The problem you described seems to me like it could have been a corrupted style sheet download (or similar problem) on the search page, which isn't your fault and not usually a sign of malware or anything broken on your computer.
These things have a way of fixing themselves sometimes, if you can clear the browser's cache and reload the page again (which grabs a brand new copy of the style sheet, hopefully uncorrupted). Or in your case, just wait till your browser does that automatically, any way.
In case this ever happens to you again, here is how to clear the cache in IE9: http://www.wikihow.c...#Internet_Explorer_9
How to do the same in other browsers is also listed on that page.
And as mentioned before by 40hz, a script blocker (or even an ad blocker) can mess up pages the same way, if it is blocking a script needed for formatting the page.
Also, if things are broken and then you disable the add-ons, and it fixes itself, but breaks again if you turn them all back on, sometimes it could be an incompatibility between the code of the page and one of your add-ons. To find out which one, deactivate all
your add-ons, verify that the issue seems fixed, then reactivate them one at a time
, reloading and checking to see if the page breaks each time
, till you have discovered the one add-on doing it. Then either check for an update on that add-on, or deactivate it, uninstall it, whatever, till the developer updates it or you have had time to find a suitable replacement. (don't forget to always
uninstall old add-ons that you don't plan on using any more)
This is a quote from my DC bio:
I'm not a computer geek. (no disrespect intended) I barely know the difference between software and hardware. (just kidding but close) I just don't have the interest.
I've tried to become more computer-savvy but the interest or brain cells just aren't there.
Sorry for the confusion.
And to become an expert user (or just fake it
), keep a detailed record of all the problems you have had and their solutions, that way if you (or a friend/family member) ever have them again, you'll have your own cheat sheet to refer to and won't have to go crazy with searching the web for solutions or asking others for help (unless the fix you have listed in your personal cheat sheet, fails).
Just remember that cheat sheets are OS version specific. Make a new cheat sheet when you change Windows versions. What worked for you to solve a problem in Win98 may not be the solution for the same problem in XP, Vista, Win7, or 8, and sometimes can cause more harm than good. Always
verify that it's still the solution, if your cheat sheet is from a different version of Windows.
Somewhere, I still have a binder full of stuff I printed out back in the Win98 era. It's full of instructions on how to fix things, how to do things, and all kinds of other stuff. Some of it was things most people would never ever
have a need to know how to do (like manually rebuilding the TCP/IP stack). Some of it was stuff I ended up doing quite often (like how to compress a .wav file in Windows Sound Recorder) and much of it was things I only needed to know that one time.
But it felt good to have that notebook. It felt good not to feel so helpless when something went wrong...again. And it was great not to have to wait till my father had the time to walk me through something over the phone...again. Or wait till he had the time to come over and fix it himself.
And if you want to know how much of a computer geek I was when I started that notebook...well...page 1 was how to shut down Windows and turn off the computer properly, through the Start menu.