IE8 doesn't load pages

I’ve set up a private instance of wpt, version 2.3. One agent runs on Windows XP with Chrome and IE8 as browsers. Tests send to Chrome run correctly but IE just shows about:blank in adress-line and a white page until timeout. Adding use current account=1 changed behavioiur: Now the URL to be tested is shown for a fraction of a second and the browser is closed again. No measuring at all. Starting the IE manually I noticed that with activated Addins “CIEHook Object” and “AOL Pagetest” there is no connectivity. Deactivating the Addins I am connected to the internet again.

There are some threads with similar problems in the forum, but I didn’t got the solution… A security problem? The Windows-firewall is deactivated and there are no other IE-Addins activated.
See attached log-file with debug=1 in URLBlast.ini.[hr]

Try uncommenting browserExe=pagetest.exe in locations.ini on the server. My bet is that some antivirus or other non-plugin software is interfering and that’s usually enough to avoid it.

I’ve tried that already. With pagetest.exe it works. But I definitely want to measure the performance with IE8 on that agent. What’s that application pagetest.exe exactly? Is it using the native IE-rendering-engine of the installed version of IE? So, are the performance-values measured with pagetest.exe representative for the installed IE (version 8 in my case)?

Under the covers IE uses a shared WebBrowserControl component that is reusable (part of Microsoft’s explanation of how IE is tied in with the OS). On top of that it adds a bunch of UI but all of the actual rendering, network stack, execution, etc is done by the shared WebBrowserControl (and the component is updated with each IE release).

pagetest.exe just embeds the control into a dedicated application that doesn’t load any other browser extensions (and isn’t called iexplore.exe so a lot of antivirus products don’t try to mess with it). The actual page loading, rendering and executing all uses the same engine as the installed IE.

The only other path is to try removing other software installed until you can track down the conflict.