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Author Topic: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???  (Read 7700 times)

Carol Haynes

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Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« on: February 13, 2008, 12:48:40 PM »
I am using BBC iPlayer which loads in Internet Explorer by default.

The BBC only allow TV programmes to be downloaded to Windows based machines because it uses DRM protected WMV files.

Up until yesterday I had no problems but now every time I load the page to download a show it says:

sc.pngInternet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???

whereas it should say

sc1.pngInternet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???

At the moment I can use Firefox to access the page but the BBC library module use IE by default (which can't be changed so I have to load the page manually in Firefox) and I am curious as to why IE should suddenly start reporting that I am not using a Windows system ???

As far as I can tell I haven't done anything to change the settings for IE. In fact I have restored them all to default and reset Temp files and unneeded cookies etc.

Dirhael

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2008, 05:38:12 PM »
Perhaps this guide could be of help to you? If you're running XP just remember that the platform should be "Windows NT 5.1", or if you're on Vista "Windows NT 6.0", instead of 5.0 :)
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Carol Haynes

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2008, 07:01:38 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion - apparently a number of people have reported this problem to the BBC and it seems to be related to automatic updates from patch Tuesday !!

Thanks MS !!

My 'Platform' key isn't set, however, so I will give it a try.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2008, 07:12:51 PM »
Nope that didn't do it ...

I also decided to check Windows Update History so I went to Windows Update webpage and this is what I get ...

Quote
Thank you for your interest in obtaining updates from our site.

This website is designed to work with Microsoft Windows operating systems only.
To find updates for Microsoft products that are designed for Macintosh operating systems, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/mac/.


Is this a subtle hint that they are replacing windows with OS X ?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2008, 07:20:57 PM by Carol Haynes »

Dirhael

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2008, 07:15:28 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion - apparently a number of people have reported this problem to the BBC and it seems to be related to automatic updates from patch Tuesday !!

Thanks MS !!

My 'Platform' key isn't set, however, so I will give it a try.

It's not set on my system either, but I thought it could be worth a try. Oh and also, you could try visiting whatismyuseragent.com to see what your browser actually reports. It won't solve anything, but knowing what information gets sent about your user agent should at least let you know if the problem is on your side or not :)
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Dirhael

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2008, 07:17:48 PM »
Nope that didn't do it ...

I also decided to check Windows Update History so I went to Windows Update webpage and this is what I get ...

Quote
Thank you for your interest in obtaining updates from our site.

This website is designed to work with Microsoft Windows operating systems only.
To find updates for Microsoft products that are designed for Macintosh operating systems, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/mac/.


Ok, something is definitely wrong... Could you post the content of the following file:
C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\SIGNUP\install.ins

Just as a reference, here's mine running XP SP3:
[Branding]
CompanyName=Microsoft Corporation
Wizard_Version=7.00.5730.13
Version=7,00,5730,13
Custom_Key=MICROSO
Global=1
IE4 Welcome Msg=1
Platform=2
GUID={7211FFE6-C149-11D0-AFF0-00AA003758BB}
Type=0
NoClear=1
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Carol Haynes

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2008, 07:24:14 PM »
Got pretty much the same (XP SP2) except lines 2 and 3 end in 11 instead of 13.

Dirhael

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2008, 07:35:53 PM »
Got pretty much the same (XP SP2) except lines 2 and 3 end in 11 instead of 13.

Sounds strange, as those two places are the only ones I'm able to locate that has anything to do with the user agent in IE. That said, could there be some other software that's changing it? Not necessarily malware, but I know certain security suites like Norton does strip out certain parts of the information sent about your browser...and I wouldn't be surprised if others does this as well. What results did you get by visiting whatismyuseragent.com?
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Carol Haynes

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2008, 08:12:48 PM »
I think it must be to do with one of the updates MS pushed out that I installed today (since other BBC users are experiencing similar). Trouble is I have tried removing the patches installed today but most of them don't have an uninstall option and having removed all those I can it makes no difference.

What is worrying is that I can't get to Windows Update any more so I can't even manually check for new updates.

Dirhael

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2008, 08:34:10 PM »
I think it must be to do with one of the updates MS pushed out that I installed today (since other BBC users are experiencing similar). Trouble is I have tried removing the patches installed today but most of them don't have an uninstall option and having removed all those I can it makes no difference.

What is worrying is that I can't get to Windows Update any more so I can't even manually check for new updates.

I realize that this is just a workaround and not a fix, but what you could do is this:

* Install Ad Muncher. This program is primarily for filtering ads in any program that connects to the web, but it has a couple of other features as well and one of them is what we're after. See, the same way that this program lets you filter ads in *any* program that connects to the internet, it also lets you change the user agent for any program. It's not freeware, but you can trial it without nags or anything for 30 days, and I'm sure either MS or BBC will fix it within that time-frame.

* After installing Ad Muncher, open the settings dialogue and go to the "Options" tab, and in the second tab level select "Advanced" and fill it out like this:
http://img530.imageshack.us/img530/2725/admuncherconfigurationft4.png
Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???


This should allow you to access Windows Update without problems again :)
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mwb1100

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2008, 08:43:44 PM »
Here's a web page about User Agent fields (mostly with pointers to other docs) by Eric Lawrence who develops the free HTTP sniffer, Fiddler:

http://www.fiddlerto...l.com/useragent.aspx

There's a reg script on the page to set your IE User Agent to say you're running IE 6 on WinXP (there's also an undo reg script).

Carol Haynes

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2008, 04:06:29 AM »
I don't think this is anything to do with the user agent field - I have changed it in the registry and also tried the AdMuncher approach but both of them yield no help at all - Windows Update still thinks this is a Mac.

There are a load of pages at MSKB that relate to a problem with Windows 98 when WU thought W98 was a Mac and it turned out a number of DLLs needed to be reregistered - but I can't find anything relating to Windows XP.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2008, 04:52:14 AM »
Solved the problem.

Check http://support.micro...oft.com/?kbid=817144

I used the registry method (4) to delete the user agent info from the registry and that seems to have fixed it!

For some reason the registry had an extra value in that field:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\User Agent\Post Platform]
"MathPlayer 2.10b"=""

I have got MathPlayer installed (as part of MathType for publishing mathematical equations on webpages - which is the full version of Equation Editor supplied with MS Office). I don't know what that key does but removing it certainly solves the problem of accessing the BBC downloads and Windows Update.

Cheers

Dirhael

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2008, 05:25:49 AM »
It's strange though, because the post platform string only gets appended to your UA string and does not replace anything. Because of this you should still have been able to access those websites. Also, it doesn't (or at least shouldn't) matter what that string is set to if using the Ad Muncher workaround I posted previously, as AM would have overridden anything sent by your browser(s).

Anyway, good to hear you were able to solve the problem! I'll make a mental note of what solved it for you, in case I encounter a similar problem in the future :)
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J-Mac

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2008, 04:01:28 AM »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Internet Explorer doesn't report it is running on Windows ???
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2008, 04:15:22 AM »
I've posted the solution there but it is 'waiting approval'