Problem: You enter “yahoo.com” in your address bar in IE7. You wait, and wait, and wait some more before IE7 changes the link to “http://yahoo.com” and navigates there. If you type http:// before the address, it navigates quickly.
Cause: IE7 will actually search your desktop for a file with the name that you entered and run that. When it finds no file, it assumes that you want to go to that website. For example, if you create a shortcut on your desktop named microsoft.com and enter microsoft.com in the address bar, it will instantiate the shortcut instead of going to the microsoft.com site!
Solution: In the Registry Editor, go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Band\Address (I had to add the Band\Address keys in Vista; your experience may vary). Add a DWORD for UseShellParsing and give it the value 0. Restart Internet Explorer.
Credit: Ramesh Srinivasan, Microsoft MVP
Commentary: Besides the obvious security risk of running files from the address bar (which Microsoft claims is a feature), the real culprit is the SLOW file system access I’ve experienced in Vista. If it didn’t take forever, it probably wouldn’t be a big deal to me…