Came across a strange problem today that I thought I should record since I’ve already wasted enough time investigating it. The problem was that a web site was recording a setting to a cookie each time a page was unloaded; e.g. Preference1. Any page can then read the cookie and take appropriate actions. However, for some reason the preference was not correctly read on any other page. Puzzled I examined the document.cookie property. For some strange reason the value was duplicated; e.g. Preference1=hello; Preference2=bla; Preference1=goodbye. So when the page wrote to the cookie the 2nd version changed but when the cookie was read the 1st version was taken. Once I cleared the cookies for the domain everything went back to normal. The site only has one domain, no sub-domain or anything. Very strange behaviour.
Just been through a very frustrating couple of days with IE. A few days ago the machine had used an old dial-up connection to ftp to a site when the machine crashed. After the crash IE refused to connect to a web site. It just sat there not doing anything. Looking the Event Log it said there was a fault in an unknown module. After installing and running many anti-spyware tools nothing was found. So maybe it was an IE6 problem. So I upgraded to IE7 only for it to have the same problem. I upgraded to XP SP3, still the same problem. I reset all the IE options, disabled all add-ins, nothing. Interestingly looking at the settings in network connections also seemed to be a bit dodgy. I rebooted in ‘safe mode with networking’ and it worked!? So I disabled the same set of services, used sysinternals ‘autorun’ to remove all the start-up applications but still nothing. Something odd was going on. To make things even more confusing IE7 would *sometimes* work if you typed in a URL somewhere else, e.g. Windows Explorer or Start->Run. So it didn’t seem that it was the core IE components. I then tried to open an XML file that on my disk and again IE crashed but this time rather than freezing it displayed the old ‘send error information’ dialog. In desperation I tried to send. Then the old dial-up dialog popped up, ah that’s odd. I turned off all the dial-up settings from the dialog. After a reboot the IE now seems to be working. I’m not sure if it was the dial-up settings that were causing but they did seem to bracket the start and end of the problems.