Win7 - IE9
Internet Explorer will not download files
freezes when trying to access internet options to delete cache/temp files
downgraded to IE8, cleared cache/temp files did not solve problem
upgraded to IE10 did not solve problem
Installed Opera, downloads work fine - Internet speed slow using IE at this point original problem still not solved
I know this is an old thread but I figured id throw this out there anyway. I'm not sure why IE is freezing when you go into internet options, have you tried going into internet options from the control panel (Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Click on internet options)?
If you want to remove all temporary web data stored by IE you can do this manually. The Cache location on Windows 7 is in (C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\) and (C:\Users\cmichaels\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Low\Content.IE5). Removing all folders from those directories (do not delete the container.dat file) will clear ALL of your Internet Explorer browsing data. I can't say that would clear up the issue.
For downloads, is IE showing that downloads are blocked? Check the download permissions (requires getting into internet options):
1. Open internet options
2. Click on Security tab
3. Make sure "Internet" icon is selected
4. Select custom level
5. Scroll down to "Downloads -> File download"
6. Select the Enable ratio button