In Internet explorer 7 there is a feautre called Protected mode, which works in Vista or Windows 7 but not in XP and below versions.

Here sometimes you might have come across with this situation. Eventhough you turned ON the protection mode by going to Tools -> Internet options. Still it will show Protected mode: off.

The reasons are

1. If the User access control is disabled then this protected mode feautre will not work.

2. If you are running IE 7 with administrative privilges.