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Need advice in upgrading from IE 6 to IE 7

by dana.charlton / January 1, 2009 4:03 AM PST

I'm running IE6 with Windows XP and my computer is very slow even though I delete cookies and temporary files every day. I've decided to finally go to IE7. Please tell me, do I need to back up my system first? I humbly admit I don't know how to do that -- I welcome your advice as to the proper procedures. Thank you and Happy New Year!

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Re: upgrading from IE6 to IE7
by Kees Bakker / January 1, 2009 4:10 AM PST

That's easy. In fact, it's done automatically if you enable automatic execution of Windows update. There's no more need for a backup as there is 'normally'. Which, by the way, is: regularly backup everything you don't want to lose if something happens.

But there's no reason at all that your computer will become faster by doing this upgrade. Whatever is causing the slowness will still do it in IE7. In fact, deleting cookies doesn't make any difference in performance; deleting temporary internet files even tends to make browsing somewhat slower.

This might not be the answer you're looking for, but still it's an answer to your question about this upgrade. Maybe it was the wrong question?


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upgrading from IE6 to IE7
by dana.charlton / January 2, 2009 3:06 AM PST

Thank you very much for replying, and for the eye-opener! You're right, maybe it was the wrong question. Every time I log on, the option pops up to update to IE7 so I thought it was better for the computer (I didn't use automate updates). And, I'd always thought deleting the temporary files was so smart & it did seem to clear the way to navigate. Currently, the pages take so long to load, and, after I click on a link and am waiting for the page to load, if I try to do any other navigation, I get a microsoft page telling me that the link isn't available & I have to go back to the original page with the link. I have also been getting messages that I don't have enough pages in memory and more pages are being created. The right questions, then, might be (1) how do I back up? I know how to put photos onto a disk, but what about all the rest of my stuff? (2) is there a reason to update to IE7? and if not, (3) how can I get the original speed back onto the computer? I truly appreciate your much needed assistance!

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Slow internet
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 2, 2009 7:26 AM PST

I would not upgrade to IE7 yet, until you get IE6 working well. IE7 will just cause more problems until then I feel.

You will need to ensure that you get all the Windows Updates soon if you have not already done so, because they include critical and security updates that are essential to the security of your computer.

Before that, can you tell us what security you use to protect your system from hackers and malware? Malware can cause enormous problems on computer systems with slow internet speed, as well as risks to any personal information you send over the internet.

You need;

1] A firewall, to help prevent hackers from invading your system

2] An Anti-Virus, continuously updated and running in the background, to perform regular scans for viruses, and

3] 2 or 3 Anti-Spyware utilities, all updated, and one of which runs continuously in the background, to help prevent spyware from invading your system. They should all be used to perform manual scans, but less frequently than anti-virus.

If you have none of those, I recommend you get some soon, and perform scans, to see what malware infections you have.

Regarding Internet Explorer, many problems with it can be traced back to BHOs, or Browser Helper Objects. Unlike what the name suggests, many BHO's are either poorly written, (they are not controlled by Microsoft), or are written by malware writers with specific intention to spy on your use or other unwanted things. These BHO's are downloaded and installed by IE if any particular web site needs them, but your IE security settings should warn you when these are trying to install.

These browser add-ons can cause internet problems, and so I would test your browser with them disabled. You can do that in IE6 by going to Tools > Manage Add-ons, and disabling them all. If that option is not available in the Tools menu, goto Tools > Internet Options, then in the Programs tab, goto the Manage Add-ons button.

Also, 3rd party toolbars like Google, Yahoo, etc, can slow down internet surfing, so I would disable those as well.

Those messages about enough pages in memory is not clear. Can you state what the exact message is please? Also, tell us more about your computer, Make and Model, how much RAm there is, and what size hard disk, and how much of the disk is used up.


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Slow internet
by dana.charlton / January 3, 2009 10:40 PM PST
In reply to: Slow internet

Thank you, Mark, for your questions. I apologize for the delay - I've been looking for the answers & this also made me realize how unprotected my computer is. From "System Information": Dell desktop, Dimension 4550, with an Intel processor. However, when I looked up the Storage, there is a there is a "Problem Device": Intel (R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection, Error Code: This device is disabled." ??
The total RAM is 256 MB; with 55 MB available. Total virtual memory 2.00 GB, with 1.96 GB available. The size of Disk Drive C is: 37.24 GB with free space 24.32 GB.

About security - this is bad news:
1) My computer's firewall was actually turned off -- that was done during a tech support session some time ago with my ISP to allow remote access with my ISP. I've now turned it back on and disallowed any exceptions, including remote access.

2) My anti-virus program was 2008 Norton Internet Security and I confess that I let it expire about 3 weeks ago - Big mistake, I know. I held off renewing because Norton seemed so slow, but after reading the reviews, I'll get Norton's 2009 product. Is there an advantage of one of their programs over the other? ("Internet security" or "anti-virus"). I'd better do this asap.

3) Anti-spyware - You recommend 2 or 3 with one running continuously. I've been running only Ad-Aware Personal, which I update manually, weekly, but it doesn't run continuously so I have no real protection. Do any of the anti-spyware programs conflict with one another? Here again I've got to get on the ball.

Browser add-ons: There are 7 add-ons (including Windows Messenger, which I don't use). Three of the add-ons are Browser Helper Objects: Adobe PDF Reader Helper Link; Google Toolbar Helper; and Norton Confidential Browser Helper Object.

I've been using the Google toolbar -- but, my computer freezes when I try to send a gmail message.

About the message regarding pages in memory: I wish I'd written it down! Not exact, but close to (I hope this helps): "Your computer is low on virtual memory, increasing paging file. Some programs might be slowed down during this process." I've seen this 3 times in as many months. But the system information shows I've got almot all the virtual memory available. I don't understand, since my page file space is 617.77 MB.

Thank you again, Mark, for your much-needed assistance. As you can see, I really need your guidance.


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Good, now we're rolling!
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 4, 2009 5:45 AM PST
In reply to: Slow internet

Hi again Dana, and don't worry about any delay in replies, I'm tracking your thread so I will be notified whenever a post is made. Also, since I'm in the UK there may be delays before I respond anyway.

Here are {some} of the answers and solutions.

1] Your computer is a little under-powered with its RAM. Although 256MB of RAM will work perfectly well with XP, it will be slower, as the processor has to wait for data to be swapped from the hard disk into the memory, (the RAM), and back again. Many XP systems now have as much as 2GB of RAM, so if you could get yours upgraded to more than 256MB then that would improve performance a lot. 1GB and you would notice a significant improvement. Note though, I am talking about overall computer performance, not a slow internet.

2] That disk size is unusual at 37.24GB. It is non-standard, and I suspect you have either a 40GB or 50GB drive. Older Dell's, (I am guessing your Dell is a few years old now), were shipped without the XP Install CDs, but had instead a hidden partition on the hard disk, which could be used to re-install XP if need be, and start afresh.

If you wanted to find out if your computer has a hidden partition, you could look at the Disk Management Console. To do that, you need to open Computer Management, then select Disk Management.

To open Computer Management, click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management.

The Disk Management Console will show how many disks, (internal hard disks and CD/DVD ROMs), each partition on the internal hard disks, and how much disk capacity each has.

The good news is, while 30-40GB is on the small size for an XP computer, you have plenty of free capacity remaining.

3] That Intel (R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection is a Desktop Adapter. I am not a technical person so I can't give you much information on what a Desktop Adapter is, and even less on why it should be disabled in the Device Manager. You mentioned that you looked up the "Storage", but I am not sure what you mean by that.

I am reluctant to suggest you attempt to re-enable this Desktop Adapter, especially as you said you had a remote access session with a tech support person. They may have disabled it on purpose.

Here's Intel's web site on the Intel (R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection;
But you will see the page says that support for this adapter has now ceased, though drivers are still available.

4] Which firewall are you using? If it is XP's own Windows Firewall and you are happy with that, then that's fine. But there are other, good, free ones available, like ZoneAlarm from

New firewalls always take a bit of getting used to, ZoneAlarm for example will initially keep popping up windows with requests for internet access permission, etc, whilst it learns from you.

If your Norton 2008 Internet Security included your firewall, then I would see below for removing it.

Just a note. I have just realised what you have said. You said you had disabled the computer's firewall, (indicating the Windows Firewall), and that you have Norton's Internet Security installed. If that Nortons includes a firewall, and you have the Windows Firewall turned on, then that could cause your internet slow-down. Two firewalls competing with each other is not recommended.

5] Anti-virus. Personally I would ditch Nortons. Many people have no problem with Nortons products, but they are resource hungry, and on a low resource system like yours, you may find that smaller AV's are better, and many are free as well.

If you agree, then you could look at AVG Free from or Avira from

I use AVG, but I have disabled all but its anti-virus options.

There are steps to follow when changing anti-virus utilities. With Norton in particular they have a specialised Norton Removal Tool from

You would need to download the anti-virus installer file, (and the firewall installer if that is your choice), but don't run them at this stage. Disconnect from the internet, (how you do this depends on your connection. You could just disconnect a USB connection, but anything else may need a close down before disconnecting), run the Norton remover tool, reboot the computer, (to ensure Nortons is completely removed), turn on the Windows Firewall temporarily from the Control Panel > Security Center. Connect back to the internet, then run the firewall and anti-virus set up installers. The new firewall installation should automatically disable the Windows Firewall when it is up and running. Once both are installed, update them both as necessary.

Sorry, that's quite a lot to take in.

6] Anti-spyware. I use Microsoft's Windows Defender, running all the time. In addition I have SpywareBlaster, which is not a scanner but it inoculates the registry, as well as MalwareBytes as a backup scanner.

The best anti-spyware is to change browsers from IE to Firefox. IE is the target of choice for malware writers, and they have not yet significantly caught up with Firefox.

7] Those Browser Add-ons do not seem bad, but personally I wouldn't use any. I must confess I don't understand searc engine toolbars. I just go to and I have it as a favorite, (or bookmark in Firefox).

Cool Your virtual memory seems fine, so I am unsure why you should be getting that virtual memory low message. Perhaps the next time you see it you can make a note of what is happening at the time.

Good luck. A lot there for you to digest I know.


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