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Internet Explorer suddenly will not launch (Windows 8) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have Windows 8 Pro 64bit and used Internet Explorer a few weeks ago and everything was fine. Sometime in the last few weeks (October) something has gone wrong and IE will no longer launch. When I try to run IE I get the following message:

    • This app can't run on your PC
      To find a version for your PC, check with the software publisher

    Also, my quick launch icon turned into a blank white piece of paper, and the icon in the start screen changed to the default exe icon. I have searched the web and cannot find a solution. I have tried to uninstall Internet Explorer through Windows Features and reinstall it but nothing changed.

    I looked in the event viewer and under applications I can see an informational (as opposed to warning or error) event logged each time I try to launch IE that reads:

    • The program or feature "\??\C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" cannot start or run due to incompatibity with 64-bit versions of Windows. Please contact the software vendor to ask if a 64-bit Windows compatible version is available.

    I am not sure what else to check or try to get Internet Explorer working again. Unfortunately I need IE for work and do not have a choice in the matter as some of our intra-net sites only work in IE. I am getting by for now but I need IE to work soon. Does anyone have any ideas?

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 8:27 PM

All replies

  • If you go into the start screen, type iexplorer.exe and then select the one entry that appears does that work? (thinking perhaps something's wrong with your shortcut).

    Failing that, it could be there's an issue with an addon in IE or something similar causing the problem. Check out the possible solutions listed here http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/forum/ie10-windows_8/windows-8-internet-explorer-will-not-load/cb45453b-fbc6-4cd0-9990-094e3f24f520?msgId=6d8cb85b-f245-4e16-95da-b9a611a7c2b7 and see if any of them resolve it for you. Method 1 is fairly simple to start IE in safe mode which will allow you to disable addon's, and failing that hopefully one of the other results will help.

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:22 PM
  • Running the IE command to turn extensions off resulted in the exact same message and no launch. I was not able to launch in safe mode either.

    I forgot to mention that I had already gone into internet tools and reset IE back to default settings and allowed it to delete my personal content.

    I am willing to try things but the message in the event logs seems to indicate that Windows believed the software itself is incompatible with 64bit so I'm not sure how this could be a problem with anything other than IE or Windows. 


    Thursday, October 31, 2013 1:48 PM
  • I also just tried to launch IE as an administrator from one of my icons and got an older looking (traditional, grey) error box that reads:

    • Windows cannot find 'C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.

    I thought THAT was strange, so I opened the shortcut properties and clicked open file location, which opened C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\ and highlighted iexplore.exe... THERE IT IS, so why would it say it cannot find it? I then tried to run iexplorer.exe as administrator directly from the folder and once again got the message that it could not be found! But if I just run the exe directly I get the Windows 8 style message about the app cannot run on my PC.

    Now, if Windows cannot find the exe it makes sense why my icons turned into blank paper or default exe icons since that is typical behavior but why would it not find the exe when I launch it from it's folder? Why would my shortcut find the exe when I click open file location? Why would it display at all? Why would Windows not find the path or exe having just reinstalled IE a couple days ago? And why would this have worked fine a couple weeks ago and not work all of a sudden if NOT from a broken windows update? Note: I did NOT upgrade to Windows 8.1.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 2:10 PM
  • To make things even more confusing, I just remembered that there are two versions of IE installed (32bit and 64bit) and when I have tried launching manually directly from the Internet Explorer folder I have been launching from Program Files\Internet Explorer which is the 64bit version. I just tried running from Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer (the 32bit version) and I get nothing. No error, no message, no IE. But, I can see that there is a new log made in the event viewer each time I try to launch the 32bit version of IE.

    The message? It is the EXACT same message I get when I launch the 64bit version of IE:

    • The program or feature "\??\C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" cannot start or run due to incompatibity with 64-bit versions of Windows. Please contact the software vendor to ask if a 64-bit Windows compatible version is available.

    NOTICE that the path in the error message is NOT the path to the exe I just launched it is the path to the 64bit version. Why is Windows trying to launch the other exe when I literally click the one in Program Files (x86)? It is bad enough that one is broken but now they are both linked to the same one?

    And is it normal for the path to lead with "\??\C:\" or should the path start with "C:\"? I need help.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 3:16 PM
  • I am willing to try things but the message in the event logs seems to indicate that Windows believed the software itself is incompatible with 64bit so I'm not sure how this could be a problem with anything other than IE or Windows. 


    That's why I think ProcMon could help, especially if you had two otherwise identical traces to compare.  E.g. who knows? the symptom that you are seeing may be an error in a less tested recovery procedure that is happening because of permission problems with the normal access?  OTOH if your OS is involved with a domain I don't know what that would look like either.

     

    BTW thanks for starting your own thread.   ; )

    C.f.  (for Keith)

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/60da198b-dda9-43a3-a449-4165ea1dba44/ie10-wont-run-after-windows-update-this-week-oct7-2013?forum=ieitprocurrentver#f53e7b03-4dcf-43e9-b844-5578a93da10c 

     



    Robert Aldwinckle
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    Thursday, October 31, 2013 4:15 PM
    Answerer
  • I'm sorry for necessarily replying to your message but this forum is setup so horribly there is no "new post" button I have to either reply or quote. Just awful.

    I only have one PC so running proc man would be difficult without a base to compare, and even going through the hundreds thousands of events that occur would also be extremely time consuming. The last time I ran proc man I was getting 30k events per second and that was on an older windows XP machine. I can only imagine with Windows 8.

    I feel like there must be something to the fact that Windows will not run iexplore.exe when I directly run it from the program files folder. How can it not find the program when I literally right click the exe to run it? And when I run the 64bit vs 32bit why does the error message in event viewer always show the same path and not both paths? It always tries to run the 64bit version even when I click on the program files (x86) path. It would seem that this is the problem I just don't know how to resolve it. 

    Monday, November 4, 2013 2:12 PM
  • there is no "new post" button I have to either reply or quote.

     

    In fact, if you Reply to the thread, you would start a new subthread which would only refer to the ThreadId, not any other MessageId within it. 

    I only have one PC so running proc man would be difficult without a base to compare, and even going through the hundreds thousands of events that occur would also be extremely time consuming. 

    Have you tried at least running iexplore.exe from an elevated cmd window?   E.g. run under an Administrator account.  That would give you something to compare especially if the symptoms were different from that change. 

    BTW you can compare two otherwise identical traces using a very coarse filter such as Process & Thread events.  Then just look at more detail where they diverge.

    In any case, you should try to simplify your test case as much as possible.  E.g. to eliminate all possibility of (normal) Add-ons and Toolbars and Network factors, Run... (press Win-R and enter:)

        iexplore.exe  -nohome  -extoff



    Robert Aldwinckle
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    Monday, November 4, 2013 7:05 PM
    Answerer
  • there is no "new post" button I have to either reply or quote.

     

    In fact, if you Reply to the thread, you would start a new subthread which would only refer to the ThreadId, not any other MessageId within it. 

    I only have one PC so running proc man would be difficult without a base to compare, and even going through the hundreds thousands of events that occur would also be extremely time consuming. 

    Have you tried at least running iexplore.exe from an elevated cmd window?   E.g. run under an Administrator account.  That would give you something to compare especially if the symptoms were different from that change. 

    BTW you can compare two otherwise identical traces using a very coarse filter such as Process & Thread events.  Then just look at more detail where they diverge.

    In any case, you should try to simplify your test case as much as possible.  E.g. to eliminate all possibility of (normal) Add-ons and Toolbars and Network factors, Run... (press Win-R and enter:)

        iexplore.exe  -nohome  -extoff



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Thanks I just wish I had any idea what you are talking about for the forum posts. This is a thread I should be able to make many posts and someone new should be able to make many posts without having to quote or reply to someone. How else can someone add input without replying? I just literally do not understand this terribly design forums I guess. 

    I did not imagine that trying to run IE from an elevated command prompt would be any different than when I right-click and run as an administrator so I hadn't tried it before. My account is already an admin account so both are easy for me. I just tried this now (with -extoff -nohome as you suggested) and at first it gave me an error that iexplore.exe was not a recognized internal or external command. So then I just typed the full path:

    • "c:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -extoff -nohome

    I then got a pop up error message titled "Unsupported 16-Bit Application" that lists the exact same error message I have already shared from event viewer saying that the feature cannot start due to compatibility with 64-bit version of windows. Same error, but this is the first time I saw (or noticed) the title saying 16-bit. So now windows thinks my 64-bit IE is 16 bit? I mean it explains why I see what I see but now how this could happen. Since starting this thread I have uninstalled and reinstalled IE several times but unfortunately I cannot find a pure download from Microsoft because every page just says it is built into Windows and you have to use the Windows Features section to reinstall - which isn't working for me.

    So again, if IE is somehow 16-bit I don't think ProcMon will show me anything because Windows 8 doesn't run 16-bit applications. The real question is why this happened and how to undo it. I have made no manual changes to my PC and haven't installed any new applications. The only thing that could have happened was automatic updates. 


    • Edited by NRyan54 Monday, November 4, 2013 7:28 PM Spelling
    Monday, November 4, 2013 7:26 PM
  • So again, if IE is somehow 16-bit I don't think ProcMon will show me anything because Windows 8 doesn't run 16-bit applications.  

    Right.  So it's probably bogus message and therefore you should capture the events which lead up to it.   And now you do have two different symptoms which probably have the same cause, so now you do have the conditions for usefully comparing two similar traces for their essential differences.   <eg>

     



    Robert Aldwinckle
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    Tuesday, November 5, 2013 3:33 AM
    Answerer