Windows 7 Home Premium 6.1.7601 SP 1 Build 7601
FTM 2012 188.8.131.523
Okay. I followed all that you recommended in your post (reset IE to default and reset Internet Options personal settings).
Rebooted. Launched FTM in another user name to see if it might be personal settings, problem was still there. Logged off that name, returned to main screen name and launched FTM.
Got to thinking maybe it has to do with Chrome being my default browser. Or maybe it is an add-on or another program.
Removed a program I no longer use (Mendeley) from Control Panel > add/remove programs. While there I decided to remove the Ask toolbar and the Yahoo toolbar. Seems the Ask toolbar was present when I last launched IE and I must've missed un-checking the 'install Ask toolbar' with the last Java update.
Only had FTM and add/remove (control panel) running. Ask toolbar would not remove - received message that stated Chrome was still running. That was odd because I had exited Chrome. Checked task manager & found that Chrome indeed was still listed in active programs. Exited both Chrome and FTM. Removed the Ask and Yahoo toolbars.
Launched FTM - it is fine! I'll bet it was the Ask toolbar.
I've rebooted and problem has now disappeared.
Sending a virtual hug for the help.