Menu Bar Is Grayed Out in IE8: Do this for all grayed out IE bars
Don't mess around with "gpedit.msc" or edit the registry. Vista Home Edition Does not allow gpedt.msc to run anyway. It is blocked for reason of that old cliche - security.
Go to "Start", "Control Panel", "Uninstall a program", "View installed updates", "Update IE8". Right click "Update IE8'. Then click "Uninstall".
Your computer will shut down and reinstall IE7.
Everything will then be okay.
Which is best IE8 or IE7.
Neither. They are both rubbish! IE9 Beta is much, much worse. It is in development now. I dumped it and went back to IE7 using Firefox for most work. IE9 Beta permanently disables the "Open File Location" function. A window keeps popping up asking you to disable Add-ons and it can't be turned off. The old "will not run ActiveX" warning window continues to annoy. Pressing "Alt" brings up the Menu Bar, but it disappears again straight away. Joining the problem solving team didn't help. They just sent silly simplistic advice that corrected nothing.
Firefox is by far the best and it doesn't have those silly security warnings that you cannot disable.
Internet Explorer safety is overrated. It is no safer than other browsers. It is just full of problems that confound the innocent Internet user - despite thousands of developers being paid millions of dollar they create a monster.