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Internet Explorer crashes when adding pictures to an email. I go through a number of steps to clean the system.

I have a customer using Windows XP and IE8. When we try to attach a jpeg from the My Pictures folder to an email, IE8 just stops working and closes. When I try to access the folder for Windows Explorer, IE8 launches, stops working and crashes. I've looked at the security settings; I've looked at what the default program is that opens jpegs and it's not IE8. I've updated the graphics card driver – still no joy.

In this excerpt from Answercast #33, I look at an XP machine that is having problems with Internet Explorer. We start with some basic cleanup.

IE8 crashes

So there's a bunch of different things that could possibly be going on here.

The one thing you haven't told me is exactly what email service you are trying to connect to using IE8; whether it's Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, or something like that. The good news is that probably wouldn't affect the nature of the problem but it's more data that sometimes would help.

Some simple cleaning

  • The very first thing I would have you do is turn off all the add-ons in IE8.

Add-ons can definitely get in the way for a variety of problems.

A corrupt cache certainly could cause IE8 to get very confused; not typically this confused (so confused that it crashes), but it can cause it to get very confused at times. That's an easy thing to rule out – just clear IE8's cache.

  • I would also suggest you try running the system file checker (SFC).

That's going to check the system files that are associated with Windows XP (some of them are, in fact, part of IE8) to make sure that they are correct.

Malware check

I would obviously (and I'm certain you've probably already done this) make sure that you've:

  • Run anti-spyware and anti-malware programs.

Make sure that you don't have a virus or malware. Viruses or malware of various sorts can, indeed, cause this kind of thing in a variety of different programs.

Try a different browser

Finally, if all that doesn't help:

  • I would give a different browser a try to see if it is a browser specific problem.

Fire up Chrome or Firefox and see if the problem reproduces in there. If it does not, if it is an IE8 specific problem, then I would consider trying to reinstall IE8 from scratch if you have a way to do that. Uninstalling it and potentially reinstalling it.

To be honest, I'd also seriously consider just running with whatever browser does work.

Repair reinstall

Finally, there's this catchall that basically says:

  • You could run a Windows repair reinstall.

That would basically reinstall assorted numbers of components (or assorted pieces of Windows itself) that could potentially be involved in this.

A repair reinstall shouldn't affect things like installed programs or settings and so forth. Nonetheless, do a backup first.

It is one of those things that can freshen up a Windows that seems to be behaving improperly, and IE8, as we all tend to know, is really a part of Windows.

So, those are things that I would try given what you've described so far.

Article C5565 - July 9, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment
July 10, 2012 8:54 AM

I had the exact problem (using XP and ie8) and it was corrected after I ran the chkdsk /r command from the start menu. I can't say for sure if this will help in every case, but it did with me. NOTE: Make sure you leave a space as shown. Plus, when I used this feature, my system noted that it could not run the program at the time and I had to set it up to run the next time I started my computer. I just used the "restart" button from "turn off computer". Hope this helps.

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