Sorry, but this may sound a bit different from the other articles on the subject :

  • take a new laptop, a sony vaio, uncustomized, clean ; winXP sp2 ; installation should be totally straight-forward
  • grab IE7 from official MSFT site
  • launch the installer, answer all questions, accept to reboot in the end
  • reboot
  • see, horrified, the laptop frozen before the Windows desktop, a small window "Updating your Internet Explorer personal settings" on the screen, CPU load at 100%
  • after five minutes like that, type control-shift-escape, kill the 100% or so process, restart computer from there.
  • reboot fine....

Hum, to say the least...