The Network Manager at Westminster School presents solutions to sticky problems...

Friday, 9 December 2011

IE9 Rendering Problems

We have been having problems with IE and some add-ins: notably Flash 11 and Silverlight. The symptoms include having some flash objects not appear at all. Streetview, for example, displayed a blank black panel with some images appearing at the mouse passed over it. For Silverlight, it was Word Web App. Again, a black background with some text occasionally appearing when the mouse rolled over. SharePoint also got a rough time, with permission denied boxes appearing to be totally blank.

We have discovered that the problem is not with Internet Explorer, Silverlight or Flash. In fact it was the Intel Graphics Adaptor incorporated into our otherwise well endowed desktops.

There is a simple work-around for this (if an upgrade to the Graphics Driver) does not fix the problem: Tell Internet Explorer to use the Software Render. Tools -> Internet Options: Advanced Tab: Tick 'Use Software Rendering instead of GPU Rendering'. Done!

Now if, like me, you have around 500 PCs and laptops to look after, you don't want to wander around all 500. Neither do I want to have the pain of having to explain to a range of competencies how to fix this themselves. Instead, I use group policy preferences (under user configuration) Windows Settings, Registry:
Hive: HKCU
Path: Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Mait
Value Name: UseSWRender
Value: 1

Apply this to all your affected users and enjoy a cuppa.

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