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There is no explicit blocking, I've used VSE 8.5 very happily with ie7 since the ie 7 betas.
What are the symptoms?
Well, when I double click IE it opens. In the bottom right corner it says its connecting to some IP address that I don't recognize, then the classic "page cannot be displayed" page pops up for any web page. I even tried using the FireFox add on that lets you view IE pages in a FF tab, but that didn't work either. Its really strange and I don't understand it.
I guess I should probably take my inquiry to a different forum though, since you said VSE 8.5i doesn't block it explicity. Are there any settings in the access protection or anything that I could've accidentally hit that blocked IE? Or do I probably just have some spyware?
No that doesnt sound like anything that VSE would do, it sounds like you need to check your IE settings and run some spyware scans.
Try the free online malware scan from http://www.trendsecure.com/portal/en-US/
and you may want to back this up with some free antispyware software like AVG 7.5 antispyware (free) Spybot search & Destroy (free) and Microsoft Windows defender (free) obviously dont run them all at the same time, use one as a resident protection and use the others just for weekly scanning.
Okay I'll definitely try that. Thanks so much for clearing that up for me.
Just as a point of reference, VSE can be set to block installation of IE7. My organization has very rigid rules about changing versions of applications, thus we block installation of newer versions of programs such as IE until it has passed the testing process. You might still have the old rules from your installation of VSE that are blocking it. If you can, disable the on-access scanner temporarily and try to install the new version of IE. If that works, then you know it was VSE.