IE7 Virtual PC Image and IE6 Virtual PC Image Refresh

Hello! Just wanted to give you a quick update that we’ve dropped two new VPC images that you can use with the free copy of Virtual PC 2007

The first is a refresh of the Windows XP SP2 + IE6 image.  A few people were encountering a non-genuine Windows warning from the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) Notification Tool. We did not install the WGA Notification tool on the image this time around. As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, these images have had their product keys deactivated, thus they don’t pass the WGA tests.

The second VPC image is Windows XP SP2 + IE7. You asked, we listened, and here it is. It’s built identically to the IE6 VPC, except just before packaging up the image, I installed IE7 on the machine. You can now test the features of IE7 on XP.

Just a reminder that both images expire on August 17th, 2007.

PEte LePage
Product Manager

Comments (35)

  1. PeteL's Blog says:

    Cross posted from the IE Blog Hello! Just wanted to give you a quick update that we’ve dropped two new

  2. Paul Freeman-Powell says:

    Why do they expire if you’re just going to release new ones again after? What’s the point?

  3. @Paul Freeman-Powell:

    Because if they don’t expire, people will use them as a general-purpose operating system instead of just for testing purposes. Think about it: Microsoft is giving out free images of XP SP2… if they don’t expire, what will prevent thievery? Nothing.

  4. M. Moss says:

    @Wraith Daquell

    That doesn’t really make that much sense though, as the image still runs for 3mo fine, what’s to stop someone from simply backing up their data and moving to the new image once its released… Seems more like Microsoft is just trying to make Developers jump through hoops, when it would make more sense just to have IE follow standards.

  5. Lucifer79 says:

    @ M. Moss & Paul Freeman-Powell

    Please use your brains before posting.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yes, one can back up their data and move it to the new one every three months–but how many people actually want a copy of Windows XP that bad? They can download a copy from Bittorrent for less hassle than that. My point is, it’s so much hassle that practically nobody (if anybody) will be able to actually do it. I even tried backing up the VHD using WinImage running inside the virtual machine, just to see if it was even possible to restore it by then using the backed-up VHD afresh (since the readme said it was the VHD that was time-bombed, not the actual Windows copy)–but when I saw how slowly the progress bar was ticking by, I thought, this is such a waste of time, nobody would try it! And since new ones are being released every 3 months, there’s no legitimate reason even for developers who need this VHD to jump through those hoops.

  7. Anonymous says:

    On an earlier post to this blog, I saw comments requesting IE 5.01 and IE 5.5 VHD images similar to this one–and I must say I second the request. You’d have to base them on Windows 2000 (since Windows XP at its earliest comes with IE6), but considering that this is only for testing purposes, I guess that shouldn’t be a problem–and although Windows 2000 doesn’t need activation and thus you can’t time-bomb it, maybe you could simply time-bomb the VHD itself so that it is locked out when the time’s up? Just an idea.

  8. Brian LePore says:

    Why does IE7 require 500 MB more than the IE6 option? Why is the new image for IE6 ~ 40 MB more than the previous release when it has had the WGA notification removed?

    Since this is aimed for developers, can the next set of images come with the IE Dev toolbar and the JS Debugger installed with them? Having the popular plugins (Adobe, Flash, etc) would be great, I can understand why that can’t happen. That said I don’t see why MS can’t include their own useful plugins for us.

    Put me down on the list of users that would love to see additional VHD images. I’d need to talk my boss into getting me more RAM (1 GB for Vista and I occasionally run a VM?), but I would love to be able to have them available for testing purposes. We just had a problem with a client viewing PDFs recently. It turned out she had Acrobat v5 installed. Yes, people really do run old software and the need is there for developers to have to support them.

  9. A parallels image would be great. Do you can offer such a image with the next update, too? I run a Windows XP installation in my parallels, but I don’t want to run one virtual machine in another one. It would be really helpful for me to have such a prepared image directly usable for parallels.

  10. PeteLe says:

    @Brian LePore

    The IE6 vs IE7 image is about 50megs bigger, not 500 megs bigger.  The size difference, and the difference between the version between the last time we dropped it and today really comes down to the process I use to clean the images.

    I posted on my blog ( instructions for compacting images.  In the previous images, I didn’t follow these steps exactly, and thus the file sizes would change on a regular basis, depending on what I deleted and what I didn’t.  From now on, I’ve got a very documented/regimented process for doing this, and it should help to maintail consistient file sizes.

    As for the IE6 vs IE7, I didn’t clean the IE7 image after I installed IE7, so there is likely all the IE7 uninstall bits there as well.

  11. This is very cool. To help web developers who have IE 6.0 or 7.0 installed on their computers, and need

  12. Anonymous says:

    This worked very well.  Virtual machines for IE 5.01 and 5.5 would be very helpful also.  We still have clients who expect to be able to access our web applications using these "older" browsers.

  13. Ricky says:

    As for the fears of thieving an OS from the image, I do find it quite funny.

    WinXP, with IE6? who would want this?.. outside of developers needing to test on it.

    It would be like handing out OS2 and WinME discs for free.  Sure, you wouldn’t make any money, but no one would want them either.

    I have yet to see any reason why an "image" needs to be protected.  You’re not getting the operating system, you’re getting a limited testing environment, thats it.

  14. Aedrin says:

    "On an earlier post to this blog, I saw comments requesting IE 5.01 and IE 5.5 VHD images similar to this one–and I must say I second the request."

    A customer calls in tech support, "This website doesn’t work for me. Everything looks wrong!"

    The technician tells her with haste, "Do not touch the computer! I will alert an emergency technician!" He picks up the phone and dials Microsoft, "Hello, this is Microsoft Tech Support."

    "My client just tried to visit a website, and it looks wrong!", he explained.

    The Microsoft Employee paused for several seconds, then replied "Oh, no! We have to mobilize our website editors to quickly contact the owner of that website! We can’t have our old and unsupported software from many years ago not displaying a website. Think of the kids!"

    Or you go to Windows Update and install the newest version which is relatively quick and free.

  15. Aedrin says:

    "WinXP, with IE6? who would want this?.. outside of developers needing to test on it.

    It would be like handing out OS2 and WinME discs for free.  Sure, you wouldn’t make any money, but no one would want them either.

    I have yet to see any reason why an "image" needs to be protected.  You’re not getting the operating system, you’re getting a limited testing environment, thats it."

    Yeah, who would want a free operating system that works perfectly fine. Let’s just pay a free hundred dollars instead! Money is never an issue…

    (What prevents them from installing another browser, regarding the IE6 comment)

  16. Jason says:

    Actually, I could see someone wanting to swipe XP… I never upgraded my desktop box from W2K because I decided there were things I’d rather spend the money on. Now that I’ve decided it’s worth the money for XP I can’t buy it anywhere, and I have no desire to install Vista on my machine. So yeah, "free copy of XP" would work just fine for me, but I’m too lazy/sane to reinstall every three months.

    Of course, Microsoft’s not going to get money from me anyway, my default is to just keep running 2K.

  17. Brian LePore says:

    PeteL: I had said 500 because the download page listed the Download size between 443.4 MB – 934.7 MB*, and hadn’t looked into downloading til I got to work today. I see that the difference is choosing one or downloading both. Why would someone want to download both? At home where I have XP SP2 with IE6 I would obviously just download the one with IE7. At work with Vista/IE7 I would just download the IE6 one. Why not list the download size between 443.4 MB – 491.4 MB? That seems more accurate to me.

    Thank you for your explanation.

  18. Brian LePore says:

    Oh wow, I just installed the IE6 image and I see you did include the installs for the JS debugger and the toolbar. Wow. Thank you.

    Now if only I could get the JS debugger working on my Vista/IE7 work machine I’d be in heaven. 🙂

  19. David Joseph says:

    Just one word. Fantastic.

    ok one more Thanks

  20. Tristan says:

    I second the request for a Parallels version. Virtual PC doesn’t run inside of Parallels either…

  21. Anonymous says:

    Sorry if this may seem like a stupid question, but what is Parallels?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Despite what one of the comments here said, not all Windows users can download IE6 or IE7 from Windows Update and be done with it. Windows 95 and 3.1 users can’t do any better than IE5.5 or 5.01, respectively. Granted, hardly anyone uses Windows 3.1 today, but I imagine a number of people still use Windows 95, at least for maybe an old secondary computer, and that may not warrant all Web developers writing for IE5 compatibility, although it still means that it’s a good idea for developers to get an idea of how those users will see their web site.

    Also, are you going to say the same thing about IE6 once IE8 comes out? What happens then to all the Windows 2000 users? Windows 2000 is still quite a capable operating system, and systems running it, I’ve found, can run many of the applications that are common today, and are thus still in heavy use, and I imagine by the time IE8 comes out, it will probably have about the market share that Windows 98SE has today–and would a web designer want to mess things up for that share of a market, which is mostly comprised with home users who either 1) don’t have the money for a newer computer, or 2) don’t see any reason to upgrade. How many web designers would want to exclude them? Granted, as of now, they’re fine and dandy with IE6, but likely some new kinds of web content will come out for IE8, and they won’t display well at all in IE6.

    But then of course, considering that IE7 and IE6 both render pages quite similarly, if not exactly the same (since IE7 was mostly a security and features upgrade), we might not have to worry about all that until IE9, because even with IE8, web designers will still have to develop for all the IE7 users (and thus IE6 users).

  23. Rich M says:

    Parallels Workstation is a virtual machine that is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Up until very recently, it is the only virtual machine that works properly on Intel Macs (Virtual PC doesn’t work on Intels, as it accesses the hardware at such a low level, that the built in PPC emulator can not compensate for).  It is still the only commercial virtual machine on Intel Macs.

  24. anony.muos says:

    Thankfully, they’re not offerig IE6 on XP Starter time-bombed edition. That would be minimalistic.

  25. In regards to the meeting at the Web Expo about avoiding another browser war and focusing on security webmasters, search engines, and operating system vendors are largely the ones who have the ability to completely stamp out most if not all security related issues afflicting the web.

    For search engines (specifically Ask, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo) the absolute most important security related efforts to fight spam would be to make public lists of all their IP addresses from which their spiders visit from. In combination with other security techniques this would potentially devastate spam, email siphoning, and other website related abuses assuming webmasters were made aware of such lists, security techniques, and how to effectively incorporate them in to their live sites.

    For browser vendors: an identification standard is an absolute must not only for security techniques (of which I will not speak in public about) but also greatly benefit cross-browser compatibility. The worst current offender(s) are the KHTML and Webkit teams. Only Opera has an acceptable ID. Browser vendors should also maintain detectable proprietary extensions (yes, I’m actually advocating what Microsoft loves to do though in a very catch-22 way).

    For operating system vendors, realize you have two sets of general users: savvy and anything-but-savvy. Xandros makes the best attempt at this.

    For the industry at large: don’t let your developers think they can design … they can’t. The same with designers, they can’t develop. However allowing both groups to wet their feet makes for effective creative thinking in regards to approaching issues. Additionally statistical analysis and security can greatly benefit each other only however if executed to a relatively high degree of accuracy.

    Everyone pretty much has the resources though it’s the lack of vision to coordinate those resources between each of these companies and other groups that holds us all back from making any progress. Plus someone who knows how to handle privacy evangelists who have no clue what they are talking about (in regards to technology, not in regards to user agreements) in the PR department of any such coordinated effort.

    On Topic … I love this idea as the unofficial IE7 I’m running along side with the system’s SV1 is mostly though not completely representational of Trident in live XP and Vista environments. Thank you for making these images available to us for testing purposes.

  26. molotov says:

    @Brian LePore:

    One reason to get both might be to test browsers with their default settings, as described in Zones and Default Settings (

    Personally, I customize pretty much every IE setting on my dev box, so it’s nice to test in an environment that is more representative of a "normal" user.

  27. Jason says:

    EricLaw: Thanks for the heads-up. When I saw it had been pulled from the shelves everywhere I looked (which I admit wasn’t exactly exhaustive… Best Buy and Microcenter were about it) I figured it had disappeared down the memory hole right after the Vista release.

  28. Wilbert van Bakel says:

    Ehm, I would create one image with ie6 and a _differencing_ disk (based on that ie6) with ie7. You probably also need a differencing ie6 vdisk, that holds the user updates.

    My setup would look like this:

    readonly vdisk(ie6)

    writable diffdisk(ie6) 0  MB

    writable diffdisk(ie7) 50 MB

    What do you think?

  29. Nancy says:

    What would be required for a Mac user (G5) to be able to use the IE7 Virtual PC Image and the IE6 Virtual PC image for checking website designs? Would I need to purchase Virtual PC 7 for the Mac, install it, then download the IE7 and IE6 virtual PC images?

  30. Chris says:

    I too would really appreciate a Parallels compatible image. I have installed my copy of XP Pro on my main parallels virtual HD, but would really like to test IE6 without tracking down a PC that hasn’t been updated.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Virtual PC is now free, as of sometime between 3-6 months ago (I forget when it happened, but I guess it doesn’t really matter). I assume that both the Windows and Mac versions of Virtual PC are free, although I can only say for sure about Windows.

    But yes, you would have to download and install Virtual PC, and download the images, which you can then run (I forget if they come with a .vmc file preconfigured, or if you have to manually set up a virtual machine to use the image as its hard drive [.vmc files hold the virtual machine settings, so if the image already comes with one, then you simply have to "attach" that virtual machine to Virtual PC’s console]).

  32. Zila says:

    Parallels users: You can use Parallels Transporter to convert VMWare and Virtual PC images to Parallels.

  33. Recently I have come across the need to run both IE6 and IE7 side by side in the same environment (in order to test some web pages behavior). My starting point was Windows XP SP2 with IE7 already installed. There a couple of different ways to do this

  34. Hello! Just wanted to give you a quick update that we’ve dropped two new VPC images that you can use with the free copy of Virtual PC 2007 . The first is a refresh of the Windows XP SP2 + IE6 image . A few people were encountering a non-genuine Window

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