Problem with viewing pictures on-line

Using a desktop PC (HP Pavilion, about two years old) with XP Professional (with all the upgrades) and IE8 (I know, I know, but I’m too lazy to learn a new browser) I occasionally will see on my screen, instead of a picture which is evidently supposed to be there, a large blank box with a much smaller box with a red X in it in the upper left hand corner.

This doesn’t happen all the time, and I can’t discern any factors that consistently are present that would trigger this. It is not the same thing that can be cured by clicking on the line that says “…pictures have been blocked to prevent identification, click on this line to allow the pictures”, or something about like that. It’s probably something that has been set up in the security panel for the Internet browser, but I can’t find where the problem lies.

If any of you gurus have an idea here I would certainly be grateful.

It might be that the answer can be found in Microsoft help, but I’m firmly of the belief that their motto is “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here”, and that life’s too short to get tangled up in that morass. And I’ve got a lotta faith in the Dope.

Forgot to mention This also occurs in my email program, Outlook Express. And yes, I know that Windows Live Mail is supposedly better, but I tried it and after a short time reinstalled OE. Live Mail, at least on my system, was prone to instantly labeling all mail as “read”, and then automatically deleting them forever. Very untrustworthy.

Could it be a Flash Player box? Can you right click on the blank box and find out what type of image is supposed to be there?

No - right clicking doesn’t bring up anything.

I think there is a file association there that you don’t have a default plug-in to open. Try going to the Internet Options advanced tab under browsing and make sure you have “third party browser extensions” checked and other scripting options as well. The picture is there. You have it blocked.

Are you sure it’s just that the pictures haven’t been deleted by the person who uploaded it?

Can you take a screen capture of it?

To do this, if you don’t know how do this

Once the image with the “X” like you described comes up simply hit “Print Screen” this is right above the “insert” button

Then go to Start -> Paint -> Ctrl+V, this will then paste your picture into the Paint program

The from the Paint program go to File-> Save As and save the picture to your computer

Then go to Image Shack

Then upload your picture. You don’t even have to join ImageShack, though you can if you want to.

Once the photo is uploaded to ImageShack you can put the URL in a post on this board and we can see exactly what you mean


The third party browser extension was already checked. Not sure what “other scription options” are.

Do you mean to take a screen capture of the blank box?

Try or make sure the visual styles and java are checked too.

Also, try to loosen up the privacy settings as a test. Clearly something in the browser is blocking them. I believe those Internet Options are the key. I use Firefox most of the time except for some sites. Sometimes I just have to open up the security to get what I want.

Can you give us a URL of a page where this happens to you? And tell us what picture.

If you refresh the page, do the pictures show up?

Isn’t this just what happens when the browser can’t find a particular image file on the server? If so, it may not be a problem with your system at all, it may just be that the picture has been deleted from the server, or that the servers where the site is hosted are having some problems. Does this happen really often or only occasionally (I think everyone experiences it occasionally)? If it happens often, is it on particular sites or particular kinds of sites?

I would say that your system has a problem only if this is occurring frequently, and at many various web sites. If the problem is occasional only, or confined to certain sites, the problem is probably at the other end, and is the site’s fault or the internet’s fault (which means that there is nothing you can do).

How’s your internet connection? If your computer is trying to display a webpage, it has to download the images on that webpage. And if there’s a bad connection (or some sort of overload), either on your end or on the hosting site’s end, that keeps it from getting them, it’ll show that red X.

If it’s just a momentary glitch, you can right-click on the X and select “Show Picture.”

Thanks to all for your advice. The problem is occasional only, so it might be a problem with the site. The next time it happens I’ll try to get more data. And naturally, since starting this thread things are working perfectly. Didn’t Murphy once address this?

In the meantime I’m going to mull over all the advice and see if I can piece together what’s really happening.

Again, thanks for all your answers.