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If I search for something on wikipedia with google and try to click through to one of the articles, IE8 prompts me to download the page as it doesn't understand the mime-type.

This has not always been the case. It started about 2 weeks ago. I had not changed any settings or installed any software. At the time I checked my windows restore points and there were none within a few weeks of the symptom occuring.

Does anyone have any possible explanation for such behaviour?

32bit Vista SP2, IE8

UPDATE

OK. So this only happens when I try to click through to Wikipedia from some other site. If I type wikipedia.org into my address bar and hit return it shows the page no problem.

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Does this happen with all pages or only certain types? – Joshua Nurczyk Jul 15 '09 at 16:28

I try guessing:
If you go to "Tools -> Internet Options -> Programs -> Manage Add-ons" you can see (using the "Show" drop-down box) which add-ons are currently loaded. Maybe IE does not load the appropriate add-on when needed. Have a look, if you can force it to do so.

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IE shouldn't need an add-on to display an HTML page...? – Greg B Jul 17 '09 at 12:23
    
You are talking about HTML as mime type? Well, I didn't get that from your question. Sorry for the misunderstanding. – John Smithers Jul 17 '09 at 12:44

First, have you tried to reproduce the issue by running Internet Explorer 8 in safe mode? I believe there is a shortcut in your start menu. If the problem doesn't occur in safe mode, then start to eliminate add-ons... (If you can't find the safe-mode option just skip to the add-ons section)

Add-Ons

You can modify add-ons by:

  1. Use alt key to bring up the drop down menu.
  2. Click on Tools -> Manage Add-Ons -> Enable / Disable Add ons.

You should then be looking at a page like the following.

Manage Add-Ons screen shot

From there, disable / remove any odd, unusual or unwanted add ons. If the problem continues to persist, I'd disable all add-ons to see if it resolves the actual problem.

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