried uninstalling/reinstalling Internet Explorer 7 and that didn't work either.  Ultimately I found that uninstalling Windows Live OneCare fixed the problem.  However, reinstalling Windows Live OneCare immediately brought the problem back.  I did further experiments and found that with Internet Explorer 6 and Windows Live OneCare the problem does not exist.  With Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Live OneCare the problem exists.  Also, after further research I learned that this problem started a few weeks ago after an automatic update of Windows Live OneCare occured; prior to that update Windows Live OneCare was fine.

So the problem seems to be some sort of incompatibility with Windows XP SP2, Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Live OneCare (I'm running Vista, IE 7 and Live OneCare on another PC without issue so it appears to be specific to XP).  Additionally not only do the non-ASCII characters appear in the address bar with this combination, but this combination also seems to create a memory leak type situation as the longer the PC is the lower the amount of available memory and the slower the PC becomes.  After a reboot the memory is at a normal level again and the speed of the PC is fine.

So, does anyone have any thoughts what this incompatibility might be between Windows XP SP2, Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Live OneCare and how we might fix it?
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 20807464
karinerivet,

Make sure you have the latest updates from Windows XP, IE7, and OneCare.

Some users have complained that IE7 is slow and OneCare is slow.  How much RAM do you have?  1 GB?
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Author Comment

by:karinerivet
ID: 20815766
The PC has absolutely all updates installed.  In fact, it was the latest OneCare update install that caused this problem.  The PC has 512MB which until the latest OneCare update was more than enough.  Also, I really do think the PC is experiencing a memory leak as a result of the OneCare update because you can see the available memory dramatically dropping and never being released.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 20816152
Can you reverse the OneCare update?  Or perform a system restore to a date before the OneCare update?
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Expert Comment

by:and235100
ID: 20816543
Alternatively - have you tried running sfc /scannow from a command prompt?
http://www.updatexp.com/scannow-sfc.html
Have you tried removing OneCare - does the issue go away?
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Author Comment

by:karinerivet
ID: 20817860
Unfortunately, OneCare is a fully automated client and automatically updates itself all of the time so a system restore is of no value because OneCare would automatically update itself back to the same level.

Yes, removing OneCare does remove the issue and as as soon as I reinstall OneCare the issue comes right back.

I wasn't familiar with the sfc utility, but I read the material in the link you provided and it looks interesting so I'll give it a try this week and report back.
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Author Comment

by:karinerivet
ID: 20859619
I ran the sfc utility and it found nothing.  Any other thoughts?
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Expert Comment

by:MotoCrazy
ID: 20860374
Well, I have been reading around, and apparently Microsoft has a whole slew of issues with OneCare. I have never used it, and now never plan on using it. Maybe something to consider.

Deleting files:
http://www.betanews.com/article/OneCare_Deletes_Users_Outlook_Files/1173474996

Screen problems and deleted history files:
http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/12418

"why is it that windows live care keeps on crashing my pc"
and
"Since you combined windows defender with windows onecare It has caused nothing but problems.  Windows OneCare will run for about 10 minutes and then it shuts itself down leaving me unportected.  I reboot my computer to get it started only to have it shut itself down.  So much for the windows onecare always on.  I started with windows onecare when it was the beta version and not long after I paid for a year, I am having nothing but trouble."
http://windowsonecare.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!C29701F38A601141!3812.entry

"As example, our test machine has had a problem installing an Office 2003 service pack. The problem preceded our installing Windows OneCare."
http://www.timeatlas.com/mos/The_News/Security/Windows_OneCare_and_PC_Maintenance/
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Author Comment

by:karinerivet
ID: 20867997
I've been running OneCare on two PC's, my personal PC and my Dad's PC, since it was in beta and until now have never had any trouble with it.  I'm still not having any trouble with it on my personal PC and the one my Dad's PC I just went ahead and removed and replaced with AVG's free products.  Thanks for everyone's input.
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