I am working on a multi-user, servlet-based intranet application that uses IE for its user interface. A very bizarre problem is occurring whereby under heavy usage, Internet Explorer begins to slow down dramatically and then paints much of the screen in black and hangs. At that point it is necessary to kill IE from the Task Manager. Screen shot attached.
Interestingly, the blackness only applies to the screen background and graphics. Text displays properly in its proper color. However, since most text is displayed in black, most of it disappears against the black blackground, but all non-black text shows up in the proper color. Also control borders seem to be painted normally.
The user interface is such that each user function brings up a separate IE window in which the function is performed, and when done the user closes the window. As a result, when a busy power user uses the system, many many windows are being opened and closed almost as fast as the user can click on them. It seems like after some period of time, IE just can't take it any more and throws in the towel.
Although memory does seem to decrease while the system is being used, running out of memory is not the problem. There is always plenty of free memory available when the screen goes black. Also the CPU usage at the time is mostly idle.
We use Tomcat as our servlet engine, but it's not a serverside problem either. The problem can affect one individual user while all the others are working fine. The server never crashes or misbehaves when this happens and log messages show normal operation.
Has anyone out there ever seen anything like this? Any thoughts would be hugely appreciated.