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I work for a web software company and in recent months my laptop has begun demonstrating some strange behaviour on certain websites that none of my colleagues are able to replicate. It seemed to come about around about the time I installed a HP printer at home and it installed a 'print from web' utility as part of the install process, which I've since removed. The issues I'm having include:

  • Error on page messages (In IE)
  • Graphics misaligned in navigation lists (in IE)
  • There was also an issue in Chrome to do with a website navigation overspilling the websites width

Again to reinterate, this is not happening for any of my colleagues - and the final issue re Chrome suggests it might be a general laptop problem rather than IE specific.

I've tried the following:

  • Running IE in 'safe mode'
  • Resetting IE settings
  • Rolling back from IE8 to IE7

However, nothing has cured the problems.

It makes my job very difficult as I do quite a lot of web application testing within the software company that I work for - and it seems that I'm regularly reporting 'phantom bugs' that nobody else can replicate!

My question is, what other setings could I play around with to see if I can get to the bottom of this?

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so, to clarify: your issues are just with IE7/8 and Chrome? no issues with FF and Opera, or have you not tested with those? – quack quixote Dec 10 '09 at 17:12
I don't know about the printer software you installed, but a bad network MTU value can cause bad page formatting. – alfplayer Dec 10 '09 at 20:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Honestly, if your system is borked enough that it's interfering with your job -- and I'm assuming here that "reporting phantom bugs" counts as interfering -- it's getting very very close to your Ultimate Resolution.

Reinstall Windows.

I might give it another day or two or five of research, but set yourself some deadline. If you haven't found a solution by then, backup your data, format the drive, reinstall the OS, reinstall and reconfigure your applications, and restore your data. If this is a work laptop, your IT personnel might be able to apply a clean OS image, and you can go from there.

If it's not a work laptop, and you don't want to risk an OS reinstall on your personal computer, it's time to talk your boss into getting you a work laptop.

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80% of the issues sounds like you have either your system or your browser font DPI or zoom setting to something other than default. Try resetting zoom in your browsers, and make the Windows DPI setting to default as well.

Also, do you have custom fonts installed on your computer? Are those set as the current system fonts?

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