I am running XP Home SP3 fully patched.
I was having trouble with IE8 in that at times it was unable to follow a link and came up with a connection error. I tried the same action in both Firefox and Chrome and they had no problems at all.
So I decided to uninstall it and go back to IE7, which worked very happily. Uninstalled IE8 as per instructions, saw IE7's installation screen and subsequent install went OK. After the final reboot,
requested an internet page. Nothing happened, apart from an error message saying it couldn't find the web address. Check carefully, there is an iexplore and associated files in an appropriate directory. Click on it - nothing! So I decide to uninstall IE7. That works as well and when I click on the IE icon, IE comes up, and it's version 6. Well that's good. Go for Help and support, and it asks to install IE7. Yes, and again the install runs to completion. No icon, curious. Click on the Start/Program and the Internet Explorer item, again, nothing happens. Very curious indeed. Seems like there's only one answer, reinstall IE8, That works a treat, and up comes the normal browser window.

So where did IE7 go? I saw all the installation screens and the files, but when I tried to use it, nothing happened,

have you tried to download it either via microsoft update (if you downloaded it via a browser) or vice versa?

It was downloaded (both times) courtesy of Help and Support/Windows Update. If you can't trust that, what can you trust?

Hmmm maybe you could try downloading the .msi file from the windows website, I think it uses a different method of installing.

If this brings no luck you may want to clear your registry of all IE7 entries and search for all IE7 related files in the C:/Program Files/Internet Explorer folder I belive thats it anyhow.

Try these two and tell em where you get :)

Oops, I got the sequence wrong. Should have read:
1. Uninstall IE8
2. Download IE7-WindowsXP-x86-enu.exe and run that - no action - curiously I couldn't find an icon anywhere, An entry 'Internet Explorer' was at the bottom of Start/Programs, but did nothing when clicked.
3. I am trying to remember exactly what happened next, but I did get to a stage where Windows Update had IE7 on its list. and this also installed successfully, but didn't work.
4. Uninstalled IE7 and got IE6 - worked.
5. Windows Update installed IE7 - didn't work.
6. Installed IE8 worked.
So I have used both Windows Update, and downloaded the IE7 file and neither worked.

Hmmm, I think if you uninstall it alltogether and then do what I said in the previous post serch and destroy all IE7 files and registry entries and then reinstall it.

As you can appreciate, things are a little quirky at the moment. Several System Restores didn't work, and just to be on the safe side, could anyone else agree with this approach?
(Sorry, but I really don't feel up to a full reinstall just yet if it all goes belly up)

Well I'd presume it is some kind of registry entrie that is cocking with your system.

To my knowledge there not much else to do.