Really is confusing and I agree that the splash screen in itself is inocuous.
Think it must be a timing thing that interacts with something else
With the splash screen on IE opens maybe once every 20 attempts
With the splash screen off IE opens every time
Looking further this morning it appears to be an interaction with Trusteer Rapport which is a security plugin that my bank provides.
With Rapport off and avast splash screen on then IE is then ok
So now the question is which software has the problem
Problem only appeared after yesterdays avast application upgrade
Will run with the splash screen off for now
Regarding browsers isn't the Mozilla option for Firefox ?