Free XP Virtual Machine image for IE6 web development

Different versions of Internet Explorer are unable to run side-by-side on a single Windows machine without patching various files. Side effects have been reported with this method, and web developers often need to test their sites on multiple browsers and configurations. The official workaround suggested by Microsoft is to use Virtual PC to virtualise an environment with Internet Explorer 6 installed.

Today saw the announcement by the Internet Explorer development team of a free, downloadable, pre-activated Windows XP SP2 image with Internet Explorer 6 installed. Now that Virtual PC is also a free download, users no longer have to purchase an additional Windows XP license in order to test their sites in Virtual PC.

The image is time-bombed to expire in April 2007, but new versions (including images where Internet Explorer 5 is installed) are expected to be released.

Thanks to slimy for reporting this in Back Page News.

News source: IEBlog posting
Download: Windows XP SP2 + IE6 VPC image

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47 Comments

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If you want this to work fully, go to Group Policy and change everything to Not Configured, then insert a Windows XP CD and install Accessories and Games and get IE7 and stuff like that and you got a fully functional XP Pro SP2...

what happens to running the IE that is installed in the host system? Can't you just start IE and check your website with that?

Quote - ozgeek said @ #22
what happens to running the IE that is installed in the host system? Can't you just start IE and check your website with that?

Well, the idea is you can do both. IE7 and IE6 can give very different renderings of a webpage y'know (otherwise, what was the point of updating it?)

yeah but that doesnt exactly work for me, or im missing something, is there a way i can reset my group policy or load urs or something becauz i wanna see my stuff in my computer and wanna install wlm, i got wlm but it doesnt know how to install it!?

Yep. They left the ability to run the group policy editor and access to the registry. It's not too hard to unlock the system. I did it and have a fully functional 60 day trial of xp pro lol. Not that I need it, I just wanted to see if I could get full access to the system. I also ran a keyfinder on it. The key isn't any good though. As mentioned above, it doesn't validate.

Ok, I've had my fun. Time to delete.

Wouldn't having IE6 on one OS react identically to IE6 on another...? So with that in mind, why have 98, 2000 or Vista if XP is running all?

This will be very powerful if they release every combo of OS and IE as images.

Vista/IE7
XP/IE7
XP/IE6
XP/IE5
2000/IE6
2000/IE5
98/IE6
98/IE5

I've got this image running and it's very locked down. You can only run IE. You can't view My Computer. You can't install applications. It's great for web testing and nothing else.

Dude, what are you talking about, this runs fine, I got IE7 running and Digital Locker Assistance running and you can view My Computer by going to Control Panel then going up which takes you to My Computer which is apparently empty but could probably be tweaked in the group policy to show your drives and stuff in it, everything seems to be running smooth on this hdd image that I am running on Virtual PC 2007 Beta on Windows Vista RTM...

Quote - lunamonkey said @ #13.1
easier, but more expensive. You need licenses to do that.

It will be interesting if you can use KeyFinderXP (or an equivalent program) on the image and obtain the pre-activated XP license key.

This is one of the more intelligent things MS have done. I dislike many of their practices, but I give em kudos on this one.

kind of funny that the ending date is april fools day. maybe the whole thing is a joke?

The image is time bombed and will no longer function after April 1, 2007.

copied from ieblog link posted.

This is a much easier, and quicker, solution than running Virtual PC. It won't use nearly as many resources as a VirtualPC, it can render my pages exactly as IE# should, and takes up significantly less space... so why would I want to bother with this? People will still be using IE6 and below after April, so that only reaffirms my stance to run IE# stand-alone.

Edit: I do think, however, that it's good on MS' part to do something about cross-browser compatibility. They could've said, "Get IE7. Oh? You can't? Don't use an outdated PC." or something stupid like that. Gotta give them credit for doing this much.

How about putting IE7 in the VM instead and letting me stick with IE6 on my real machine, thank you very much...?

(just making a point...this is what I'm already doing...)

I just tried installing IE7 on a fresh image; the IE7 setup could not validate the copy of Windows. Even downloading WGA protected files from Microsoft reports it as non genuine.

Quote - trashpickinman said @ #8.2
I just tried installing IE7 on a fresh image; the IE7 setup could not validate the copy of Windows. Even downloading WGA protected files from Microsoft reports it as non genuine.

HA! Funny.

Bingo, my friend! Why the hell do we need an IE6 VM when it's been on the market for several years? It's IE7 we want to test with!

The image is time-bombed to expire in April 2007, but new versions (including images where Internet Explorer 5 is installed) are expected to be released.

Shouldn't that be internet explorer 6 not five? Typo perhaps?

For a start, the news source I read first was from the IEBlog, not from BetaNews where your forum thread sourced it. The presence of your thread merely reminded of what I had read previously in the evening.

And secondly, a sarcastic rhetorical question doesn't do you any favours if you were posting it in BPN for the benefit of the community rather than your own ego.

I have added your name to the post in a gesture of good faith and hope it brings you joy.

It shouldn't matter what site the source was. Slimy reported it first plain and simple.

I don't agree that someone shouldn't get credit simply because of the site they had originally found it on :rolleyes:

And one who doesn't give credit where credit is due, is one who likes it all for his/herself. I think that ego comment should be the other way around. I've seen Slimy post all kinds of news items long before others post about it.

Thanks for the support NightmarE D. Let's not make a big deal out of this though, don't put the blame on Rob. Most staff that post on the front page rarely link to BPN, Rob isn't the only one. It's really not a problem though, the news just needs to get to the front page.

My original comment was a little low, I had it coming for ages as this happens all the time on the front page. I really shouldnt' be complaining though, considering I have the option to post news on the front page. I don't do that anymore for the simple reason that it takes fairly long to get accepted, if it does at all.

Every way you look at it, virtualization is the way of the future. Safe, isolated and, with newer CPUs supporting hardware virtualization, almost as fast as the real thing.

i think this is great becouse people i know run comercial sites and they did not know how to do this with out paying of money, now they know how i will tell them