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Internet Explorer 8 Favorites are Inaccessible

Posted on 2013-01-11
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Something is wrong with my IE8 favorites settings. Nothing happens when I click on any on the favorites bar nor in the folder.  I use the favorites bar all day every day and do not know how to get them to respond to the mouse. I run Win XP Sp3.  just did some rountine windows updates.  

QUESTION IS: Can anyone help me fix fix this issue?  There are at leats 10 I use each day.  I have been using the favs bar for years.  Dont even know the websites to most of them.  I literally have 700-800 favoites.  The same is not true with Fifox' bookmarks I can get on them but i need IE for certain projects. Thank you

donnie616
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Question by:Donnie616
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jcimarron earned 500 total points
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Donnie616--Does this help?
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/forum/ie8-windows_xp/internet-explorer-8-for-xp-favorites-bar-and/3cbb08f0-8631-40c8-af0e-1deee6dced00

If not and if this is something quite recent, run a System Restore.

I guess you know that the Favorites Bar is one of many folders in your Favorites folder.  It holds a small group of Favorites that MS puts in there by default.  And you can also reach it by clicking Favorites on the Toolbar (File, Edit, View, Favorites, etc near the top of your screen.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38768655
thanks but no favorites work.  even in fav folder. the icons are that icon that you get when you need a program to open it...the page(icon) with the upper right corner folded., with red and green numbers in it? Confused yet?  

Anyway the icons are all the same as described above and they just dont open.  I hope somebody knows what i am talking about.

2.  System restore is not an option right now cuz I just made 2 days worth of changes to this PC.  To go back wouuld bring it to a very bad state. I just cleaned it up and removed all junk and bugs.

3. will try the site you recommened.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38768790
The following is missing:    g:) Click on Restore Previous Versions.  That  option is not on the menu. Still need help please. Thanks
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by:jcimarron
ID: 38768799
Donnie616--"cuz I just made 2 days worth of changes to this PC"
That sounds like the problem.  One or more of the changes have caused the problem.

I understand you have scanned for virus and malware.  What programs did you use?

If no help, and the earlier mentioned site's fix does not help run a Repair Install.
http://www.dougknox.com/xp/tips/xp_repair_install.htm
This should not affect your personal data or installed programs, but it is always best to backup.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38769107
Thank you. I used vipre, Malwarebytes, Superantispyware, RKill and finally combofix. Plus ccleaner.  I am afraid of the Repair install cuz imessed up once before trtying that. lost everything.  i cant afford that on this pc.  Repair install may be my last resort.  Do i need the exact CD I used on this PC? or can I use another Winxp sp3 cd?  You have got me sweating now.  Maybe I can manually type in the websites. that works, but i tryed to save to favorites and a site got saved but it too is inoperable.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 38769218
Donnie616--
" Repair install may be my last resort.  Do i need the exact CD I used on this PC? "
You can probably use another CD as you suggest.  But you will use the Product Key from your original installation.  Just be sure it is XP SP3.  
Don't be too afraid.  Back up at least your personal data to an external drive before doing the Repair Install in case of problems.

Good luck!
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38769228
Thank you I need to sleep on this.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38772622
JCIMARRON thank you. I tried the Anti malwares you suggested and they seemed to help.  MS  application took 23 hours.

I would still like to try other options.  I have saved the favorites folder which contains 175 folders with hundreds of sub folders inside.  Also there are 350 single links.But it does no good if none of them will open.  And now the favorites bar has disappeared completely from IE. Also disappeared from the favorites listing as an option.

These are the result of 10 years of saved sites and represent my entire life.  I have memory issues(serious ones) and those favorites are my connection to my entire life.  This is really bad.  Something I did disabled the ability to connect to the icons.  I should be able to do that from theat saved folder but I get nothing! when I click them or right click , then hit "open".  

I cannot remember names of programs or sites, including the name of the program I used to sync bookmarks and favorites when closing browsers.  I need those links or I have to start over again to 2001.  Anoher issue is that I nicknamed most of my favorites, so i dont know the proper nomenclature, for example, Wachovia was "WACO"--thats an easy one.  Does anyone understand me? and can anyone help me get those favorites back in working order.

Main issue there is that if i do a restore or use ERDNT, I go bacvk in time to a very bad infection, I think.

BIG QUESTION:  Would re installing IE 8 help?  I have already downloaded it from MS website.  Im afraid that might do more damage.  I really need some help please.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 38772658
Donnie616---Do you have the same "Favorites" as "Bookmarks" in Firefox?
If so,
http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/export-bookmarks-internet-explorer

At this point, I have given you my best suggestions.  I do not know what will happen if you reinstall IE8.  I am almost sure you will be asked to uninstall your present installation of IE8 first.  I would do that only if you do a system backup so you can restore at least what you have if things go wrong.  You should keep your existing Favorites Folder, for what good it will do.
Note that a Repair Install will reinstall and fix problems in IE8 as well as fix problems with Windows.  It seems you have severely corrupted your system and this is the best way to get it back right.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38772760
Again I thank you. yes I do have same bookmarks.  But there appears no sense to importing them cuz they do not work anyway.  I have just put sites into IE favs and they go into Favs but they do not open anyway. I cant access them.

By the way, that is how those favs got onto IE in 1st place.  they originated in Firefox.  There are just too many things that I use IE for. which is preferable to FFox.
Thanks for being honest about what will happen if I uninstall/reinstall IE 8.  I am putting imoportant files onto a external drive to get ready for the repair install.  Nothing against you sir, but I just cannot believe that that is the only way.  It is only favorites.  What the ______?

I am in the middle of a huge legal project or I would do the repair install instantly.  Cant take a chance now.  I have to pay all my bills by phone tomorrow because I am afraid i am still compromised. Thanks again.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 38772858
Donnie616--Take your time and do it right.  Good luck.
Can you tell what the URL's of the Favorites are by right clicking and then Properties?  If you then click Control+C for each Favorite, you should be able to copy those URL's into Notepad or better Wordpad, so you will know what to copy, if necessary, into Favorites after a Repair Install.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38776658
Can you tell what the URL's of the Favorites are by right clicking and then Properties?  >>
Answer is no.  I nicknamed most of them.  I really need tio get to several of those legal sites to finish my work.  If I do repair install I will let you know what happens.  it cannot be for at lease 3 days yet . I have work to do.  thanks for sticking with me. I do appreciate that. I do not understand ansd i am surpriised nobody but you has replied to this question.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 38776690
Donnie616--The URL is not the name of the Favorite.  It is the website address.
You get to see that by right clicking on each Favorite's icon, then Properties and then the Web Document tab.  Look what is in the URL line.  If you can see that, you can copy it (it should already be highlighted) by clicking Control+C.  When you open Word Pad you can then click Control+V and it will be pasted into Word Pad.  If you keep doing that for each Favorite (yes, I know a lot of work), you will have a list of web addresses for your non-functioning Favorites.  So a lot of work, but at least you will be able to restore your Favorites.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38812118
jcimarron> I have a pretty persistent bug I think. All kinds of fake stuff popping up. Question is will a repair install help that? I am ready  to close this to you but I know that in reality once youve been hit with one it really never goes away.  this thing is doing all kinds of bad stuff.  Something new and different each 10 minutes or so. Folders, files, start menu just keep popping up as i type this.  Cant even do anyt work.  I am going to have to reinstall after i put Gigabytes of stuff on an external drive.  But please one more time will a repair install even help me?  I am afraid that i may drag a bug onto my external HD3.  Too much important stuff on this PC that I need. Critical lifetime stuff..  I wonder why nobody else but you replied.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38812307
"then Properties and then the Web Document tab.  Look what is in the URL line">> There is no Web Document tab.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 38812426
Donnie616--Regrets I have not been of more help.
This started off by the Favorites having gone missing or becoming inactive.  I understand you find no Web Properties tab.  Maybe that is an IE9 thing.  However right clicking a Favorite and then Properties should bring up a window with a row of tabs.  One of them should have a URL line.  Can you copy/paste the URL's into Wordpad?  At least you would have a list of the URL's to be able to recreate your Favorites.  
What happens if you create a new Favorite?  Is IE working on tasks other than opening Favorites?
What about uninstalling IE8 and then reinstalling it?

What was the reason you originally made those "two days of changes"?  If the Favorites are more important than saving those changes, maybe you should try System Restore.

Now you say all kinds of fake stuff are popping up.  What do some of the popups say or better yet look like?

I am not that optimistic about a Repair Install if you still have malware.  But until you mentioned popups, I was not so concerned that you have malware.  What a Repair Install does is reinstall your operating system,  but does not affect your personal data or installed programs.  If the personal data/installed programs are infected, then you are back to square one.  
But you really have nothing to lose by doing a Repair Install.

If that does not work, the next step would be to do a Clean Install.  That wipes everything off your harddrive.  If you made a backup of personal data you can easily restore them.  But if that is where the malware is, again you would only reinfect the PC.  (You would also have to reinstall your software, but if you have the installation files/disks, that should not reinfect.  It is just time consuming.)

Sorry for the rambling.  Just one last thing.  Did you make a backup of your PC before the  "two days of changes"?
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38815145
I am so sorry this is so long. The  issue is really complicated and important.  I need my internet banking capabilities.  My main bank and my Pension company are out of state. And I am afraid to put a password in this PC.  Thanks for the concern and patience.  ghios has to draw to a close soon Sir.

I just wrote you a long reply that deleted by itself..  I originally cleaned up PC  because It was acting strange.  I used "Advanced System Care" by IOBIT, backed it up prior and used the backup when the favorites were broken after the clean up.  

When I add a new favorite in IE8 it does not function as the older ones.

BIG QUESTION:
Is there a way I can retain my bookmarks if I clean install and reinstall Firefox.  I need to back up about 50 GBs from this pc and if I can get those book marks back somehow after a reinstallation,  I will be happy
.
 I believe IOBIT may be the culprit, or a roque iobit possibly.  No roguqe pop ups so far  IOBITs defragger just began a "smart Defrag"  BY ITSELF, which is not supposed to happen unless the computer is idle for 5 minutes.  I am typing so I paused the app.  Never had this problem in 4-5 years of using this auto defragger, which sits in the taskbar.

 "However right clicking a Favorite and then Properties should bring up a window with a row of tabs.  One of them should have a URL line.">>

This is all I get when i click properties, with only a single "general"  tab.  C:\Documents and Settings\suz\Favorites\Links    412 files plus some folders in favorites folder--17 MB look  all the same. as that.  They are dead and will not open and there is NO DAMN URL in the resulting right click pop up.   Its just not there.  I dont know how to explain it better.

Yesterday as I was typing to you suddenly "my computer" program appeared OPEN, the "start menu popped up, then the "all Programs folder was on the desktop.  It kept happening by itself until I finished.  Also my gmail bookmarks toolbar tab for gmail was inactive yesterday.

If I can back up 50 GB to a new external and keep my bookmarks in firefox after clean install that may be my only hope.  I need these for example>FORECLOSURE HELP FAVOITE (a folder) with about 20 favorites in a folder favorite of that name. social security, banking sites, pension plan, Insurance companies, Bleeping computer, >>412 favorites They go back to my very first days of computing.  My entire life is in those favorites.  Legal sites that I have been to only once, but need to refer back to it are not attainable.  That is really bad.  Do you understand why they are so important to me now?  Without those msites to return to, to work from, I amlost.

I am embarrassed to say that I had a small PC repair business until my wife left and messed up my mind 2 yrs ago, but I have never had to reinstall an operating system on my own important computer. Embarassing but my specialty was virus removal...but all that is past as I am 2 years behind in technological knowledge.  Please look at all the questions I have asked on this site in the past. that is how i learned: from you experts.

I have been lax in updating drivers and applications and doing routine maintenacne. And that is the problem.  Did you ever try to open an incompatible file (like .abw, .pdf, etc in MS word for example?  The pop up dialogue box asks you if you want to go online to open it or ot gives a list of alternate office programs to open the doc with.  Well that is the exact thing that is happening when I click on a favorite.  except that there are no options to open the file.  The icon that would be the above .abw or.pdf or.rtf file is what these fav icons look like.  i forgot how to send a picture of that page to you.

What was the reason you originally made those "two days of changes"?  If the Favorites are more important than saving those changes, maybe you should try System Restore.>>I am going to do a system restore now, however I already did that last week.  

I know the signs of infection and I am pretty sure I am infected with something.  There are a dozen little things going on and some big ones too.  My mouse will sometimes freeze when I click on an deep virus removal tool.  (for tech people only)  This bug protects itself and evolves when I go after it by disarming my mouse.  mYou think Im crazy dont you?  that is the truth.  It is like a keylogger is watching me and i is asleep now.  he will be back this afternoon.

I am working on a total 75 page legal doc, in many parts that I am afraid might carry a bug
if I back it to my external.  I need to be able to get to several bookmarked sites that I must sign into but I am afraid I may be being watched.  

MY VIRUS REMOVAL TASKS OF LAST WEEK FOUND SEVERAL CRITICAL "KEYLOGGERS" AND REMOVED THEM last week.  Except I do not believe they are completely gone.  They are asleep at this moment because I have niot been able to fuctuion this freely in a week.  If I triec d to download fir instance ESETs or Kasperskys online scanners, Mouse fuction was lost, as if I was being watched .  IIt would not let me DL and install online scanners yesterday.  Today, 2 of them found nothing and I think that is bull.

Get me my favorites functioning again and I will get the bug eventually.  

Thank you again for your patience JC. Really.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 38815301
Donnie616--The best advice I can give you at this point is
1)  Backup your Firefox Bookmarks to an external drive (USB stick, USB external drive, a cloud site, etc.)
See top half of this article.
http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/export-bookmarks-internet-explorer

2)  Run the Repair Install.

When done, see if that has fixed the Favorites problem.  If not, post back and we will go from there.  However, if necessary, you should be able to import your FF Bookmarks to your new IE Favorites folder from the saved Bookmarks.html file using the instructions from the bottom part of the above link.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38815399
Thanks.  I will dio this.  In about 2 days, so please bear with me.  I just remembered I installed a new Java on IE last week.  that could be the issue also.  i have disabled all java in the past few minutes.  thanks again.  Just have to get my nerve up to do repair install. Got to to be in right mind-frame to do that.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 38815477
Donnie616--Good luck.  Repair Install is really quite easy if you slow down and follow directions.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38832367
OK Sir:

I was able to use a very old  backup and restore tool i have on my PC to retsore the PC to January 4, 2013--the day I got the invader.  After doing it It, I used my favorites bar to get to EE just now. The restoration fixed the issue with favorites, like you said it might. The tool is something I forgot is installed on my PC., with  The program is ERUNT or ERDNT wich backs up and restores the Registry to a certain date.  Im sure you know of it. It is ancient.  I needed it because my system restore was compromised and I coukld not restore more than one day back.  

Going to test Repair Installation on another PC later.  So far I think I am good.  Computer runs great for the first time in 3 weeks.  I believe one culprit was a company I have trusted for quite a while.  IOBIT  I have remove all tiny traces of the 4 or 5 apps from IOBIT on my PC.  It gave itself away by acting just as a virus would do.  It froze the mouse when I would attempt Sys Restore or tro get to a rescue site like Bleeping computer---ANYTHING related to repairing the PC was blocked by that company's apps.  Too bad.  I like their tools.

Anyway you get the points because you stuck with me but actually you told me to restore the system a lonmg time ago, wghich i did today..  Sys restore still only now goes back to Jan 26.  That has nebver happened before.

So thank you for you help.  I hope all traces of the bug are gone.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38832374
Thanks for zall help
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by:jcimarron
ID: 38832480
Donnie616--Glad to hear the good news.
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