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Application iexplore.exe has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware - error message

Last Modified: 2015-12-18
Greetings wise wizards of EE:

I'm helping a friend with an HP Windows 8 laptop with an Intel Core i7 processor & 8 GB of RAM, who is experiencing very poor Internet Explorer performance, freezing and "long running script" error messages on the Comcast website.

As I worked on troubleshooting the issue, the following error message appeared just above the system tray: "Application iexplore.exe has been blocked from accessing Graphics Hardware". There is surprisingly little information on this error message, and though I am not certain it is the only culprit to the issue, I strongly believe it is the prime suspect. Here are the processes the I tried, that had no effect:

1. Deleted all cookies & temporary Internet files, ran Disk Cleanup reset Internet Explorer 11
2. Checked her Internet connection speed at www.speedtest.net, which is a respectable 19 Mb/s
3. Updated Windows 8 to today's currency
4. Ran full scans of Malwarebytes Antimalware & Windows Defender - no threats found
5. Ran the simple driver update utility in the Device Manager for her display adapter (Intel HD 4600) - according to this utility, the best & latest driver is already installed (dated July of 2014) - I did not have time to check the HP website to see if another driver is available, but I will do so when I work on her machine next
6. Disabled all non-essential auto-start applications
7. Downloaded and installed Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, but the issue persisted with these browsers as well (though the error message did not appear for them)

My friend is attached to Internet Explorer, as there is some industry-specific application that recommends that she use IE, and she simply wants the issue fixed, rather than simply switch to another browser (which really didn't help in my testing anyway).

Please sing out with any suggestions to this mysterious issue...

Many thanks in advance,

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