IE 6 and then 7attempts and fails to access the web

I just finished a Non-Destructive Recover with my hp pavilion a650y using Windows XP Home Edition.  I'm still re-installing application and updates.  Moreover, I've been accessing Microsoft and Windows update web-sites and downloading and installing either security software or application needed to run certain updates or application, e.g. Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0 Service Pack 1, which opens up to ..Net Framework WinForms, .Net Framework ASP.NET, .Dr. Watson, .Net Framework 1, .Net Framework CLR, .Net Framework PreXP, .Net Framework CRT, .Net Framework 2, and .Net Framework CA.  There's a few more.  One in particular is Microsoft Base Smart Card Cryptographic Service Provider Package.  I'm not sure what I downloaded that for, but one of Microsoft's or Window's online articles must have led me to it.   Anyway--

I'm not sure when it happened, but while I was playing around with Yahoo & Google Historical Quotes Downloader, I  realized IE 6 wouldn't open all the way.  What I mean by that, I'd click IE 6 icon, IE popped to desktop center and disappear.  The Time Glass shaped cursor morphed to a pointer again.  I eventually tried installing IE 7 hoping that would over come whatever was corrupted with IE 6, but it didn't help.  

To sum, I'm currently using IE 7 and every time I try access the web with IE 7, the cursor jumps and blinks.  No matter how many times I click IE's cursor, it jus jumps and blinks.  I know my Local Area Connection (Linksys router, WRT54G v. #5 and my Comcast cable mode) is connected and working.  I'm using Mozilla Firefox right now to send this request for help.  So, since Mozilla Firefox has no problems at all accessing the internet, that tells me my system is functioning ok but IE's ability to access the web is corrupted, that is something in IE's technological makeup isn't working with Win XP Home Ed. or one of the applications I've downloaded and referred to above is interfering with IE's ability to access the web.  

So, can any one help me figure out why IE will attempt to access the web but fails every time?

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MordidoAuthor Commented:
I'm not sure I'm doing this right but whatever amount of time is necessary before I close this issue, I'd appreciate someone leading me to info.  Bottomline is I solved the issue myself by installing IE 8 and that ended the problem with IE 7.  Thank you all for your suggestions, I did appreciate them but they didn't work.  Again, thank you.
You can try to restore the IE settings by doing this:

Start -> Run -> type "inetcpl.cpl" without quotation marks and hit enter.
Click on "Advanced" and then you will find "Restore to default"
in the bottom right corner.

Remember to close all open IE windows before doing this and once
done just press ok and startup explorer to see if it fixed your

MordidoAuthor Commented:
madzanta:  You solution didn't work.  What did work was I installed IE 8 and that did it.  So, as soon as I can find out how I cancel a question, this one will end.  Thanks for your suggestion madzanta, maybe next time.
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