Monday, April 06th, 2009 | Author:

I came across 2 bugs on Windows Server 2003 that are also relevant to Windows XP.

Short Circuits

1. Internet Explorer‘s Desktop icon is disabled. When you double-click on the icon, expecting IE to launch, it simply produces an additional shortcut. Subsequent double-clicks again produce more shortcuts. It is possible, as a workaround, to launch IE from the Start Menu.

My first guess was that malware was attempting to make me click on these new shortcuts where the new shortcuts opened further malware. This idea quickly faded though since, if malware were to have the system privileges to produce these symptoms, it wouldn’t need me to provide further privileges.

I eventually found here what the actual problem was. In my case, the cause was related to IE6 being outdated. If a Windows registry entry is named “LegacyDisable” and is added to specific types of registry keys, it lets Windows know that the key is obsolete and that it has only been left behind for backwards-compatibility. In this case, it disabled the intended primary “verb” function (the double-click) of the shortcut: launching IE.

To fix, you can either update to the latest version of IE or fix the registry entry directly. If you experience this issue even with the latest version of IE then the registry value is the only way I know how to fix it.

Danger, Will Robinson!

Though this is a trivial registry change, the registry is still a dangerous thing to mess with so, as usual, back up your registry: See KB322756. Nobody gets to blame me for trashing their system. 😛

De-Register me!

Paste the following into a .reg file and execute it; or manually remove the “LegacyDisable” entries referred-to here:


Fire me up!

2. When trying to browse to any site from within IE, IE remains dormant while Firefox is launched. Firefox then loads the page which was originally requested in IE.

While many might most of the time consider this to be a triumph [insert childish laughter here], the site I wanted to browse to was the Windows Updates site which, unfortunately, does not work when using Firefox. The same would apply to other sites which depend on the web browser supporting ActiveX.

De-Register Me Too!

I eventually found the solution here, and it turns out to be similar to the solution for the first bug – except that it is to remove an entire key. Again, ensure you have a backup of your registry before continuing. Here is the relevant content of the .reg file:


I hope that resolves things for anyone else having similar issues. 🙂

Category: windows
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Leave a Reply » Log in