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Black Menu and Favorites bar in IE8

Discussion in 'Internet Explorer' started by craigmill@sky.com, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. craigmill@sky.com

    craigmill@sky.com Flightless Bird

    Hi, I have just updated my XP netbook to IE8 and discovered that the
    Menu and Favorites bar are black - the drop down menus are there but
    black on black.

    After a bit of investigation I discovered that my display theme had
    changed from Windows Classic to Windows Classic (modified). If I then
    change it back to XP Classic I can see the Menu and Favorites bars
    again for a few restarts the the black bars recurred.
    I then tried using the Windows XP theme and that worked once but the
    black menu and favorites bar appeared back again - when I checked my
    display theme it was Window XP ( modified).

    I appreciate that this may not be an IE problem but this is where the
    problem is seen!

    According to Google this is a wide spread problem but I cannot find a
    solution - is there one?

    Raymond
     
  2. rob^_^

    rob^_^ Flightless Bird

    Hi Craig,

    Explained here

    http://iecustomizer.com/Resources/Articles/BlackToolbars.aspx

    Regards.

    <craigmill@sky.com> wrote in message
    news:61026020-41b9-44e1-8a65-8253ce4ee39b@q23g2000yqd.googlegroups.com...
    > Hi, I have just updated my XP netbook to IE8 and discovered that the
    > Menu and Favorites bar are black - the drop down menus are there but
    > black on black.
    >
    > After a bit of investigation I discovered that my display theme had
    > changed from Windows Classic to Windows Classic (modified). If I then
    > change it back to XP Classic I can see the Menu and Favorites bars
    > again for a few restarts the the black bars recurred.
    > I then tried using the Windows XP theme and that worked once but the
    > black menu and favorites bar appeared back again - when I checked my
    > display theme it was Window XP ( modified).
    >
    > I appreciate that this may not be an IE problem but this is where the
    > problem is seen!
    >
    > According to Google this is a wide spread problem but I cannot find a
    > solution - is there one?
    >
    > Raymond
    >
     
  3. PA Bear [MS MVP]

    PA Bear [MS MVP] Flightless Bird

    Now, /that/ is a keeper!

    rob^_^ wrote:
    > Hi Craig,
    >
    > Explained here
    >
    > http://iecustomizer.com/Resources/Articles/BlackToolbars.aspx
    >
    > Regards.
    >
    > <craigmill@sky.com> wrote in message
    > news:61026020-41b9-44e1-8a65-8253ce4ee39b@q23g2000yqd.googlegroups.com...
    >> Hi, I have just updated my XP netbook to IE8 and discovered that the
    >> Menu and Favorites bar are black - the drop down menus are there but
    >> black on black.
    >>
    >> After a bit of investigation I discovered that my display theme had
    >> changed from Windows Classic to Windows Classic (modified). If I then
    >> change it back to XP Classic I can see the Menu and Favorites bars
    >> again for a few restarts the the black bars recurred.
    >> I then tried using the Windows XP theme and that worked once but the
    >> black menu and favorites bar appeared back again - when I checked my
    >> display theme it was Window XP ( modified).
    >>
    >> I appreciate that this may not be an IE problem but this is where the
    >> problem is seen!
    >>
    >> According to Google this is a wide spread problem but I cannot find a
    >> solution - is there one?
    >>
    >> Raymond
     
  4. craigmill@sky.com

    craigmill@sky.com Flightless Bird

    Rob - many thanks for your reply.

    I had seen most of these scenarios but not the changes to the Advance
    Appearance!

    I have now used this with three boots without problem, but as many
    have reported - black menus can recur after several days - so I will
    give it a week or two and advise if it has been sucessful or not!

    Again - many thanks!

    Raymond
     
  5. rob^_^

    rob^_^ Flightless Bird

    It will reoccur because of a third-party desktop themeing software (or one
    of your custom Desktop Themes) is reapplying a defective theme each time the
    computer is rebooted or the Desktop is Refreshed...

    Startdoc's Windows Blinds or AlienGuise (may come pre-installed on some
    Alienware computers). You need to disable these programs in either your
    Windows Startup list or your Programs>Startup folder. to stop them loading
    and running at windows startup time.

    If you don't have any programs like these installed and the problem
    re-occurs then it will be your current Custom Desktop theme.

    Regards.

    <craigmill@sky.com> wrote in message
    news:7c59cb32-5baf-415a-8215-82b5abb1524f@g4g2000yqa.googlegroups.com...
    > Rob - many thanks for your reply.
    >
    > I had seen most of these scenarios but not the changes to the Advance
    > Appearance!
    >
    > I have now used this with three boots without problem, but as many
    > have reported - black menus can recur after several days - so I will
    > give it a week or two and advise if it has been sucessful or not!
    >
    > Again - many thanks!
    >
    > Raymond
     
  6. craigmill@sky.com

    craigmill@sky.com Flightless Bird

    Hi, I got my netbook with a clean install of XP home complete with
    IE6. I then selected Windows Classic theme. There are no 3rd party
    themes or add-ons installed.
    Everything was OK until I upgraded to IE8 along with a host of other
    critical updates - thats when the black bar appeared.
    As I advised in my previous posting I have changed the appearance per
    your link and so far so good.
    I just find it hard to understand why microsoft don't acknowledge the
    problem and fix it!
    If the appearance change does not last then I will move to another
    browser.

    Thanks again!

    Raymond
     
  7. PA Bear [MS MVP]

    PA Bear [MS MVP] Flightless Bird

    To keep track of things, it helps immensely if you quote all of the previous
    message(s) in your replies to the newsgroup. Thank you.

    It came with WinXP/IE6 preinstalled or you did a clean install of WinXP?

    What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is your
    subscription current? What anti-spyware applications (other than Defender)?
    What third-party firewall (if any)? Were any of these applications running
    in the background when you installed ___?

    Has a(another) Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on the
    computer (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when you bought
    it)?
    --
    ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
    MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002


    craigmill@sky.com wrote:
    > Hi, I got my netbook with a clean install of XP home complete with
    > IE6. I then selected Windows Classic theme. There are no 3rd party
    > themes or add-ons installed.
    > Everything was OK until I upgraded to IE8 along with a host of other
    > critical updates - thats when the black bar appeared.
    > As I advised in my previous posting I have changed the appearance per
    > your link and so far so good.
    > I just find it hard to understand why microsoft don't acknowledge the
    > problem and fix it!
    > If the appearance change does not last then I will move to another
    > browser.
    >
    > Thanks again!
    >
    > Raymond
     
  8. rob^_^

    rob^_^ Flightless Bird

    Hi,

    IE8 has a different GUI architecture (chrome) to previous versions. The flaw
    as you can see from my article not only affects IE8. It is just at the time
    the issue occurred you only saw it in IE8, hence, your brain made the
    connection that it must be an IE8 flaw.

    It has taken me nearly two years to track down the True reason. The Truth is
    the issue has been around long before IE8 was released. The browser is
    probably the most common program that users have running on their desktop.
    Naturally everyone has assumed that it(IE8) was a cause. I invite those IE
    bashers to eat humble pie. Nothing is perfect and I would not claim that IE8
    is.

    Now to move on to the tiny-fonts issue.. I think I have nailed that one too.
    (I love a good problem to solve). It also has nothing to do with IE8 as a
    cause.

    Regards.

    <craigmill@sky.com> wrote in message
    news:4dfa5cca-ef2f-48b3-ae10-37b001e6f5d1@c16g2000yqd.googlegroups.com...
    > Hi, I got my netbook with a clean install of XP home complete with
    > IE6. I then selected Windows Classic theme. There are no 3rd party
    > themes or add-ons installed.
    > Everything was OK until I upgraded to IE8 along with a host of other
    > critical updates - thats when the black bar appeared.
    > As I advised in my previous posting I have changed the appearance per
    > your link and so far so good.
    > I just find it hard to understand why microsoft don't acknowledge the
    > problem and fix it!
    > If the appearance change does not last then I will move to another
    > browser.
    >
    > Thanks again!
    >
    > Raymond
    >
     
  9. craigmill@sky.com

    craigmill@sky.com Flightless Bird

    Hi PA Bear, I have not appended previous messages because I felt it
    would repeat messages that were already availble with a little
    scrolling.

    I received the net book with XP home and IE6 pre-installed. There were
    a few other applications provided but not installed - Works, Office
    2007 compatibility, Viewers, etc. - I deleted these.
    I installed MSE and used the XP firewall. The only other application I
    have installed is Office XP.

    Once I was connected on line Microsoft advised of many "Critical"
    updates. It was only after these updates (which included IE8) that the
    black bar appeared.

    I can see that there has been a lot of debate about where the root of
    the problem lies. The only four things I know 1) It only affects IE8
    on my pc. 2) It appears to be a result of corrupted themes. 3) When I
    look at Google this problem was raised by many people a long time ago.
    4) Microsoft do not acknowledge the problem and and have not provided
    a solution.

    I have changed the appearance of my theme per the info provided by
    Rob. I have booted it about a dozen times today. So far so good!

    Raymond
     
  10. craigmill@sky.com

    craigmill@sky.com Flightless Bird

    Spoke too soon - on my 15th boot of the day - black bars!

    Dammmmmm!
     
  11. PA Bear [MS MVP]

    PA Bear [MS MVP] Flightless Bird

    The vast majority of us are not accessing this newsgroup via Google Groups
    or
    http://www.microsoft.com/communitie...?dg=microsoft.public.internetexplorer.general,
    but in a newsreader (cf.
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/outlookexpressnewreader.htm) so we don't
    have anything to scroll through. When posting via Google Groups, please
    click on "Show quoted text" before replying to a post. Thank you.

    So there was not an anti-virus or security suite free trial preinstalled on
    the computer when you bought it?

    How long was the computer connected to the internet before you got MSE
    installed & updated (e.g., a few minutes; a few hours; a day or more)?

    OT/NB: If Office XP is installed, you're going to need Office Compatibility
    Pack (SP1/SP2) installed in order to open files created in Office 2007 &
    higher. If you make Microsoft Update your default update source (assuming
    you've not done so already), it and other Office updates should be offered
    to your computer. See
    http://blogs.technet.com/office_sus...hive/2009/07/14/july-2009-update-release.aspx

    Office Update Center
    http://www.microsoft.com/officeupdatecenter

    PS: The vast majority of IE8 users are not seeing this "black toolbar"
    behavior.
    --
    ~PA Bear

    craigmill@sky.com wrote:
    > Hi PA Bear, I have not appended previous messages because I felt it
    > would repeat messages that were already availble with a little
    > scrolling.
    >
    > I received the net book with XP home and IE6 pre-installed. There were
    > a few other applications provided but not installed - Works, Office
    > 2007 compatibility, Viewers, etc. - I deleted these.
    > I installed MSE and used the XP firewall. The only other application I
    > have installed is Office XP.
    >
    > Once I was connected on line Microsoft advised of many "Critical"
    > updates. It was only after these updates (which included IE8) that the
    > black bar appeared.
    >
    > I can see that there has been a lot of debate about where the root of
    > the problem lies. The only four things I know 1) It only affects IE8
    > on my pc. 2) It appears to be a result of corrupted themes. 3) When I
    > look at Google this problem was raised by many people a long time ago.
    > 4) Microsoft do not acknowledge the problem and and have not provided
    > a solution.
    >
    > I have changed the appearance of my theme per the info provided by
    > Rob. I have booted it about a dozen times today. So far so good!
    >
    > Raymond
     
  12. rob^_^

    rob^_^ Flightless Bird

    Hi Craig,

    Start>Programs>Startup
    Look for AlienGuise in your Startup Folder and either delete it or move it
    to another folder.

    Start>Run>msconfig - Startup tab (your Windows version may not have this
    utility available)

    Locate and disable any startup items from Stardock Systems, Startdock Corp,
    Stardock
    I have WindowsBlinds 6, Impulse Now and Startdock ObjectDoc

    Save your changes and your will be asked to restart your computer.

    or

    Uninstall Windows Blinds, Alienguise (these are known to have issues with
    Win7) from your machine. Stardoc does not recommend or support it for Win7.

    Dell may also have installed some 'Branding' Software.. do they have Desktop
    Themes? One of those may be faulty.

    Look you don't have to have any of that software to get this issue.

    Your themes from Dell or anybody else may have been created on an earlier
    Windows version. Desktop themes are just ini files whose values are written
    to the registry. Any missing values, say they specify a threeD background
    color, but not a Menu Background color, are written to the registry as a
    empty value.

    Flawed software will read this registry value. An empty value may be
    converted to the number 0, which a computer will interpret as meaning the
    color black.

    mmm. There could be something else in your windows startup list that does a
    Desktop refresh... You could sort by Manufacturer and disable also anything
    that does not come from Microsoft.

    Why do you have to re-boot your machine 15 times a day? That is a real
    worry... Windows 7... mine is as stable as a sea of concrete.

    Regards.

    <craigmill@sky.com> wrote in message
    news:9c045245-4143-41ae-9d96-803db45c3a7d@v20g2000yqv.googlegroups.com...
    > Spoke too soon - on my 15th boot of the day - black bars!
    >
    > Dammmmmm!
    >
     
  13. craigmill@sky.com

    craigmill@sky.com Flightless Bird

    PA Bear - Well, I have learned something new today - I did not
    appreciate that news reader groups don't see the preceding posts - not
    very user friendly in my opinion.

    There was no antivirus or security suite provided with the netbook. I
    had previously downloaded MSE to a memory stick so that was installed
    before I connected to the net. I then went online to download the
    updates. I guess that could leave me exposed for four/five minutes

    I appreciate that I will need a few office compatibility downloads.

    I also appreciate that the vast majority of users don't see this
    problem - I don't see it on my desktop, but type in black bar & IE8
    into any search engine and you will get pages and pages of people that
    do! With my old hat on where we used Six Sigma to measure quality in
    Defects Per Million Operations this would not look good!

    Rob - The only items I have in Start Up are my graphics, touch pad,
    sound, and MSE. All the rest are disabled. There are no items with the
    names you cited.
    I only have themes that are provided by winXp home. .

    I was only booting up and and switching off again to test the
    "appearance change fix". It just shows how intermittent this problem
    is!
     
  14. PA Bear [MS MVP]

    PA Bear [MS MVP] Flightless Bird

    I'm fully aware that many users have encountered this "black menu"
    phenonmenon. My point is that most users have not and these folks don't
    tend to post to newsgroups & forums to say they're NOT having a problem.

    Compare to buying a new car that turns out to be a lemon. You'll tell
    anybody within earshot about it. But if the new car's not a lemon, you
    might only mention it to a few friends.


    craigmill@sky.com wrote:
    > PA Bear - Well, I have learned something new today - I did not
    > appreciate that news reader groups don't see the preceding posts - not
    > very user friendly in my opinion.
    >
    > There was no antivirus or security suite provided with the netbook. I
    > had previously downloaded MSE to a memory stick so that was installed
    > before I connected to the net. I then went online to download the
    > updates. I guess that could leave me exposed for four/five minutes
    >
    > I appreciate that I will need a few office compatibility downloads.
    >
    > I also appreciate that the vast majority of users don't see this
    > problem - I don't see it on my desktop, but type in black bar & IE8
    > into any search engine and you will get pages and pages of people that
    > do! With my old hat on where we used Six Sigma to measure quality in
    > Defects Per Million Operations this would not look good!
    >
    > Rob - The only items I have in Start Up are my graphics, touch pad,
    > sound, and MSE. All the rest are disabled. There are no items with the
    > names you cited.
    > I only have themes that are provided by winXp home. .
    >
    > I was only booting up and and switching off again to test the
    > "appearance change fix". It just shows how intermittent this problem
    > is!
     
  15. rob^_^

    rob^_^ Flightless Bird

    Hi,

    " I only have themes that are provided by winXp home"

    Say no more! They are not compatible with Win7... they are missing a value
    for the background color of menu objects, but have a background color of
    black for Three D objects, so when only the Three D objects background color
    is applied it is also applied to the menu objects by default. You end up
    with black on black menu objects, which in IE8 because the menu bar holds
    (contains) the other third-party Toolbar Addons, makes all your IE8 Toolbar
    Addons and menu bar black.

    Don't apply them. I don't think you can uninstall them either.

    Regards.

    <craigmill@sky.com> wrote in message
    news:36ee9cfe-0f3a-44ba-a9a0-699f768372dd@g28g2000prb.googlegroups.com...
    > PA Bear - Well, I have learned something new today - I did not
    > appreciate that news reader groups don't see the preceding posts - not
    > very user friendly in my opinion.
    >
    > There was no antivirus or security suite provided with the netbook. I
    > had previously downloaded MSE to a memory stick so that was installed
    > before I connected to the net. I then went online to download the
    > updates. I guess that could leave me exposed for four/five minutes
    >
    > I appreciate that I will need a few office compatibility downloads.
    >
    > I also appreciate that the vast majority of users don't see this
    > problem - I don't see it on my desktop, but type in black bar & IE8
    > into any search engine and you will get pages and pages of people that
    > do! With my old hat on where we used Six Sigma to measure quality in
    > Defects Per Million Operations this would not look good!
    >
    > Rob - The only items I have in Start Up are my graphics, touch pad,
    > sound, and MSE. All the rest are disabled. There are no items with the
    > names you cited.
    > I only have themes that are provided by winXp home. .
    >
    > I was only booting up and and switching off again to test the
    > "appearance change fix". It just shows how intermittent this problem
    > is!
    >
     
  16. rob^_^

    rob^_^ Flightless Bird

    I've fixed him up...

    " I only have themes that are provided by winXp home"

    <sigh>I could try the same explanation (technical) at the EWS... I don't
    think it would get far. I would write a fixit, but there's no profit.

    "PA Bear [MS MVP]" <PABearMVP@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:-OuNjoIWxKHA.5100@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
    > I'm fully aware that many users have encountered this "black menu"
    > phenonmenon. My point is that most users have not and these folks don't
    > tend to post to newsgroups & forums to say they're NOT having a problem.
    >
    > Compare to buying a new car that turns out to be a lemon. You'll tell
    > anybody within earshot about it. But if the new car's not a lemon, you
    > might only mention it to a few friends.
    >
    >
    > craigmill@sky.com wrote:
    >> PA Bear - Well, I have learned something new today - I did not
    >> appreciate that news reader groups don't see the preceding posts - not
    >> very user friendly in my opinion.
    >>
    >> There was no antivirus or security suite provided with the netbook. I
    >> had previously downloaded MSE to a memory stick so that was installed
    >> before I connected to the net. I then went online to download the
    >> updates. I guess that could leave me exposed for four/five minutes
    >>
    >> I appreciate that I will need a few office compatibility downloads.
    >>
    >> I also appreciate that the vast majority of users don't see this
    >> problem - I don't see it on my desktop, but type in black bar & IE8
    >> into any search engine and you will get pages and pages of people that
    >> do! With my old hat on where we used Six Sigma to measure quality in
    >> Defects Per Million Operations this would not look good!
    >>
    >> Rob - The only items I have in Start Up are my graphics, touch pad,
    >> sound, and MSE. All the rest are disabled. There are no items with the
    >> names you cited.
    >> I only have themes that are provided by winXp home. .
    >>
    >> I was only booting up and and switching off again to test the
    >> "appearance change fix". It just shows how intermittent this problem
    >> is!

    >
    >
     
  17. PA Bear [MS MVP]

    PA Bear [MS MVP] Flightless Bird

    But he's running WinXP on his netbook, not Win7:

    > ...I have just updated my XP netbook to IE8 and discovered that the
    > Menu and Favorites bar are black - the drop down menus are there but
    > black on black.


    Then again, we dunno if he downgraded it to WinXP either so YMMV.


    rob^_^ wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > " I only have themes that are provided by winXp home"
    >
    > Say no more! They are not compatible with Win7... they are missing a value
    > for the background color of menu objects, but have a background color of
    > black for Three D objects, so when only the Three D objects background
    > color
    > is applied it is also applied to the menu objects by default. You end up
    > with black on black menu objects, which in IE8 because the menu bar holds
    > (contains) the other third-party Toolbar Addons, makes all your IE8
    > Toolbar
    > Addons and menu bar black.
    >
    > Don't apply them. I don't think you can uninstall them either.
    >
    > Regards.
    >
    > <craigmill@sky.com> wrote in message
    > news:36ee9cfe-0f3a-44ba-a9a0-699f768372dd@g28g2000prb.googlegroups.com...
    >> PA Bear - Well, I have learned something new today - I did not
    >> appreciate that news reader groups don't see the preceding posts - not
    >> very user friendly in my opinion.
    >>
    >> There was no antivirus or security suite provided with the netbook. I
    >> had previously downloaded MSE to a memory stick so that was installed
    >> before I connected to the net. I then went online to download the
    >> updates. I guess that could leave me exposed for four/five minutes
    >>
    >> I appreciate that I will need a few office compatibility downloads.
    >>
    >> I also appreciate that the vast majority of users don't see this
    >> problem - I don't see it on my desktop, but type in black bar & IE8
    >> into any search engine and you will get pages and pages of people that
    >> do! With my old hat on where we used Six Sigma to measure quality in
    >> Defects Per Million Operations this would not look good!
    >>
    >> Rob - The only items I have in Start Up are my graphics, touch pad,
    >> sound, and MSE. All the rest are disabled. There are no items with the
    >> names you cited.
    >> I only have themes that are provided by winXp home. .
    >>
    >> I was only booting up and and switching off again to test the
    >> "appearance change fix". It just shows how intermittent this problem
    >> is!
     
  18. craigmill@sky.com

    craigmill@sky.com Flightless Bird

    Rob, PA Bear, just to clarify - I bought the notebook with XPhome
    installed.
    I only wanted a small portable pc with Internet/email via WiFi along
    with Word and Excel, so I have only have a base XP operating system
    plus officeXP.

    Raymond
     
  19. PA Bear [MS MVP]

    PA Bear [MS MVP] Flightless Bird

    Yes, I assumed that was the case.

    Try something for us. Open IE8 to this page:
    http://www.fiddlertool.com/ua.aspx. Highlight/select all of the red text at
    the top of the page and copy it to your keyboard. (Also scroll down to see
    if an issue has been detected and a possible resolution offered.) Open a
    reply to this post & paste the contents of your clipboard into your reply.


    craigmill@sky.com wrote:
    > Rob, PA Bear, just to clarify - I bought the notebook with XPhome
    > installed.
    > I only wanted a small portable pc with Internet/email via WiFi along
    > with Word and Excel, so I have only have a base XP operating system
    > plus officeXP.
    >
    > Raymond
     
  20. L. V. Bekeris

    L. V. Bekeris Flightless Bird

    I had the same problem with black menu and favorate bar. After I followed PA
    Bear's suggestion and installed Stardock program, the problem was solved and
    the improvement was terrific.
    "PA Bear [MS MVP]" <PABearMVP@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:uDFqfQixKHA.4240@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    > Yes, I assumed that was the case.
    >
    > Try something for us. Open IE8 to this page:
    > http://www.fiddlertool.com/ua.aspx. Highlight/select all of the red text
    > at the top of the page and copy it to your keyboard. (Also scroll down to
    > see if an issue has been detected and a possible resolution offered.) Open
    > a reply to this post & paste the contents of your clipboard into your
    > reply.
    >
    >
    > craigmill@sky.com wrote:
    >> Rob, PA Bear, just to clarify - I bought the notebook with XPhome
    >> installed.
    >> I only wanted a small portable pc with Internet/email via WiFi along
    >> with Word and Excel, so I have only have a base XP operating system
    >> plus officeXP.
    >>
    >> Raymond

    >
     

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