Microsoft pushed a large Windows 7 automatic update package last night.
You may of found that after the mandatory reboot your Internet Explorer and Firefox will open and freeze up, display a blank window with no menus or control menu or buttons, or display the normal interface but not allow you to access the Web.
This problem is likely being caused by the incompatibility of one of your existing Windows 7 third party services or start-up items. Following is the process to resolve this issue:
- Read but do not yet follow the instructions from this Microsoft knowledge base article: Computer freezes when i launch Firefox or Internet Explorer
- Rather than start the troubleshooting by enabling half of the services and rebooting as the article describes, do the following first:
- On the services tab check the box “Hide all Microsoft Services” then Disable all, then Apply. Note: always click “Hide all Microsoft Services” before enabling or disabling any service through this troubleshooting process.
- On the Startup Tab, disable all, apply then ok and reboot.
- Check your Internet Explorer and Firefox; they are probably working again.
- Now go into msconfig (using the Microsoft support article instructions) and go to the services tab, hide all Microsoft services, enable all the services, OK, and reboot (notice that all the startup items are still disabled).
- If IE and Firefox are working normally still, then you know the problem is with an incompatibility in one of the Startup items. Proceed to that tab and use the instructions provided in the Microsoft article for “enabling half the services” (but you will be enabling half of the startup items). Eventually you’ll figure out which third party startup item is causing the problem. After you find the offending Startup item then enable all of your Services and reboot a final time.
- If IE and Firefox are not working then start the process of “enabling half of the services” until you either find the service causing the problem. After you find the offending service then enable all your Startup items and reboot a final time.
- I don’t recommend proceeding to the last step in the Microsoft article “To restore your Normal startup” which if taken will nullify all the troubleshooting you just performed. Leave the settings on “Selective startup” However, you may need to manually enable future services or startup items in the future for them to work properly.