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IE7, a virus?

yagu (721525) writes | more than 7 years ago

Internet Explorer 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.

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?

cancel ×


nothing to do with ie7 (2, Informative)

anotherone (132088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872602)

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.

Re:nothing to do with ie7 (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879276)

Google Desktop doesnt call iexplore.

Could be worse... (0, Offtopic)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876882)

At work we have a very Frankenstein approach to IT & most of out workstations won't pass WGA (even though they are all new-ish Dells, we flashed them to all be the same, kinda). I decided to install IE7 (mainly because I didn't want it on my home PC ;) ) & had to use a workaround to skip WGA (replacing 1 .dll).

Well, one partial reboot later, I now get some message about explorer not being able to load and my PC only boots as far as my desktop wallpaper Oops.

Well, a WINPE disk + portable HDD (to do a quick backup of data) & then new ghost image later all is well again, but this is the last time (I hope) I'll use IE7.

Solution (2, Informative)

pen (7191) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879008)

If you don't want any program to launch Internet Explorer, deny all permissions to iexplore.exe.

Re:Solution (1)

Andrewm1986 (1013059) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881558)

or write a small program that takes arguemtns and shells firefox with the arguments and name it iexplorer.exe

Re:Solution (1)

mleugh (973240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16906902)

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?

Re:Solution (1)

mleugh (973240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16955562)

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

Re:Solution (1)

Duggeek (1015705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16920234)

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" and instead pass the call to Firefox (with all CLP's intact)

Granted, some flaws exist; IE "repairing" itself would botch the whole thing by restoring iexplore.exe; integrity checks may fail (SFC) and prompt a replacement/restoration of the file; [something I haven't thought of]

If anyone finds glorious success or horrible failure in this experiment, let me know here! (thx!)

Re:Solution (1)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950356)

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?

That can be arranged.. (1)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911464)

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.

Foxfire? (1)

FuzzyFox (772046) | more than 7 years ago | (#16919456)

Why do you keep referring to Firefox as "Foxfire"?

Re:Foxfire? (1)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16919692)

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. :-)


reverse can be true (1)

yossarian_28 (1028632) | more than 7 years ago | (#16930866)

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!

It's not IE7 (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950352)

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.

Use the GUI, Luke... (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17010538)

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 launched IE and answered "yes" to that question, or if it's a shared computer, another user may have chosen "yes" when you weren't looking.

The advantage of using the GUI tool is that it's the court-ordered, -blessed and -approved method of selecting your browser. And it does work for picking Firefox -- I've used it a lot. Try it again.

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