Enterprise Software

Pop Quiz Solution: Why IE5 makes a keyboard go offline

TechRepublic member Mohun Kumar submitted the topic for this week's quiz. We received a number of good troubleshooting suggestions, and we awarded one lucky reader a $25 gift certificate to Fatbrain.


TechRepublic member Mohun Kumar, of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, submitted the topic for this week’s quiz—and we sent him a cool TechRepublic T-shirt. If you’d like to suggest a topic for our pop quiz, please send us a note .

The situation:
Here’s what Mohun wrote: “My problem is that in Internet Explorer 5 (with Windows 98 Second Edition and Office 2000), whenever there is a field on screen, for example a login ID and password field in an e-mail system, the keyboard stops functioning. I can enter URLs perfectly; the keyboard works perfectly anywhere outside the fields, but when I click in the field to enter my ID password (or even to enter a search phrase in a search engine), the keyboard does not respond.

“I tried the same with Netscape Navigator and it works properly. I spent an hour on the phone with Microsoft and they could not help me. A related problem is that when I click on a link, say in a Word document or an e-mail message, IE5 opens up with a blank page. I have to physically drag and drop the link in there for IE5 to open the page.

“These problems started on the same day, and I did not install anything new or change any settings anywhere. In short, both were okay one day and the next day they just stopped working. Any suggestions?”

The challenge:
How do you resolve these strange behaviors?

The solutions:
This quiz is one for which there doesn’t appear to be a single clear-cut solution. However, a week or so after we posted this quiz, Mohun wrote back and reported that he had figured out what was wrong on his particular system. Here’s what Mohun had to say, as well as some suggestions from fellow TechRepublic members.

Don’t delete any DLL files!
Mohun wrote: “IE has started working properly. The solution I found is I had inadvertently removed a DLL, MSHTMLER.DLL, from the Windows\System directory. Restoring that file solved both problems. Apparently that file is part of three DLLs that permit typing inside an HTML screen or box.”

Run RegClean
Several members recommended reinstalling IE5. Thomas M. Beckendorf Jr. took that suggestion one step further: “I resorted to reinstalling IE5. Didn't work. So then I ran RegClean until it said ‘no errors found.’ That fixed it.” (Follow this link to learn how to use RegClean.)

Check what’s running in the background
Marshal Tsiga wrote: “I work for a company that provides real estate software and one of our applications does have some problems with entering the password. It doesn't allow password input. The customer had a file that loads when you boot up the system. I used [Ctrl][Alt][Delete] and closed a file named ‘EM_exec.’ It was a utility/driver that was causing a conflict. So, you could check what's running in the background for the first part of the problem.”

Turn off AutoComplete
Here’s what Pavel Abakanov had to offer: “Some time ago we had the same problem on WinNT 4.0 (SP6) and IE 5.0. Try disabling the AutoComplete feature of IE 5.0.”

And the winner is…
To choose a winner for this quiz, we printed all of the e-mail messages we received and selected a winner at random. Congratulations and a $25 gift certificate to Fatbrain go to Thomas M. Beckendorf Jr.
To comment on these solutions or to add your two cents to the mix, please post a comment below or send us a note.
TechRepublic member Mohun Kumar, of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, submitted the topic for this week’s quiz—and we sent him a cool TechRepublic T-shirt. If you’d like to suggest a topic for our pop quiz, please send us a note .

The situation:
Here’s what Mohun wrote: “My problem is that in Internet Explorer 5 (with Windows 98 Second Edition and Office 2000), whenever there is a field on screen, for example a login ID and password field in an e-mail system, the keyboard stops functioning. I can enter URLs perfectly; the keyboard works perfectly anywhere outside the fields, but when I click in the field to enter my ID password (or even to enter a search phrase in a search engine), the keyboard does not respond.

“I tried the same with Netscape Navigator and it works properly. I spent an hour on the phone with Microsoft and they could not help me. A related problem is that when I click on a link, say in a Word document or an e-mail message, IE5 opens up with a blank page. I have to physically drag and drop the link in there for IE5 to open the page.

“These problems started on the same day, and I did not install anything new or change any settings anywhere. In short, both were okay one day and the next day they just stopped working. Any suggestions?”

The challenge:
How do you resolve these strange behaviors?

The solutions:
This quiz is one for which there doesn’t appear to be a single clear-cut solution. However, a week or so after we posted this quiz, Mohun wrote back and reported that he had figured out what was wrong on his particular system. Here’s what Mohun had to say, as well as some suggestions from fellow TechRepublic members.

Don’t delete any DLL files!
Mohun wrote: “IE has started working properly. The solution I found is I had inadvertently removed a DLL, MSHTMLER.DLL, from the Windows\System directory. Restoring that file solved both problems. Apparently that file is part of three DLLs that permit typing inside an HTML screen or box.”

Run RegClean
Several members recommended reinstalling IE5. Thomas M. Beckendorf Jr. took that suggestion one step further: “I resorted to reinstalling IE5. Didn't work. So then I ran RegClean until it said ‘no errors found.’ That fixed it.” (Follow this link to learn how to use RegClean.)

Check what’s running in the background
Marshal Tsiga wrote: “I work for a company that provides real estate software and one of our applications does have some problems with entering the password. It doesn't allow password input. The customer had a file that loads when you boot up the system. I used [Ctrl][Alt][Delete] and closed a file named ‘EM_exec.’ It was a utility/driver that was causing a conflict. So, you could check what's running in the background for the first part of the problem.”

Turn off AutoComplete
Here’s what Pavel Abakanov had to offer: “Some time ago we had the same problem on WinNT 4.0 (SP6) and IE 5.0. Try disabling the AutoComplete feature of IE 5.0.”

And the winner is…
To choose a winner for this quiz, we printed all of the e-mail messages we received and selected a winner at random. Congratulations and a $25 gift certificate to Fatbrain go to Thomas M. Beckendorf Jr.
To comment on these solutions or to add your two cents to the mix, please post a comment below or send us a note.

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