Internet Explorer 8 or 9 links will not open a new tab or window

I have windows 7 64 bit and I have a problem with Internet Explorer 8.  I can’t open a link in a new tab or window by clicking on the link. The tab will try to open but will remain blank, if the link tries to open a new page it doesn’t do anything. The same applies if I use Web Outlook.
I have searched the internet for a solution and found various articles which suggest re-registering DLL files, resetting IE to its default condition and even upgrading to IE 9.
I’ve tried them all including the upgrade to IE 9 which is what I have installed now.  Nothing has worked so far and I’m still stuck with the problem.
I have notice that if I go to security in internet options, un-tick “Enable Protected Mode” for the internet zone and simply apply the setting IE works as normal.  However, if I restart IE even though the protect mode is disabled IE stops working again
Has anyone got any ideas please?
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Protected mode *should* not have anything to do with it, but it has. Clearly, there is something broken.
If it affects other users on the same machine as well, I would restore from backup to stop worrying.
StBenetAuthor Commented:
I had a feeling you were going to say that.  I haven't added or changed anything on my computer for months but i will give the restore a try tonight and let you know the outcome.

Many thanks
StBenetAuthor Commented:
I did a roll back of my OS and uninstalled IE9. No change to the problem. I disabled all the add-ons in IE and it started working again.  The stupid thing is i have enabled the add-ons again and IE still works. I think i've fixed it by good luck rather than good judgement.

Thank you for your help

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> I think i've fixed it by good luck rather than good judgement.
Well, that's not the worst thing that could happen :)
StBenetAuthor Commented:
The solution suggested didn't fix the problem. In the process of carrying out the task that was suggested i accidently stumbled on a solution that fixed the problem
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Windows 7

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