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Internet Explorer Dilemma

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I'm in some strange, catch-22 situation with my Internet Explorer.

I'm running Windows XP Pro SP2 with IE6 SP2. Sunday night my automatic updates took place, and Monday my Internet Explorer could no longer find my network. IE still comes up and opens local files. There are no changes in the network settings. My network connection is absolutely fine, as everything else is working. In fact, I'm running Firefox right now from the same system. But I need to get IE working again so that I can run Windows Update.

I uninstalled the automatic updates, but that didn't make a difference.
I ran sfc /scannnow and restarted. That didn't work.

So it looked like reinstalling IE 6 was the way to go. Here's where it gets interesting.

I try downloading IE6 SP2 from Microsoft, but it wouldn't install because it detected a later version on the computer. I tried loading it from my system disks, but my computer's a Dell that's a few years old, and it seemed to be missing some files I needed for the reinstall.

I look on the Microsoft website and it says that to repair IE, I need to reinstall Windows XP. Sigh. Okay, so I go to the site that the Microsoft document lists -- http://www.microsoft...xp/default.mspx -- but, get this, I need a functioning Internet Explorer to reinstall XP. So I can't repair IE without a functioning IE. This just doesn't seem right.

I've installed Firefox and would be happy to keep using it, but I need the ability to update my Windows OS to keep ahead of those exploits.

The only path I can see right now is to boot from my original, 3-4 year old Dell disk, reinstall the entire OS, run a bunch of updates and hope I don't get slammed with a worm while I'm updating. Ack. Any ideas? Am I missing something obvious? (please say yes...)

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-- but, get this, I need a functioning Internet Explorer to reinstall XP. So I can't repair IE without a functioning IE. This just doesn't seem right....

Uhm why?

Never mind.

Try this

using the download file you already have use the run command and add the /Q switch

So, start > run

use the browse button to find the ie6setup.exe file, select it, and you will have this in your run line

"C:\Documents and Settings\gerry\Desktop\ie6setup.exe"

now add /Q

"C:\Documents and Settings\gerry\Desktop\ie6setup.exe" /Q

hit enter.

IE and outlook will reinstall (you will not lose your settings.)

BUT, you will need to run windows update.

Let me know if that works
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Thanks for your response. I tried this exactly as you described, after first shutting down everything. I did see a quick message that it was downloading IE exceptions, but then nothing. No more dialogs, no more installation prompts, just silence. And the Internet Explorer on my system is still SP2. (I haven't figured out how to "uninstall" it...) I must be overlooking something.
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