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OPC - Don't install Internet Explorer 6!
Don't install Internet Explorer v6 at this time. Many OPC "browsers", or programs that browse OPC items will stop working.
By Mark Wells on 18 June, 2002 - 6:53 am

I thought I'd try and save some time for others on the list. Don't install Internet Explorer version 6 at this time. Many OPC "browsers", or programs that browse OPC items will stop working. There is a good technical support document on the topic at "": . If you're like me, you'll have to use your wife's Apple to read the document because Internet Explorer 6.0 wouldn't display anything on my Windows NT box when I went to

Uninstalling Internet Explorer 6.0 is not such a delight either. It may involve having to reinstall Windows completely. The instructions are here:;en-us;Q293907

DLL hell lives on...

Mark Wells
Runfactory Systems Inc.
1235 Bay Street, Suite 400
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5R 3K4
Ph. 416-934-5038
Fax 416-352-5206

By Michael Griffin on 18 June, 2002 - 7:22 am

A rather topical posting, as we were discussing possible future problems with OPC compatability recently. I had a look for the document on Software Toobox's web site, but I couldn't find it. Perhaps I just don't know what search parameters to ask, or perhaps I was looking in the wrong place. I also tried the OPC foundation for information, but their web site seems to be down.

Could anyone tell us if Microsoft considers the problem to be a bug in Internet Explorer, or whether they consider the problem to be in OPC? Since you say "many OPC browsers", I take it that this isn't simply a problem with products from Software Toolbox.

I also noticed while browsing through Microsoft's web site that apparently there are special versions of Internet Explorer 6 which Windows is designed to not let you replace with an earlier version (this is intentional). You can still hack the registry to try to try to get around this, but the idea is that once the new (special) version is installed, you can't go back.

Michael Griffin
London, Ont. Canada

By Mark Wells on 18 June, 2002 - 12:27 pm


The link is at:


I'm not sure if the link will work, but to find it I went to:


Then clicked on "Find Answers", then used the search text "Explorer 6".

I went to the OPC website and it stated that the results of their January OPC Interoperability workshop haven't been posted. This is when the problem was brought up by "several OPC Foundation members."


Mark Wells
Runfactory Systems Inc.
1235 Bay Street, Suite 400
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5R 3K4
Ph. 416-934-5038
Fax 416-352-5206

By Michael Griffin on 19 June, 2002 - 11:28 am

Thank you. It turned out the problem was I had to turn on Java Script in my browser before the search engine would work properly. With Java Script off, it just spewed out either random results or no results, but gave no reason why.

To continue with the original discussion, interestingly enough the problem only occurs with Windows NT or Windows 2000, but not Windows 98 or XP. I had thought it a bit odd that we hadn't heard any complaints from people who had Windows XP, since it comes with Internet Explorer 6.

I hear more complaints about new versions of Intenet Explorer clobbering other programs than all other DLL problems put together. I had an earlier version which caused problems with Autocad. I use Internet Explorer at work, but at home I always avoided it since I just didn't need the agravation it causes.

I guess the moral of the story is, don't use the latest version of Windows or Internet Explorer if you can avoid it. Smaller software companies just
don't have the money to properly test their software with all the different combinations of Windows version, service packs, and the side effects from Internet Explorer. Windows isn't really a single operating system. It's actually a collection of closely related operating systems which have to be tested separately.

Michael Griffin
London, Ont. Canada

By Gord Ellis on 21 June, 2002 - 10:38 am

Hello Michael,

The problem arises from the installation of a new Actxprxy.dll when IE6 is installed. This DLL provides marshalling support for the IEnumGUID
interface which is required by the OPC enumerator (opcenum.exe). Most OPC client applications will provide server browsing by two methods. This first requires the OPC Enumerator, which gets "broken" by the installation of IE6. The second is a brute force registry probe. This
technique will still work.

The OPC Foundation has initiated action to rectify this problem by working to develop a new OPC Enumerator that does not have the
Actxprxy.dll dependency. I'm not sure, however, when this work is slated for completion.

Best regards,
Gord Ellis

==========================================Gord Ellis, P. Eng.
Northern Dynamic Inc.
J103-155 Frobisher Drive
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada N2V 2E1
Tel/Fax: (519) 725-2071/2072

By Ken Irving on 24 June, 2002 - 12:03 pm

Gord Ellis wrote:
> The problem arises from the installation of a new Actxprxy.dll when IE6 is installed. This DLL provides marshalling support for the IEnumGUID
interface which is required by the OPC enumerator (opcenum.exe). Most OPC client applications will provide server browsing by two methods. This
first requires the OPC Enumerator, which gets "broken" by the installation of IE6. ...<

This sounds like a textbook example of "DLL hell", and I'd have thought Microsoft programmers would be beyond that at this point. Did they overlook some minor thing to cause this? Was it a necessary change? What's the problem with maintaining compatibility with previous versions? I guess you just have to wonder, and to rely on this sort of random alert to avoid
falling victim. Amazing there's no mechanism in place to detect and/or warn of impending doom when IE6 is installed. Too bad one can't see how
they screwed up (or why they had to make such a change) by looking at the code. Is it unreasonable to suppose that other people might be able to offer ways to fix the problem if they could see the code?

Ken Irving

By Diana C Bouchard on 18 June, 2002 - 12:31 pm

These problems are not unique to IE 6, although they seem to be getting worse with each subsequent version. A couple of months ago, before I reformatted my disk and upgraded my home computer from Win 95 to Win 98, I had a nightmare time trying to get rid of a bad install of IE 5.5 that hung up when it tried to access anything but its home page. You can't use the normal "add/remove program" procedure with Internet Explorer (I'm sure that's intentional). When you try, the closest thing to an uninstall in
the resulting dialog box is "revert to previous version of Windows". Now that's something I wouldn't want to click without a full image of my hard disk on backup media plus a day or two to put my computer back together.

Not only that, most other programs that wanted to use a browser would access the corrupted copy of IE 5.5 rather than Netscape Communicator, and
hang up my machine.

Now my home computer has Win 98 and IE 5.5 and works fine. But I see no reason to "upgrade" to 6.

Diana Bouchard
Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada (Paprican)
Pointe Claire, Quebec, Canada

By kalpak dabir on 18 June, 2002 - 3:53 pm

some of the software experts I know depend on a simple thumb rule "dont use a microsoft product till at least SP2 of it has been released" and "avoid x.00 of any product".

By Matthew Hyatt on 28 March, 2004 - 4:49 pm

To all who are bashing Windows -
I run XP Pro, IE6, and most of the other latest Windows applications (Office - Word, Publisher, Front page, Excel, ect.) - no problems, no crashes, no freeze ups, no POP-UPS.

I also run Norton Internet Security and Anti-Virus, I have not installed any of the latest and greatest XP updates (not even the SP's) - my box is clean and runs great, I get no POP-UPS at all, no ads, no spyware, no bugs!

So, to all who bash Windows, Lay off it! Perhaps you should spend time doing some homework and less time bashing a product that is very stable, used around the world and has great technical support. Anyone who thinks Windows is so bad, should come out and see my box, it is rock solid - 24/7/365 and online 24/7/365.

To be upfront, I am sick of the Windows bashing, I have had lots of bad experiences with Linux boxes, but I do not bash the product or the developers. Like your mom use to say - "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"! If your so unhappy, go to a MAC or Linux and good luck finding all of the drivers, and other applications to run in those environments.


By Bob Peterson on 29 March, 2004 - 5:38 pm

In my expereince, windows has gotten progressively more stable and easier to use, both of these attributes are positive.

My laptop runs w2k and its been quite a while since it gave me any serious problems, although a few years ago it refused to boot up at all due to some wierd windows problem solved only after much annoyance.

My Pc at home was upgraded from a buggy and unstable w98se to wxp and I am quite happy with the results. I still reboot it occassionally but I can't recall if it has ever itself actually crashed, although sometimes errant programs crash, but I don't recall them taking xp with them.

I suspect a lot of the reason linux fans have good luck with linux has to do more with the relative level of skill of the operator than anything else. I would guess most linux users have a higher level of computer savvy than the average windows user.

By Curt Wuollet on 29 March, 2004 - 11:21 pm

To be sure, that might be some of it. But, I've had good luck leaving them among folks with niether computer skills or preference regarding OS. Including one place that was "just shutting it off" at the end of the day until they asked what was all that crap was that scrolled by when they started up. Installation these days doesn't afford much opportunity to add skill value, the recent box I did at work autodetected everything and the only thing I did "by hand" was the disk partitioning as I don't like how the automatic Druid uses extended partitions. I actually kinda miss participating. Of course this was an old "obsolete" P2 266 with no sound or anything and a cheap 2mb Trident clone video card. That stuff should be autodetected by now. If fact, all the work I've done is on the TWiki and Apache configs. The box is stock.



>This week the Bagle worm raised the bar with an attachment-less version.
>Last week we reported Bagle.M/N was using polymorphic virus techniques to
>infect executables on a victim's hard drive. The latest versions, Bagle.O,
>Bagle.P, Bagle.Q now use the Internet Explorer Object Tag vulnerability to
>infect users systems running un-patched versions of Internet Explorer.
>Using an exploit described in Microsoft's security update MS03-040, the
worm can
>automatically run and install itself when a user opens an e-mail.

you must have been missing warnings like this all along... and this is just one of so so soooo many... every you go to a site on IE you are exposing yourself to someone running malicious code or god knows what else... why do you think it's been officially renamed Internet Exploder 6??

By Peter Whalley on 5 April, 2004 - 1:57 pm

No not at all. We just run patched versions. The report refers to unpatched versions.


Peter Whalley
Magenta Communications Pty Ltd
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
e-mail: peter*no-spam*
delete *no-spam* before sending

By Curt Wuollet on 20 June, 2002 - 1:22 pm

Hi Diana

Sounds like you should keep the Netscape and lose the Windows.



By Diane Duarte on 23 March, 2004 - 5:50 pm

I want to uninstall internet emplorer 6.0 from my universe. I am running Windows XP and have every update that came out. I went into add/remove programs, and its not there, after reading some issues, and web sites, i have determined that I have to unistall some sp or hot fix to do this. I am unsure of what one to unistall because there are so freaking many. I NEED HELP I am so tired of pop ups that it sends. NOW if anyone can tell me how to get rid of the pop ups then I am in business. I have pop up stoppers, and IE is npot even open and they still freakin come. I am connected to the internet via a dsl and I am fed up and frustrated. I went to my program folder and into ie and tryed to delete the folder, but alas, it wont let me. Someone please HELP ME

By Curt Wuollet on 25 March, 2004 - 3:15 pm

Hi Diane

No problem! According to MS, you can't uninstall exploder, it's an integral part of the OS ;^) And those people paid good money to get to you with those pop ups. So your wishes are irrelevent.

But, all you have to do is install and use Mozilla. It actually does eliminate the pop ups. Apparently the Mozilla folks don't get a share of the pie.

I myself would recommend you install Linux as well, to eliminate the rest of the MS Mail Miseries. But Mozilla works on Windows from what I hear.



By Daniel Scott on 25 March, 2004 - 3:19 pm

Blocker is supposed to be in the next service pack.

This software, even though still beta, runs rock solid, blocks all popups you don't want and once you get spoiled with the tabbed windows, you will never go back.

I only use IE for Windows update now, as it seems you can't avoid it.

Danny Scott
Fredericton NB

Firefox and Thunderbird are excellent! I believe they just might be the breakthrough apps that will propel OpenSource into the mainstream.

Hey, and as far as avoiding using IE for the Windows Update, easy, dump Windows!

I didn't think I'd be saying this so soon, but I do believe Linux is getting very close to being a viable replacement for Windows for the average user. Check out Linspire, sure it's not the choice you'd make if you're a Linux / GNU / FreeBSD... geek, but for an average Windows user that is comfortable installing software from one click installation set-ups, it's a very good "bridge" into Linux without the steep learning curve; i.e. it gets you into the ballpark, and once there, you can improve your skills and move into other distros. In fact, you can get a fully pre-configured Linspire system for under $500 with working modem at Staples, WalMart, Sub300, etc. There are laptops pre configured with Linspire too. No excuses now to not go Linux.

Also there are low cost development apps. For example, RealBASIC - Let's you write VisualBasic like code in a graphical IDE/RAD (even converts VB projects) on Windows or Mac, and the target application is one file that can be compiled to run on Windows, Linux or Mac. Write once, deploy on all three platforms.

Also; Open Office replaces Word, Excel and PowerPoint; Nvu replaces FrontPage. The only thing missing from the Office Suite is Access, and I think OpenOffice 2.0 will have something called "Base" which will address that too.

Rick Scott

I suspect your problem is not all related to IE6 as I am using IE6 and spend an inordinate amount of time on the net, and don't have this problem. I use a program called Spybot search and destroy to eliminate the kind of abuse
you are talking about, the first use of this program was quite enlightening, it removed about 300 web bots and spiders and other tracking devices from my machine, I thought it would stop working if all this was "fixed" so I did one at a time, there is an undo feature, well after item number 20 or so I started to go 10 at a time and by the time the first 100 were done, I had enough confidence to trust it and removed the rest, no problem and no popups
anymore either.

By the way the machines in my environment, and there are several, all run IE6, they are either on SP4 or SP3 of Win2K, some programs like PCS7 and Archestra advise against SP4, and in addition to the Archestra OPC server I
also use Simatic Net OPC for Ethernet, for Profibus, Inat OPC server, Kepware OPC server and another one on my simulator PC which name escapes me just at present, no interaction with IE6 has ever been observed.

Good luck
Donald P

By Michael Griffin on 25 March, 2004 - 9:59 pm

I don't know if you are a regular Automation List reader, or if you happened here by chance while searching for a solution to your problem. However, I think your problem is more than we can expect to solve by e-mail. Perhaps though, I can offer you a bit of advice. I hope this is useful to you.

It sounds as though your computer may have a bad case of spyware. A lot of the "free" Windows software come with hidden payloads of programs that hijack Internet Explorer and send pop-ups, re-direct you to different web sites than the ones you asked for, and send secret reports on your internet surfing habits to marketing companies. Spyware is often contained in things like free toolbars for Internet Explorer (including ironically, in some pop-up blockers), and some P2P software.

There is software available to get rid of spyware. The name Adaware comes to mind for one. Some of the newer anti-virus software may possibly come with optional spyware scanners as well. If you do a web search on "spyware" you will probably come up with a lot of useful hits which can take you further.

Getting rid of Internet Explorer itself is not so easy. It's not a conventional application, but rather is knitted right into Windows itself. You should however be able to download the Mozilla web browser and e-mail program. If you use these instead of Internet Explorer and Outlook, you'll be a lot safer from a repeat performance in future.

I can understand your frustration. Lots of other people who use Windows have similar problems as well as viruses, keyboard loggers, spam proxies, and zombies.


Michael Griffin
London, Ont. Canada

By Mike O'Connor on 25 March, 2004 - 11:55 pm

Diane, I know this is getting a bit off the topic of OPC & IE but have you tried an Ad removal program such as Ad-aware? Just go to and try their free version and it may solve your ad popup problem.

By marc sinclair on 28 March, 2004 - 2:45 pm

easy , ignore IE and install mozilla firefox - download adblock as well and you can even rid yourself of all those annoying google syndication
links too.

If all you use your machine for is word processing and browsing then ditch windows altogether. Try something like mandrake linux

marc sinclair

Hello all,
I was wondering why my browser would not display anything; I thought I was using white over white until I came across this article; thanks a lot.

By Peter Whalley on 28 March, 2004 - 2:17 pm

Hi Diane,

The Google Toolbar incorporates a popup blocker. Just go to download and install. It's handy for Google searches as well.

Alternatively, Norton Internet Security has popup and add blocking and is strongly recommended (or some similar alternative) if you are on a permanent Internet connection.

You may also have installed GAIN (Gator Advertising and Information Network) when you installed some other "freeware". GAIN is an absolute PITA and will open advertising windows happily all day for you. Check in you list of installed programs. Getting rid of it can be difficult unless you know what it came with because you have to uninstall that first. There are a number of software packages around for detecting things like GAIN and attempting to remove them.

Google "add blockers" and "Popup Blockers" and you should be able to find suitable programs to get rid of the annoyances.


Peter Whalley