/support.microsoft.com/ Page Saved as .mht Won't Open in IE7

Discussion in 'Internet Explorer' started by Todd Henry, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. Todd Henry

    Todd Henry Guest

    I'm running Windows XP Pro SP3 with IE7 (v7.0.5730.11), all fully-patched and
    running without a hitch.

    I regularly save web pages as MHTML (.mht) using IE7, and I noticed within
    the past few weeks that I have been unable to open web pages saved as .mht
    from /support.microsoft.com/ -- IE7 hangs permanently upon trying to open the
    file, and I have to kill the "iexplore.exe" process in order for IE7 to be at
    all functional again. I noticed recently (some time between August 2008 and
    the beginning of 2009) that Microsoft changed the format of the Microsoft
    Help and Support (/support.microsoft.com/) web site. Based on my tests
    (details below), I suspect that a recent change to this web site is the
    cause, and I hope Microsoft will look into this. I'm aware that a few web
    pages can't be saved in .mht format due to certain content (I've found this
    to be pretty rare), but I doubt Microsoft would have (intentionally) made
    such a change to this web site.

    I have a great many different web pages (from different web sites) saved
    locally as .mht (old and recent), and I am able to open all of them except
    for pages saved from /support.microsoft.com/ after Microsoft updated the web
    site. I am able to open .mht files from /support.microsoft.com/ as recent as
    the end of August 2008 (the last time I saved a page prior to 2009), prior to
    the web site update. I recently selected several of these files and returned
    to the current version of that page on /support.microsoft.com/. I again
    saved the page as .mht for comparison, and was unable to open any of them. I
    have never received an error while saving a .mht file (except on rare
    occasion as noted above where the web site contains data that can't be saved
    in .mht format), and the process appears to work fine each time.

    I tried opening each file three different ways, and IE7 hangs permanently
    each time as follows:

    1. With IE7 closed, I double-clicked on the file to open it in IE7. (My
    file associations are not corrupt, and IE7 is set as default to open .mht
    files.) A blank white IE7 window appears with the blue title bar at the top
    showing the full path to the file being opened. IE7 hangs permanently, and
    "iexplore.exe" must be killed and IE restarted to become available again.

    2. With IE7 open, I used File-->Open (from within IE) and browsed to the
    file to open. After selecting OK, the full path to the file was displayed in
    the address bar at the top, and as much as the web page title bar ("Microsoft
    Help and Support" with the search box) and blue gradient background for that
    page loaded. IE7 then hangs permanently, and "iexplore.exe" must be killed
    and IE restarted to become available again. Sometimes I only get a plain
    white background prior to the hang when trying this method.

    3. With IE7 open, I double-clicked on the file in Windows Explorer to open
    it in a new tab within IE (I have this set as the default behavior). The IE7
    window becomes active and continues to display the current web page (usually
    a single tab at Google Search, my home page), and a second tab appears with
    the text "Connecting..." IE7 then hangs permanently, and "iexplore.exe" must
    be killed and IE restarted to become available again. This happens

    When IE7 hangs, this does not adversely impact any other running programs.
    And the same behavior occurs whether or not I am connected to the internet.
    This appears independent of file size, as I have some .mht files as large as
    1.5 MB, and they open just fine.

    I have no problem opening both old and recently saved web pages from
    Microsoft TechNet (technet.microsoft.com), Microsoft Download Center
    (microsoft.com/downloads), and Microsoft Developer Network

    One ironic exception: I was able to both save AND open as .mht the home
    page http://support.microsoft.com/. FYI, the majority of web pages I save on
    /support.microsoft.com/ are MS Knowledgebase articles.

    As a workaround, changing the file extension to .eml and opening it in
    Outlook Express works reasonably well. Changing the file extension to .uue
    and accessing the data with WinZip also works fine. Still it would be nice
    if Microsoft would work out a fix.

    I have screenshots of IE hanging, as well as "before and after" .mht files
    of several web pages from /support.microsoft.com/ before and after Microsoft
    changed the web site, if anyone wants to toy with them.

    Sorry for the long post; trying to get as much detail out the first go 'round.


    Todd Henry

    This post is a suggestion for Microsoft, and Microsoft responds to the
    suggestions with the most votes. To vote for this suggestion, click the "I
    Agree" button in the message pane. If you do not see the button, follow this
    link to open the suggestion in the Microsoft Web-based Newsreader and then
    click "I Agree" in the message pane.

    Todd Henry, Feb 14, 2009
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  2. I am unable to reproduce your problem with any saved .mht files here on
    Windows XP SP3 with IE7.

    MHT files saved locally here from any Microsoft site in the form of:
    Will open just fine in IE7 using any of the three methods for opening .mht
    files that you mention.

    Are you perhaps using an invalid character such as (#) in your naming
    scheme? For instance if you save the .mht file with a name "Foo#.mht", the
    ..mht file will not open in IE.

    Good luck,

    Donald Anadell
    Donald Anadell, Feb 14, 2009
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  3. Have you tried disabling Active Scripting?
    A related test would be to disable CSS.
    Tip: you could do both with the IE Developer Toolbar.

    Hangs or loops? Use Task Manager or Process Explorer
    with full statistics in the Processes tab to see what all it is
    doing when it is in that state. ProcMon might also help you
    detect a loop if any file or registry accesses are done within it.

    BTW thanks for noting those other workarounds you found.

    Good luck

    Robert Aldwinckle
    Robert Aldwinckle, Feb 14, 2009
  4. Todd Henry

    Todd Henry Guest

    I disabled scripts (using the IE Developer Toolbar per your suggestion) and
    attempted to disable CSS, but am still unable to open .mht files saved from
    /support.microsoft.com/. I noticed that script disabling with the Developer
    Toolbar is universal (when disabled, affects all pages opened in IE--even
    after restarting--until it is reenabled); so looks like a successful test.
    Disabling CSS from the toolbar, however, only impacts the currently opened
    page. If you open multiple tabs with pages that use CSS, you can disable CSS
    in one or more pages and leave it enabled for the others. If you disable
    scripts in one page, it will simultaneously disable scripts in all other
    pages. Since I can't get a (saved) page opened in IE, I can't use the
    toolbar to disable CSS in that page. Also, I couldn't find an option to
    disable CSS from the Advanced options in the Tools menu. Any other
    suggestions for disabling it?

    I also tried disabling the IE popup-blocker and anti-phishing filter, as
    well as my firewall and antivius utilities successively, to no avail.
    Per your suggestion, I used Process Explorer to look at the activity while
    trying to open various saved .mht files. There is very little activity
    overall (generally less than 1% CPU usage, and no significant increase in
    memory usage). "servies.exe" (Services & Controller app, under
    System-->smss.exe-->winlogon.exe-->services.exe) and "system" show a small
    amount of CPU usage (~.38%) at regular intervals, and "DPCs" (Deferred
    Procedure Calls) and "Interrupts" (Hardware Interrupts) show about the same
    small amount of CPU usage at even less frequent intervals. There appears to
    be no significant difference in this activity between when IE tries to open
    one of the .mht files, and when IE is closed. After roughly 10 to 20 seconds
    of trying to open a file, however, the Window Status for "iexplore.exe"
    changes to "Not Responding," and there's no indication of CPU usage or any
    increase in memory usage (before or after the "Not Responding" message

    I killed as many (unnessary) processes as possible, then tried Process
    Monitor. Still impossible to keep up with the number of ongoing processes --
    almost exclusively limited to "services.exe" processes, with the same PID
    (both before and after trying to open a .mht file, while IE appears to hang).
    :p These processes are almost entirely registry queries, and there is a
    query of the form HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\xxxxxx\ObjectName
    that appears at regular intervals that returns a "Name Not Found" result.
    The folder "xxxxxx" appears to be different for each query (such as "amsint,"
    "AliIde," "aic78xx," "aic78u2," etc.). Unfortunately, I'm not knowledgeable
    enough to make sense out of most of this information. I think there may be a
    loop, but I'm not sure.

    The following is a small snapshot of these processes from Process Monitor
    (watch out for word wrap). Let me know if anything jumps out at you.

    125722 3:47:19.5637051
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Abiosdsk SUCCESS
    125723 3:47:19.5637544
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125724 3:47:19.5637680
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\abp480n5 SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125725 3:47:19.5637790
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS
    125726 3:47:19.5637844
    AM services.exe 1208 RegQueryValue HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\abp480n5\ObjectName NAME NOT FOUND Length: 12
    125727 3:47:19.5637919
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\abp480n5 SUCCESS
    125728 3:47:19.5638402
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125729 3:47:19.5638531
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\ACPIEC SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125730 3:47:19.5638634
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS
    125731 3:47:19.5638690
    AM services.exe 1208 RegQueryValue HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\ACPIEC\ObjectName NAME NOT FOUND Length: 12
    125732 3:47:19.5638764
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\ACPIEC SUCCESS
    125733 3:47:19.5639090
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125734 3:47:19.5639211
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\adpu160m SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125735 3:47:19.5639311
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS
    125736 3:47:19.5639365
    AM services.exe 1208 RegQueryValue HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\adpu160m\ObjectName NAME NOT FOUND Length: 12
    125737 3:47:19.5639433
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\adpu160m SUCCESS
    125738 3:47:19.5639777
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125739 3:47:19.5639906
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\aec SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125740 3:47:19.5640011
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS
    125741 3:47:19.5640068
    AM services.exe 1208 RegQueryValue HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\aec\ObjectName NAME NOT FOUND Length: 12
    125742 3:47:19.5640139
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\aec SUCCESS
    125743 3:47:19.5640675
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125744 3:47:19.5640798
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Aha154x SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125745 3:47:19.5640955
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS
    125746 3:47:19.5641009
    AM services.exe 1208 RegQueryValue HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Aha154x\ObjectName NAME NOT FOUND Length: 12
    125747 3:47:19.5641082
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Aha154x SUCCESS
    125748 3:47:19.5641350
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125749 3:47:19.5641472
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\aic78u2 SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125750 3:47:19.5641574
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS
    125751 3:47:19.5641628
    AM services.exe 1208 RegQueryValue HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\aic78u2\ObjectName NAME NOT FOUND Length: 12
    125752 3:47:19.5641699
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\aic78u2 SUCCESS
    125753 3:47:19.5642029
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125754 3:47:19.5642158
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\aic78xx SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125755 3:47:19.5642265
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS
    125756 3:47:19.5642318
    AM services.exe 1208 RegQueryValue HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\aic78xx\ObjectName NAME NOT FOUND Length: 12
    125757 3:47:19.5642389
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\aic78xx SUCCESS
    125758 3:47:19.5642685
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125759 3:47:19.5642818
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\AliIde SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125760 3:47:19.5642936
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS
    125761 3:47:19.5642992
    AM services.exe 1208 RegQueryValue HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\AliIde\ObjectName NAME NOT FOUND Length: 12
    125762 3:47:19.5643098
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\AliIde SUCCESS
    125763 3:47:19.5643366
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125764 3:47:19.5643487
    AM services.exe 1208 RegOpenKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\amsint SUCCESS Desired Access: Read
    125765 3:47:19.5643590
    AM services.exe 1208 RegCloseKey HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services SUCCESS
    125766 3:47:19.5643643
    AM services.exe 1208 RegQueryValue HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\amsint\ObjectName NAME NOT FOUND Length: 12

    Also of note, killing all but the minimum processes needed (kept basic
    services, explorer, and video card -- even killed sound) didn't help.
    I'm quite befuddled! Especially since among hundreds of saved .mht files,
    this is only limited to those saved from support.microsoft.com after they
    changed the web site recently. I suspect there's a setting on my machine (in
    IE?) that doesn't like a recent change made to the site.

    Thanks very much for your suggestions, especially the IE Developer Toolbar.
    Even if it didn't solve this problem, this looks like a great tool!

    - Todd Henry
    Todd Henry, Feb 20, 2009
  5. Todd Henry

    Todd Henry Guest

    Wow; sounds like this could be a local problem. I've seen quite a few
    posts, however--some in this group and in other discussion groups as
    well--with similar complaints.

    The only non-alphanumeric character I use in file names is a hyphen. The
    following are a few of the web pages that I saved as .mht but can't open,
    with the file name I used in brackets. I tried saving the pages again right
    before this reply with the filename simply as the KB article number (e.g.,
    "955839.mht"); I still couldn't open them.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/955839 [KB955839 - Daylight Savings Time.mht]
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/956803 [KB956803 - Security Update - Known
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/956391 [KB956391 - ActiveX Kill Bits Update
    - File Details.mht]
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930426 [Icons for Internet Shortcuts.mht]

    If you have a moment, let me know if you can SaveAs/Open these pages as .mht.

    I tried several other things per the suggestion of Robert Aldwinckle, but
    without success. I posted the details in my reply to him.

    Thanks very much for your reply, and have a great day.

    - Todd Henry
    Todd Henry, Feb 20, 2009

  6. Yes. It's just a more convenient way of toggling
    the Active Scripting option in Security settings
    between Yes and No. Unfortunately, if you want
    to use Prompt you still need to use the Security settings
    dialog to set that.

    Not at the moment. The only other idea on this tack
    would be trying to use the Accessibility dialog's
    override for CSS but then you would have to know
    which attributes you wanted to override and how.
    FWIW what I have done on occasion is just pick a different
    ..CSS file to put in there and used it to see what happened. ; )

    BTW IE8 has a related feature View, Style, No Style
    but it seems to have the same limitation--set on a per page
    basis only. I thought it was supposed to be possible to
    create your own style sheet to use as an override there too
    but don't see where that would be added.
    Rob Parsons may help more here.

    What about I/O?

    You weren't using an Include filter. ; )
    Right-click on an iexplore.exe line to Include that process
    name and your display will look a bit less busy and more
    interesting to you.


    Was services.exe hogging the CPU?

    If you like E-mail me one of your problem files and I'll see
    what symptoms I get from it using IE8. I don't have IE7
    installed right now.

    Another alternative, which would let others try for you too,
    would be posting one as an attachment to the test newsgroup
    and then telling us the Message-ID to open. I don't think
    you should post one as an attachment in this newsgroup.

    Oh, you're using the web interface. In order to use the last
    suggestion, of posting to the test newsgroup, you would have
    to fire up your NNTP newsreader. E.g. open this:



    Robert Aldwinckle, Feb 20, 2009
  7. Hi Todd,

    I was able to save all four of the sites you posted as .mht files and open
    them using IE7(Version 7.0.5730.13) on a Window XP machine.

    I'm afraid I'm running out of ideas here as to what would be causing this
    problem for you.

    Have you tried starting IE7 in No Add-ons mode to see if the .mht files will
    open? This would rule out an Add-on being the cause of the issue.

    You might also try resetting IE7 if you haven't done so already. Be sure to
    read the following article carefully before performing a Reset of IE7 as you
    will to reset your personal setting and you'll have to re-enable all your
    Add-ons again:

    How to reset Internet Explorer settings-R.I.E.S.

    If the above two troubleshooting steps don't resolve the issue then you
    might try uninstalling||reinstalling IE7.

    If you do decide to reinstall IE7, be sure to read Sandi's Installation Tips

    Use the following as the installation source for IE7, it should give you
    Version 7.0.5730.13:

    (Note: Save the installer file to your desktop first, then run the installer
    file from there.)

    Good luck,

    Donald Anadell
    Donald Anadell, Feb 20, 2009
  8. Todd Henry

    JCW Guest

    Robert (Donald and Todd too, if you're still reading this old thread) -- Todd
    is not alone. I've been having apparently the same problem recently (not
    sure exactly when it started). I'm running XP SP2 (Lenovo tells me NOT to
    install SP3, but I HAVE installed all other security updates.) IE is vs.
    7.0.5730.11, also updated, of course. I don't see any successful solutions
    posted so far... -- JCW
    JCW, May 26, 2009
  9. Todd Henry

    JCW Guest

    Here's another piece of information: I just tried opening an OLD .mht file
    (saved in Nov, 2008, probably with IE6). It opened just fine in IE7!
    Renaming the latest ones with MS-DOS-compatible file names doesn't help,
    however. They still lock up IE7, which has to be killed in Task Manager. --
    JCW, May 26, 2009
  10. Todd Henry

    JCW Guest

    Still more information: The same behavior is observed on a different laptop
    (Dell Latitude D505) running a fairly clean re-installation of Windows XP (no
    Lenovo bloatware), this time WITH SP3 applied, and IE7.0.5730.13. Really
    annoying! PLEASE HELP!! -- JCW
    JCW, May 26, 2009
  11. Todd Henry

    otter_totem Guest

    I too am having this *new* problem that never used to exist. I am running
    Vista Ultimate, with IE8. Based on thread messages I just uninstalled
    Microsoft Live Essentials, but no help. Looks like I'll uninstall IE8 or
    switch to a better browser.

    This is so annoying, since mht is the default which I cannot change and must
    select complete webpage each and every time I save. Thanks MSFT.
    otter_totem, Mar 5, 2010
  12. 2/13/2009 7:42 PM PST

    As I mentioned in your other Me too! post KB articles are a problem case for
    me but with a simple workaround. I don't think the OP followed up on my
    offer to look at a copy of his problem page but I will make the same offer
    to you if you also have one which is only a problem because it is an old
    saved .mht file. But again, instead of E-mailing me it would be better if
    you could post a link to your problem file so others could try to help you

    BTW the poster you are replying to was not the OP. ; )


    Robert Aldwinckle, Mar 5, 2010
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