IE8 blocks downloads

After I installed Win 7 I couldn't get downloads. The download window would open & ask if I wanted to save etc. I choose save and the progress bar moves along but on completion the file vanishes and the download window closes (my settings are not to close!). I could actually see this happening after choosing to save to desktop. The file icon momentarily appeared then got wiped.

I tried again using Firefox. This got a download (of MS Security Essentials) but it wouldn't run; not 32 bit. I then tried Chrome with success.

Anybody any ideas?
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More about blocks downloads
  1. Firefox run on 32 and 64 bits. If this not run, the problem is the OS.
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Download IE8 Security Essentials Windows 7