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Starting IE9 with no addons. iexplore -extoff vs. iexplore -extoff url

    Question

  • This is actually a 2-part question.  I have a problem with an old web site that doesn't work correctly with our new company platform of Win7 with IE9.  If I launch IE with -extoff as the only parameter, type in the url, the application works as expected.  If I launch it as iexplore -extoff <url> the site launches, it says it is in no addon mode but tha application doesn't work correctly.  What's the difference between these to launching methods?

    Also, while I've found that the only way I can get the site to work correctly is to launch it on no addon mode, I've also found that if I disable all addons via the addon manager window, restart IE, the site still does not work.  I've verified that every addon is disabled, even the ones that run without permission.  What's the difference between disabling every addon vs. starting with -extoff parameter?

    As I mentioned, this is an old web application that uses Java to launch the default mail client to send an email that is simply plain text and has no attachment.  In our case, it's launching MS Outlook 2010.  I am also trying to reach out to the developer of the web app but as I mentioned, it's old so being able to get support there isn't a sure thing.

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012 2:24 PM

Answers

  • I also think it's worth noting that if the url is passed as a param, we get the dialog box prompting for credentials before we get the message about addons being disabled.

    I think that could imply that you are using a URL which sends a 401 response before sending any HTML.  Then, if the -extoff option is only actioned when some HTML is first seen (I don't know; that is hypothetical.)  it would explain that observation.   Do you have a page which contains a link to your problem page?   Then, I suspect, you would see the -extoff prompt before the authentication request from the problem page and help confirm the hypothesis.

     

    HTH

    Robert
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    Wednesday, October 17, 2012 7:36 PM

All replies

  • If I launch it as iexplore -extoff <url> the site launches, it says it is in no addon mode but tha application doesn't work correctly.  What's the difference between these to launching methods?

    Try adding  -nohome  before the URL?   Note:  if you use that option without a URL you may need to use the Stop command (e.g. View, Stop Alt-V,p)  to start using the full UI.

    If I launch it as iexplore -extoff <url> the site launches, it says it is in no addon mode but tha application doesn't work correctly.  What's the difference between these to launching methods?

    What's the difference between disabling every addon vs. starting with -extoff parameter?

    The initial notification?   ;  )

    Care to share the symptoms?   What does "doesn't work correctly" mean?

    BTW have you tried using Compatibility View or using Developer Tools to spoof a different User-Agent string?

     
    Also, to supplement whatever diagnostics you are getting for your scenarios you could use ProcMon and compare traces for their essential differences in terms of file and registry accesses.

     
    HTH

     
    Robert Aldwinckle
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    Tuesday, October 16, 2012 8:40 PM
  • Hi Robert, thanks for the reply.

    I tried the -nohome flag but the results were the same.

    Let me explain what I meant when I asked what's the difference.  If I launch IE with just the -extoff flag, the web app works as expected but if I disable everything via addon manager it doesn't.  I've made sure they all are disabled by going through all options in the show... drop down list.  It seems that -extoff is actually doing more than just disabling the addons.

    As mentioned, this is an older Java web application that, when launched, the first thing it does it prompt for credentials.  It then verifies these against active directory and, if correct, displays a form with the data you're authorized to work on.  On this form there is an Email button that normally launches your default email client and composes a generic, text only message in which the user then chooses the recipients of.  Our current client platform is WinXP and MS Office 2007 but we're trying to upgrade to Win 7 and MS Office 2010.  Whenever the application doesn't work, instead of launching Outlook, it instead just opens a blank webpage with "about:blank" in the address bar as oposed to what it's supposed to do of launching Outlook while staying on the web page.

    What has me confused is why with just -extoff and typing in the url in the address bar works but adding the url as a parameter after -extoff (with or without -nohome) doesn't.  We still get the message of addons being disabled but the application doesn't work.  I also think it's worth noting that if the url is passed as a param, we get the dialog box prompting for credentials before we get the message about addons being disabled.

    I have tried compatibility view to no avail.  I will see what Process Monitor has to say and hope it sheds some light for me.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012 1:56 PM
  • It seems that -extoff is actually doing more than just disabling the addons.

    Probably.  E.g. it represents a switch which can be checked at any point along the way.   Another such switch you could try using to get more clues about the processing and at least use to help insert timing breaks into your ProcMon traces is security prompting.   E.g. using the Security settings wherever there is a setting which is normally Enabled you could set it to Prompt with ostensibly no change in security.  I call this option "safe maximal prompting".   I suppose, if you took note of which settings were initially Enabled and which were initially Disabled, you could even add prompting for all prompts and that way find out if those options had any bearing on your symptom too, e.g. by responding correctly to each prompt, instead of just allowing each prompt, as my "safe maximal prompting" permits.

    I will see what Process Monitor has to say and hope it sheds some light for me.

    Good luck.

     
    Robert
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    Wednesday, October 17, 2012 5:16 PM
  • Hi,

    can we have a link to your website to inspect it?

    perhaps you are using google analytics, google or semantics' site verification meta. these can interact with browser helper addons?

    to view pdf documents in IE browsers you need the Adobe PDF link helper addon enabled (as well as the Adobe ActiveX PDF reader addon... which is an Active X control and is still enabled in noAddons mode)....

    test/avoid the issue by configuring Adobe Reader to no use web browsers to open PDF documents. Start>Adobe reader>Edit>Preferences>Internet, uncheck "Use web browser to open PDF"

    Regards.


    Rob^_^

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012 5:39 PM
  • I also think it's worth noting that if the url is passed as a param, we get the dialog box prompting for credentials before we get the message about addons being disabled.

    I think that could imply that you are using a URL which sends a 401 response before sending any HTML.  Then, if the -extoff option is only actioned when some HTML is first seen (I don't know; that is hypothetical.)  it would explain that observation.   Do you have a page which contains a link to your problem page?   Then, I suspect, you would see the -extoff prompt before the authentication request from the problem page and help confirm the hypothesis.

     

    HTH

    Robert
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    Wednesday, October 17, 2012 7:36 PM