This problem occured suddenly - everything was fine, and then - not. I wish I could remember some peculiar circumstance coincidental with its onset, but I can't.
I click on the IE icon, the window opens, the cursor becomes the arrow with an hourglass beside it, there is nothing in the progress bar - and that's it! Sure, if I hit stop, the 'Action cancelled' message comes up, but ONLY if I hit stop. I get no error messages otherwise.
I have Netscape 6.2 (and 4.7) and Firefox (which I downloaded after losing IE). All of these access the web, no problem. I can ping successfully. I can FTP files in both directions. I use Microsoft Frontpage; it links to sites on the web. After stopping IE6, I can enter addresses for targets on my own computer and they will be displayed. I previously ran Sygate Personal Firewall, but have long since disabled it. There is a hardware firewall built into my Netgear Gateway, but I have changed nothing on it since switching from cable to DSL at least a year before this problem arose.
I have tried running Ad-Aware, SpyBot S&D, and AVG; repairing IE6; removing IE6 - as much as may be possible - changing the install bit in the registry to zero, and reinstalling; removing and installing IE5.5; removing it and reinstalling IE6; re-registering scads of dlls, as recommended on various forums around the web; running a winsock repair; running a Windows repair from the CD on bootup. Of course, the problem remains (or I wouldn't be posting!).
Fact is, I've found no description of a problem exactly like this in my search for answers on the net. So, while it may not be entirely accurate, this >
represents very closely my feelings on the matter at this point. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I can offer insight into this rather frustrating problem; for that, I would certainly be appreciative.