I just fixed the problem Steve!.
I am editing my store locally in a Windows Xp based system, and after some research it turned out that the Windows Update function included with the OS sometimes can accidentaly damage some core windows components. In my case is was the Windows Script component, which impacts IE and the whole windows system. I reinstalled version 5.6 of this component and everything is working now.
So, maybe this can work for all of those that are working under windows and "mysteriously" the refresh function, or any other, stops working.