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Upgrade to IE8 results in slow IE8 Browser Startup & Page Loads and Slow MS Office 2007 Document Access

Posted on 2009-04-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-08
I have two computers in my office.  One is a Dell Latitude D620 with a 32-bit Windows Vista Ultimate OS with SP1 (I know, I know...), a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB RAM, and a 200 GB 7200 RPM SATA hard drive.  The other is a white box with a 32-bit Windows XP OS with SP3, a 2.6 GHz AMD Phenom Quad-Core processor, 3 GB RAM, and 2 - 500 GB 7200 RPM SATA hard drives.  Both are well maintained and fairly powerful machines.  As stated above, they both have different OS's.  Both, though, have MS Office 2007 Professional with SP1 installed.  I'm a Domain Admin on our network and have full admin rights to both machines.  Today, I upgraded from Internet Explorer 7 to Internet Explorer 8 Full Release on both machines.  Prior to the upgrade, I had no problems with the speed of IE7 (although I tend to prefer Firefox 3) or with Office 2007.  After the upgrade, though, BOTH machines had the same issues:  

(1) IE8 takes about 10 seconds to load every time a new instance is loaded, and browsing is slower than with IE7.

(2) Any time I open a new instance of any Office document (Word, Excel, etc. doesn't matter), there is at least a 5-6 second hang before I'm able to scroll or click on any portion of the document.  

This might not seem like much... but when you're used to both of these functions happening almost instantly and when the problems are multiplied of the course of perhaps a hundred times a day, it gets old REALLY fast...

Running IE in "No Add-On" mode produces the same results.  I've tried some snake oil suggestion to re-register an Active-X DLL (regsvr32 actxprxy.dll) with no impact.  I've also tried reinstalling Office without SP1, reinstalling IE8, and uninstalling and reinstalling Symantec Endpoint Protection, but nothing works.  Oddly enough, my assistant has a Vista Ultimate laptop with the same specs as mine, and he hasn't had any such issues.  We've tried comparing the two setups and can't find any differences that might explain why I'm having the trouble and he's not.  Nor can I find anything that explains why I'm experiencing the problem in both Windows XP and Windows Vista.  Any suggestions?

Question by:btrivett
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Expert Comment

ID: 24203060
IE8 is slower than IE7. I don't think it is due to your setup because mine is slower, too.

Anymore, I only use IE to test compatiblity; Firefox is my browser of choice.

Author Comment

ID: 24207464
I prefer Firefox, as well.  Unfortunately there are a number of sites that our company uses (like insurance and bank sites that haven't been updated since the 90's) that can only be accessed using IE.  As I mentioned in my initial post, my assistant installed IE8 on a laptop that has essentially the same specs as mine, and his runs way faster than mine.  What I don't understand is why his IE runs faster and mine runs slower on two computers with dissimilar configurations.

Accepted Solution

btrivett earned 0 total points
ID: 24260879
Ok.  It looks like we've discovered a "solution", albeit one that I'm not particularly thrilled about.  It seems as though IE8 doesn't work too well with Restricted Sites (under the Internet Options > Security tab).  We use a wonderful little tool called SpywareBlaster, made by Javacool Software, which many of you may use as well.  SpywareBlaster is a great tool for helping prevent spyware, adware, and certain malware infections.  It does this by creating block lists of known ActiveX-based spyware, tracking cookies, and sites that are known to contain or generate spyware and malware. The program's Restricted Sites section contains a block list with hundreds of addresses which can be imported into Internet Explorer's Restricted Sites list.  Obviously, the purpose of this is to help further secure the browser in order to protect the user.  Of course, our dear friends at Mircro$oft have always had a bit of an ego problem and seem to think that all of their products are secure enough out of the box and that they don't need our help.  IE8 is no exception.  As it turns out, IE8 doesn't want to be made any more secure... and if you try to make it so, not only does it cease to function as it "should" but it apparently tries to take MS Office and a handful of other apps down with it as well.  So the only way you can get IE8 and Office to work the way they should is by getting rid of your restricted sites list.  To do this, you'll need to do the following:

1. If you use the most current version of SpywareBlaster, open it up and click the "Restricted Sites" link at the top of the shortcut bar on the left of the screen.  If you don't use SpywareBlaster but still have an extensive list of restricted sites, proceed to Step 3.
2. Uncheck the "Restricted Sites Protection" box and close SpywareBlaster.
3. Open your system's registry editor and expand "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap".
4. Delete the "Domains" Key (This key will contain many subkeys that represent the items in your "Restricted Sites" list.  IE will recreate this key if you ever add entries back to that list, so don't worry.)

After following the steps above, I am now able to open and use IE8 and MS Office with the speed that I would expect.  Of course, my Internet Explorer is now a bit less secure than it was before the upgrade... but hey, you can't win 'em all, right?  Maybe M$ will fix this in a future patch/update.  Oh wait, their software is already good enough... why would they ever need to issue a patch? :-)  Oh well... just one more reason to stick with Firefox...

Hope this helps somebody out there...

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