General discussion

Is IE6 the problem here or is it the ISP's?

My PC runs Windows 2000 Pro SP4 and IE6 SP1, both fully updated. I have the ZoneAlarm personal firewall installed, and use AVG anti-virus, Lavasoft's AdAware, Malwarebyte's antimalware, and Spybot S&D. My ISP is Juno DSL and I only access my email through their Email on the Web. I am having difficulty with freezes and hangs when using Email on the Web. The operation of IE6 seems to be only slightly affected when surfing the web--it sometimes takes 2-3 attempts to get pages to load. I would appreciate any help available in isolating the source of this problem.

Starting about 40 days ago, my ability to reply to, forward, close and/or delete messages from my Email was severely hampered. When I right-clicked on the Back button of IE6, I noticed extraneous listings of what appeared to be attempts by the email software (web-based) to load advertising pages. (Formerly, when I replied to or forwarded a message, if I right-clicked on the Back button and backed up to then 2nd most recent "Juno Email on the Web" listing I was taken back to the original opened message, which I then either closed or deleted.) The normal listings are simply "Juno Email on the Web" but these appeared as "http://cyclops.prod.untd.com/adstream_s" (the rest is truncated but appears as "x.ads/eow.com/juno/mega/read/1192632366@Right2?&NAZ170=Y&NAZ26=S&NAA78=Y&NA" in the message bar at the screen's bottom above the Start button. The 10-digit number appearing in this link changes as each new "page" tries to open. I'm aware that "untd.com" is the web site for United Online, the parent company of both Juno and NetZero.

It was simultaneous with the appearance of these extraneous "previous page" listings that I encountered hangs and freezes when I tried to normally operate this Email on the Web program. I've had numerous discussions with Juno Senior Level Technicians and they've been unable to resolve the problem. I replicated this problem on my laptop connected to the same DSL modem through which I access the internet on my PC (disconnected the ethernet cable from the PC and attached it to the laptop). However, the laptop uses Windows XP Pro SP3 and IE8, both fully updated. I also replicated the "previous page" problem at a friend's house using his radio-signal-based broadband connection and Windows XP Pro SP3 and IE8, both fully updated, but in spite of their presence was able to close and delete opened email messages. When I access Email on the Web on my PC using the Firefox browser, I don't see the problem. However, it is possible that the same problem exists when I access my Yahoo email from my PC--extraneous "previous page" listings appear under the Back button, but I am still able to reply to, forward, close and delete messages.

I've gone so far as sending screenshots of the presence of these "previous page" listings under the Back button of IE6 to Juno. They report back that no other customer has reported this problem, and are referring me to a local technician (very costly), trying to say that the problem is on my end. They have walked me through any and all "fixes" they might try to reset IE6 settings that might be causing the problem. And of course they want to blame invasions by virus or spyware or something else that may be affecting the operation of IE6. I've done scans using all the security software I have installed, and nothing other than tracking cookies show up.

Thank you for providing this forum for the possibility of resolving this problem.

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Comments
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Wait, wait, don't tell me.

Isn't there some strange interactions when we mix Spybot's Teatimer and those other titles? And what about AVG's web safer browser addins? Didn't that cause users some grief?

Maybe it's time to re-evaluate this combination.
Bob

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Quick notes and questions...

1.) IE6 has reached the end of its support cycle and is being increasingly disregarded by web developers as they create websites that are not fully IE6-compatible. For that reason, among others, you should use Firefox or another third-party browser.

2.) The URLs refer to individual emails you have read along with viewing preferences, with the 10-digit number referring to the email's ID number.

3.) The extensive Back history is likely due to Javascript not being used to replace the URLs rather than appending them to the browser history.

4.) Since it works properly under Firefox, it's likely either a browser compatibility or browser setting issue. Specifically, I suspect that Javascript may not be functioning properly in IE, which could cause all of the issues you described; functionality problems, extensive Back history lists, browser hangs, etc. It may also explain why they have not had a flood of complaints, as most users/browsers have Javascript enabled and functioning normally.

5.) Bob's note about security software malfunctions/interactions is quite relevant here, as such can cause Javascript issues, among other things.

5.) Assuming it is indeed a Javascript issue, I agree that Juno/United Online is likely at least partly to blame in that they should have designed their site to degrade gracefully should Javascript not be functioning as expected and also alert the user of the problem. However, that is a developer's decision.

All that said, I'd like to hear:
1.) A little bit more about what happens with the reply/delete/etc issue.
2.) A little bit more about whether Yahoo Mail also have such issues in IE6 & IE8.
3.) Whether IE6 & IE8 pass the test when you visit http://www.bibtic.com/javascript_test

Let us know.
John

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Need another day to respond

Let me get past Thursday's tax deadlines and I'll devote all the time I can to your helpful suggestions. I did run the javascript test against my PC running IE6 and it passed. I also tested my PC running Firefox 3.6.3 and it passed as well. It will take additional time to test the laptop running IE8, and at that time I'll respond to your other questions, and Bob's concerns, too.

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Post-4/15 testing

I'll have to answer your inquiries in stages, since I'm not set up to have my laptop with Win XP & IE8 connected at the same time.

The following comments were written on April 22, 2010:
First, regarding Bob Proffitt's comments. Please don't assume that I'm an everyday reader of these forums, even in areas that now concern me. The concerns about mixing Spybot's Tea Timer and/or AVG's web safer browser are ones I'm not familiar with, but Bob's response seems to attribute such familiarity to me, with the obvious implication that "I should have known better." In fact, I had uninstalled Spybot about a month before these problems started to occur on March 2, 2010. I reinstalled it on April 6, 2010, ran it for a couple of days with Tea Timer active, and then inactivated Tea Timer, which is my current configuration. The same problems existed when Spybot was not installed, and also when it was reinstalled with and without Tea Timer being active. I reactivated Tea Timer during this session, and can see no difference in the way anything reacts. Maybe you can tell me what Tea Timer really does, since all I know is that it's supposed to monitor the system as components operate together. Should I be running Spybot with or without Tea Timer active?

As for AVG, how do I tell what browser addins I have installed? I know there's an AVG search box in Firefox, but I'm not seeing one in IE6. IE6 appears to be a plain vanilla installation, with no add-in search boxes or toolbars. That may be because I installed the latest version of AVG through the Firefox browser and not through IE6.

John, regarding your item 2) and the 10-digit numbers, I would see multiple "Opening page . . ." texts appear above the task bar while one specific email message was open. So I don't believe the numbers were related to different email messages.

I opened Juno Email on the Web tonight (4/22/10) and tested it thoroughly for the same problems I had experienced before. Even though the extraneous previous page listings kept appearing under the IE6 Back button, the process of opening, closing, deleting, replying to and forwarding messages worked fine with none of the previous freezes that had required me to close the browser window and start over.

Now I'm writing this on April 24, 2010, and still have not been able to replicate the freezes I had experienced while accessing email using IE6. Perhaps something that was installed in the Microsoft Updates I added on April 15, 2010 resolved some issues. This is a list of the KB items that were installed (none deal directly with IE6):

KB978601 Windows 2000
KB979402 Windows Media Player 9
KB976323 Windows 2000
KB979683 Windows 2000
KB979309 Windows 2000
KB981350 Windows 2000
KB977816 Windows 2000
KB980232 Windows 2000
KB980466 PUblisher 2002
KB981715 2007 Office System

So as of now, I'm not experiencing the same issues. It's possible that Juno discovered and resolved a problem on their end (of course, I'll never hear about it). I'll be glad to hear back about your suggestions regarding Tea Timer, etc., but for now I can't replicate the problem that was causing Email on the Web to malfunction.

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