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Journal yagu's Journal: IE7, a virus? 15

Recently I sent a rant to an on-line photo printer because their free downloadable software insisted on firing up IE7 on my computer, even though Foxfire is my default browser (translation in my book: I don't want IE running on my computer. Ever, if possible.

To verify their gaffe, I downloaded their software on my other computer with similar results. Bummer.

Okay, here's the scratchy-head part: I've noticed other applications, other interactions with both computers whereby IE7 is started in lieu of Foxfire. And, the other incidents seem strangely unrelated. I checked my file associations just in case that had anything to do with this, all html, htm, etc. are associated with Foxfire. WTH? (e.g., bringing up Google Desktop Indexing status fired up IE7...)

Has anyone else noticed unauthorized/unexpected intrusions (as far as I'm concerned) by IE7 since the Microsoft update?

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IE7, a virus?

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  • Some programs try to launch a webpage by calling iexplore with the url as an argument, which bypasses your default browser checking altogether. It's the fault of the program that tried to open the page, not of IE7.
  • Solution (Score:3, Informative)

    by pen ( 7191 ) * on Thursday November 16, 2006 @09:26PM (#16879008)
    If you don't want any program to launch Internet Explorer, deny all permissions to iexplore.exe.
    • or write a small program that takes arguemtns and shells firefox with the arguments and name it iexplorer.exe
      • by mleugh ( 973240 )
        You can create the same effect using a technique I read about at Image File Execution Options: Good, Evil, Fun. []
        The only downside is that firefox will try and "download" iexplore.exe from it's current location on your hard disk, opening the requested page in a background tab behind a blank one. There's a dirty way to fix this, adding -width or -height as an argument, firefox tries to set it's window size to "iexplore.exe". Perhaps someone has a more elegant solution?
        • by mleugh ( 973240 )
          Another registry tweak should work when "iexplore" or "iexplore.exe" is called without a full path:

          HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\IEXPLORE.EXE
          (Default)=C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe
          Path=C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\

          This should work alongside the registry IFEO tweak I failed to relay:

          HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\iexplore.exe
          Debugger="C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -width


      • There's no need for coding when the solution is fully within the UI already.

        I believe Andrewm1986 is on to something, but here's my take on it:

        • Rename the iexplore.exe file to preserve it (e.g., iexplore-original.exe)
        • Create a PIF ("launcher shortcut") for Firefox in the IE folder, name it iexplore.pif
        • Make a copy of that and change iexplore.pif copy to iexplore.exe.pif

        Maybe it's a half-baked theory, but I believe this should intercept just about all calls to "iexplore"

        • Rename the iexplore.exe file to preserve it (e.g., iexplore-original.exe)

          Last I heard, XP (possibly Win2k SPx) doesn't let you delete/rename/overwrite system files. If you do, Windows just replaces the file with the "proper" one.

          I'm sure the /. community has researched this and found a workaround.

          Am I being an idiot, or does someone have the solution?
  • The bit about not runing IE ever that is. Run something besides windows, it'll clear that right up. As for apps starting IE, some people who just can't code and want a browser window to open will code to run "iexplore" instead of using the correct methods (For Example. [])Which just give a url and let the system decide which browser to use.
  • Why do you keep referring to Firefox as "Foxfire"?
    • by yagu ( 721525 ) *
      Hi Fuzzyfox...

      I come from a different era... and the imprint in my brain is almost indelible from a song I loved called Fox Fire [], and when I'm posting without a net, I consistently mix the two up. Sigh.

      And, from the same era and apparently still alive and kicking today was a popular book series: Foxfire [].

      It's what happen when you get older and your brain starts to fill with similar items. :-)


  • I recently ran into a problem where Visual Studio 2005 would NOT run IE7 and insisted instead on Firefox when debugging. This was a little irritating as it rendered the debugger a bit useless. Even though the preferences in VS were set to IE it wasn't until I found someone else having the same problem and posted a fix did I manage to get VS to use IE again. Why would it do this??? When this is possibly the *only* time IE is absolutely required does MS seem to default to another browser!
  • As someone else has already said, this will be due to the app in question specifically launching IE. Hell, if you type a URL into the address bar of Windows Explorer (with IE7 installed) it will launch your default browser rather than handling it itself (or launching IE). If MS were going to screw you anywhere, it would've been there.
  • On your Start bar, pick the option named something like "Set Program Access and Defaults" settings (I'm on Win2K at the moment, so I can't give you the exact name.) In there, choose Firefox to be your default browser. If it already is, try making IE your default, clicking apply/ok/yes/whatever, and then go back in and make Firefox the default again.

    When IE 7 is first fired up, it asks you if you want it to become your default browser. I suppose it's possible that something like Automatic Updates launch

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