Finally I decided to upgrade to IE 8, and unfortunately my nightmare started soon after the upgrade.
Unpredictably, I get an iexplore.exe application error: The instruction at “0x1001677e” reference memory at “0x043a8f64”. The memory could not be “read”. Click OK to terminate the program. It happens sometimes when I am browsing a page, or when I open a new page, or when I close a page, and the memory address is different each time.
To confirm that it is caused by the problematic add-ons:
Right click the Internet Explorer icon on Desktop and click “Start without Add-ons” from the context menu to launch IE with all add-ons unloaded, then browse the Internet as you usually do to see if the problem still exists. If the problem goes away, we can certainly say the error is caused by some add-ons.
Once the cause is found, then it is just a matter of trial and error to find out which add-on(s) is/are the bad guy(s).
According to my experience, the following two add-ons should be investigated first:
1. Any toolbar add-on. For instance, I have Microsoft Live Search Club Toolbar installed, and when I disable this add-on, the error goes away. When enabled, the error comes back when I close any page. Uninstalling the toolbar is the only option for me now.
2. Adobe Flash Player add-on. It also caused the reference memory error on my computer, but it was a memory could not be “written” error instead of a “read” error as above. Reinstall the Adobe Flash Player add-on will fix the error, however, there is a trick to reinstall it. First, uninstall Adobe Flash ActiveX from Add/Remove Programs, then follow the following steps to reinstall it.
a. Launch IE 8 and go to Adobe web site, then click the “Get Adobe Flash Player” banner on the home page.
b. DO NOT click “Agree and install now” button when you see a page as follows (it will cause another memory reference error if you do):
c. Instead, click “Different operating system or browser” link at the top of the page.
d. Select “Windows Vista/XP/2003/2002” from the operating system drop down list, then click “Continue” button.
e. Make sure “Flash Player 10 for Windows Internet Explorer” is selected, then click “Agree and install now” button.
f. When the File Download dialog pops up, click “Run”.
g. After the installation, close IE and then launch IE again. It should fix the memory reference error.
After you take care of the above two add-ons, you should not see the memory reference error any more. If you do, then you will need to investigate one add-on at a time to find out which add-on is causing the problem, then remove it.