Dull Windows XP Question
February 23, 2008 8:10 PM   Subscribe

"Windows needs to close" - filter: The computer now seems to present that "windows needs to close" message when I try to close any window containing a web page that had video or audio on it. It didn't used to do this. I would like to fix this.

This is Windows XP, not Vista. I know many here will suggest I switch to Firefox, but I share this computer with Mrs. W and I don't think she would like the change. I have cleaned the registry (not that that would have anything to do with this problem; it's just one of the things I know how to do.) I regularly clear the internet history and the temporary files, and have defagged recently. The recycle bin is also clear.

I do have realplayer installed on this computer along with Windows media player. Could that have anything to do with it?

Clearly I'm grasping at straws but I trust the hive mind to be able to tell me what to do (or what free utility I can download online that will fix this.)

posted by wittgenstein to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I would try doing a repair of the IE installation if possible (check Control Panel/Add Remove Programs) and deleting any IE plugins you can find in Control Panel or start menu.

If that doesn't work, it could be a codec problem. You might want to try downloading and installing a codec pack. In the past I've used the K-Lite codec pack from free-codecs.com, but YMMV.

Lastly, if Mrs. W prefers IE, you probably haven't done a good enough job explaining the virtues of Firefox. Based on your question, I'm assuming you've tested Firefox and found that the problem is limited to IE.
posted by iamisaid at 8:35 PM on February 23, 2008

Realplayer is the devil. Uninstall it and see if the problem goes away. If so, replace it with Real Alternative.

Replace Apple's QuickTime offering with QuickTime Alternative while you're at it.

The Media Player Classic application that forms the core of these two is a full-featured media player in its own right (it will even play DVD's) even without the additional codecs that these packages provide. Personally I vastly prefer it to the bloated, ugly WMP10.
posted by flabdablet at 9:00 PM on February 23, 2008

Uninstalling Realplayer is a great suggestion, whether it solves your problem or not. Seconding Real Alternative. I would have thought the Realplayer people would have gone out of business years ago, but apparently not. Luckily, the Real format seems mostly dead these days.
posted by iamisaid at 9:06 PM on February 23, 2008

Be sure that you try running IE in add-on free mode:
Programs --> Accessories --> System Tools --> IE (no add-ons)

Also try a repair installation of Windows Media Player. It's not as awful as Real Player, but it is tied into your OS and browser at a pretty fundamental level.
posted by dhartung at 10:32 PM on February 23, 2008

1. Uninstall Apple Quicktime.
2. Uninstall Adobe Flash Player.
3. Uninstall Real Player.
4. If you are using Internet Explorer 7, uninstall it (Internet Explorer 6 is still there, underneath IE7)
5. Insert your Windows XP disk and use the start menu/run command to run this command:

sfc /scannow

6. Run Windows Update. When prompted to download and install Internet Explorer 7, do so.

Lots of dramatic changes here, but the end result is a clean installation and the ability to reinstall plugins as pages need them.
posted by disclaimer at 10:56 PM on February 23, 2008

If you're running IE7, try the no-addons mode suggested by dhartung above as the first step.

If that fails, try the reset IE to defaults option on the Tools->Internet Options->Advanced tab.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:23 AM on February 24, 2008

Update from THE FUTURE !! :

Thanks for all of the suggestions, but it turns out the problem was Norton AntiVirus. Fortunately, shortly after asking this question Norton informed us that we qualified for an updated version through our subscription. Once I downloaded the new version (and it uninstalled the old version), the problem stopped.

(Why Norton had anything to do with this problem, I don't know, but somehow it did.)
posted by wittgenstein at 10:35 AM on February 25, 2008

but it turns out the problem was Norton AntiVirus

If I had a dollar for every time I'd heard that, I'd have a hell of a lot of dollars.
posted by flabdablet at 3:21 PM on February 25, 2008

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