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IE wants to download file instead of load web page?

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Guys, here is an email that I got from a friend of mine, about his boss's computer. I can't really come up with anything that he didnt already do, including reinstalling 98, and reinstalling the browser. what do you think about this?

He is running Windows 98SE with IE6 sp1. It is doing the weirdest thing. Instead of loading a webpage it pops up the "download file" window. If I type "www.google.com" in the address line, it will pop up the download file window and say the file: "google" from "www.google.com" wants to download, should I open and run it, save it, or cancel? No matter what you do, it refuses to go to google. Same deal with Ebay, as well as his ISP homepage MW.net. I have saved these files and opened them in wordpad, they do not appear to be HTML, no words just the random characters you would see when opening a binary file for instance. Sometimes after a linked page starts to load it will pop up the download file window and the file name will be part of the new URL. These seem to load normally after I tell it to cancel the download.

Now, if I go into his bookmarks under favorites and click on his "my ebay" page, that comes up normally. Ditto for MSN.com. BTW, typing in the MSN URL manually results in the "dowload MSN file" window.

Anybody got a clue what's going on here? I downloaded and scanned his computer with the free AVG virus scanner and nothing was found. I even ran a registry cleaner that removed about 160 bad entries and it still does it. The weird thing is one time it started acting normally, I could go to Google, MSN, etc. and they loaded fine. I hadn't done anything different, it just started working. Went back to it's bad behaviour after a reboot though.

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