Internet Explorer 8 displays images as a white box with a red X

Posted on 2012-09-19
Last Modified: 2012-09-24
Greetings wise wizards of EE:

I'm helping a friend with a Dell Optiplex desktop with an Intel dual-core processor and 4 GB of RAM, running Windows XP. He is an... (shudder)... AOL subscriber, and uses the AOL 9.7 software as his browser.

About six months ago, SOME images displayed on his AOL browser would appear only as a small white box with a red X. Not all, just some. He has lived with this highly annoying issue for six whole months, until he asked me to take a look. I then examined Internet Explorer 8, and discovered that the same issue exists. Here's what I tried thus far (the issue persists):

1. Reset Internet Explorer 8 & restored advanced settings
2. Cleared cookies & temporary Internet files
3. Disabled all plug-ins and toolbars
4. Ran a full AVG Antivirus scan, no threats detected
5. Updated the latest version of Flash & Java
6. Took a look at the video graphic settings, nothing unusual
7. Made sure that "Show Pictures" was checked in the Multimedia section of Internet Explorer options
8. Tried multiple Google searches to no avail, including an Experts-Exchange database search
9. Downloaded and installed Mozilla Firefox, which DOES work without issue (no white boxes), but that does not solve the AOL browser issue, which my elderly friend prefers

The issue appeared too long ago to try a System Restore, or to uninstall Internet Explorer 8 (it will affect a great many applications if I attempt to do so).

I realize that AOL & Internet Explorer share a close relationship, though I'm not sure of the behind the scenes details... I am frankly out of ideas short of a reformat, and thus, I'm hoping that one of you wise wizards will come soaring out of the clouds with the solutions to this pesky issue!

Many thanks in advance,

Question by:zovoth
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Right click on the which box, u will see the option "show picture". click on the same. If the problem priciest then, download the following:
    1. adove flash player 11 activex
    2. adobe shockwave player

    Author Comment

    Greetings aadi369:

    Thanks for your quick reply, but I've already tried those suggestions, and perhaps I should have been more descriptive... the images not displaying are JPEGs, not Flash files. I'm afraid that the issue "priciests" (persists).

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Clear your temporary Internet files to free up space

    1.Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Collapse this imageExpand this image. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.
    2.Click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options.
    3.On the General tab, click Delete.
    4.In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, select the check box next to each category of information you want to delete.
    5.Click Delete.
    6.Click OK.
    Reset Internet Explorer to its default security settings

    Try below link:
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    IE8 will not support CMYK JPEG and gives a red X.
    As you have already cross checked with other (Mozilla) browser, we can say this is clearly a browser specific issue.

    Have you checked this..?
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    by:Don Thomson
    Are the URLs that he is having problems with random - or specific to one website (Like AOL itself) If so check the HOSTS file and see if there are any entries in there that might be blocking it.

    If you could give use a link to a typical website where this is happening - we may be able to give you more assistance

    Author Comment

    Greetings DTHConsulting:

    Many thanks for your reply.... though I have a question... what exactly is a HOSTS file?

    Here is the answer to your question... the "white box, red x" issue has appeared on virtually all websites that contain multiple images, such as, the AVG Antivirus free website, even the GOOGLE logo was affected at The strange thing is that not all JPEG images were affected, just some. Not all images were links to other pages either.

    I sure hope that helps; please sing out if I can answer any questions.

    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    by:Don Thomson
    The HOSTS file is located in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc  folder
    It allows you to specify a specific IP address to a URL. for example - if an employer did not want a specific user going to  they could put an entry in the host file that redirects that URL to somewhere else or simple to block it, To do that they would put an entry in the HOSTS file like  <tab>  <tab.

    That would redirect that person to the local pc  (which would result in a Page not found)

    It can also be used by malware to redirect users to another web site

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