IE8 install/re-install problem with Comodo

I have just finished spending DAYS trying to solve a problem I was having
re-installing Internet Explorer 8 on a computer I have at work. It turned
out that the problem was that I had to completely UNINSTALL Comodo before I
could get the re-install of IE8 to work. I’m just passing on the info here
in case something similar happens to anyone else.

First, the story, and then the bottom line.

Here’s what happened:

I was trying to figure out why the computer was running slowly. The
computer is a Dell Dimension 3000 with Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 on it. It
has a 2.79 GHz processor and 2 GB of RAM. A second computer at work is
identical except it has 1.25 GB of RAM instead of 2 GB. But, the 2 GB RAM
computer was running much slower than the other one. Both computers are
stand alone individual computers and are not networked together or connected
to any network. Both computers have virtually identical software with
identical programs running at startup. Both computers have Microsoft System
Essentials (MSE) and Comodo (-- FIREWALL ONLY --) installed, and both have
Carbonite backup running in the background. Both computers have QuickBooks
2009 running on them which requires IE8 in order to function correctly.

After trying every type of malware and antivirus scan I could think of,
including Super AntiSpyware, Malware Bytes AntiMalware, and MSE with nothing
found, I started thinking that maybe the problem had something to do with an
IE8 plug-in or add-on. So, I started messing around with those settings and
managed to do something wrong that somehow caused IE8 to stop working. I
eventually decided to uninstall and re-install IE8.

I’ve been spending days trying to get the IE8 to re-install and work. I
tried everything I could find on the Internet that was suggested –
all of the the fixes, all of the uninstall and re-install techniques, “clean
boot” techniques, changing the “theme”, etc. None of those things worked.
Each time, the end result was that when I would re-install and then run IE8,
I would at first get a modified IE8 screen (with the “File, Tools, etc.”
toolbar missing) and it would just say “connecting” but nothing would
happen. After that, all it would do is flash an IE8 screen for 1/2 a second
and then close. I tried having no programs such as Comodo, MSE,
and Carbonite run on startup, and that didn’t work. I tried uninstalling
MSE because I couldn’t figure out how to shut it down, and that didn’t work.
I tried closing (“exiting”) Comodo, and that didn’t work. Then finally I
tried completely uninstalling Comodo – and that solved the problem.

BOTTOM LINE: Apparently, when re-installing IE8 on a computer that is
running Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3, one must completely UNINSTALL Comodo or the
IE8 re-install will not work.

I have also just experienced the same problem with Comodo Internet Security and IE. I installed Comodo Internet Security free version onto (3) PCs Friday, 01/08/2010 and they called me the next day to say IE was not coming up for them on (1) of those PCs. I spent several hours over the course of a few days messing with Windows, running several different virus scans with Comodo as well as other malware detection tools and uninstalling/reinstalling IE. I found that even if I backed out to IE 7 I still had the same problem, IE would not come up.

I found that when I started IE what was happening was that IE 8 or IE 7 (didn’t matter) would come up and show the app for about .5 seconds, then just disappear. It would disappear from the running applications list in Task Manager, but, iexplore.exe was obviously still running in the process list and attributed to the user I was logged in as. I became paranoid that perhaps I had one of the many iexplore.exe trojans out there, but, it just didn’t make sense and nothing was coming up in the many scans I ran. It was too coincidental to installing Comodo and then Windows Update running shortly after that to apply Microsoft Windows patches to these systems, off of which run Windows XP.

I attempted to start IE several times using c:\program files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe -nohome -extoff and that didn’t do anything different.

I booted into safe mode with networking and found IE worked fine there. The one key is, Comodo (or any antivirus) does not start up in Windows safe mode.

I came back to normal mode boot and installed Firefox as an alternative (I prefer Firefox anyhow, but, their use of Quickbooks 2009 requires IE8 be installed…) and found that worked fine.

As a last resort I tried uninstalling Comodo, rebooted and whadya know? IE works just fine.

I have now uninstalled, rebooted and reinstalled Comodo Internet Security on all (3) PCs and now IE works fine on those at this time, as does Firefox. I left them with the instruction that if IE does this again (flashes and goes away), that we will have to ditch Comodo and move to a paid AV/FW product (other than Comodo) because, while I’m trying to help them save money, my time is worth way more than that spent on what it will cost to purchase another av/fw product that does not cause these problems.

Clearly something in the Windows updates patched IE and that caused Comodo to block IE or otherwise make it disappear from the active applications list without at least first checking with the user to ensure that the patched IE was a valid application running.