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09-08-2011, 02:29 AM
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Preface

... a.k.a. How I ran into this error...

Like many organized working IT or IT-using professionals, my setup/template files are not stored on individual computers, but on a central local server. Our work area consists of quite a few work stations, which would make per-computer storage a nightmare for organization. Files are shared via shared folders off a primary server on a local network. This includes most development software, such as installers, themes and plugins for WordPress, vBulletin, myBB, etc.

Today I reinstalled Internet Explorer 8 on my usual workstation, because the old IE8 install corrupted itself. (Security settings had gone all wonky again, and would not allow quite a few websites to properly load. No issues in Firefox or Chrome. The knee-jerk reaction of most people is to simply stop using IE. But because we have to multi-browser test sites, there's no way to avoid IE use.)

Anyway, having IE8 now reinstalled, it was time to resume work.

I downloaded an update file from the myBB repository (which comes as a .zip file), and saved it directly to the network share folder. As usual, I opened the network share folder, right-clicked on the file, and 'Your current security settings do not allow this action' is what I received as a response in a pop-up Windows warning box. Not the normal option to right-click and extract the file to a folder with WinRAR, or to open with XP's built-in unzip tool, or unzip with WinZip. Just an error message. Yet another Windows annoyance, with "OK" as the only button to click.


Why the Error Happens

Apparently the default IE7 and IE8 installers increase the security settings to near-insane "safety" values, and then Windows XP further treats network connections as if they were website connections. Silly, yes.


How to Fix "Your current security settings do not allow this action."

In order to fix this error, you have to
  • open Internet Explorer,
  • go to Tools > Internet Options,
  • go to the Security tab,
  • click on the Internet globe icon (i.e. highlight and select the Internet zones),
  • click Custom level...,
  • and reset to Medium-High default.

Click on Restore Advanced Settings if the window is blank, and then reboot.

After this is set...
  • Again go to Tools > Internet Options,
  • go to the Advanced tab,
  • and click the Reset... button under the section named 'Reset Internet Explorer settings'

This will wipe out all personal settings in IE, remove any add-on "IE helpers" (like Adobe Acrobat PDF reader), and restore everything to IE8 defaults and Windows IE defaults. Now, some people may dislike this, if they use IE as a main browser. Sorry, but there's really your only option. Internet Explorer is a horribly crappy web browser, so take this opportunity to start using one of the better browsers like Firefox or Chrome. Having less people actively use IE is good for the web in general, as the browser is a constant source of aggravation for web developers, seeing how it doesn't obey web coding standards.

Once this is done, networking is restored.

I'm now able to right-click my zip file on the server, and I can get back to work. New myBB forum, here I come!


Further Complications to Consider, if using Multiple IE

The main downfall of Internet Explorer is that you can't run multiple versions side by side, as you can with other browsers. For most people, that's not an issue. For website developers, it's a constant source of frustration, because we need to test what our sites look like, and see how they operate on every current browser version still in use.

The corruption of IE setting had happened several times this year, since I upgraded from IE7 to IE8 in January. In past years, I ran the program "Internet Explorer Collection" on this computer, which was developed during the early half of the IE7 era and upgraded to later include IE8 support. With the newest IE8 version, something broke in IE Collection and/or Windows IE settings. If you ran one of the IE Collection browsers, the main IE in Windows would cease to function properly. You could no longer login to password-protected sites, for example. It would also blank out the "custom" security zones, as explained earlier in this post.

Microsoft finally acknowledged the issue with developers needing testing environments, and they now provide multiple IE versions available inside custom VHD files, for use with VirtualPC 2007 or the Windows 7 native VirtualPC virtualization layer.

You can download IE collection here: http://utilu.com/IECollection .... but I no longer suggest it.

While the IE collection claims to be fully standalone, it's not. There are interferences. As far as I can tell, it just breaks your computer's proper functionality. Since Microsoft has finally provided a way to test with IE safely, I'd just assume use the official method provider by MS.

The network error that prompted this post is (based on my online readings) most often caused by corruptions to IE. As best as I can tell, that's frequently caused by using multiple IE versions, via the various "collections" or "portable" homebrew IE kits.

With support of IE6 now far less than 2% overall saturation, and IE7 falling safely at under 5% net-wide, we're finally approaching a level of online sanity, with more IE users now on IE8 or IE9. A majority of people (60-70%) have swapped over to Firefox or Chrome (about 50/50 share), with maybe 10% Safari, and 5-10% everything else (Opera, Linux based browsers, mobile browsers, etc). IE only has a 25-40% share now.

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