Internet Explorer Virtual PC Images

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 17, 2008
Updated • Dec 9, 2012

Website owners should test their websites with the most common browsers to make sure that the website is displayed as intended in all of them. Nothing is more frustrating than to realize that a website was not displaying properly for users that have been visiting the website with a certain browser.

One way to check if your websites are compatible with Internet Explorer is to use a virtual pc edition. They require Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 which can be downloaded from the Microsoft homepage. Microsoft is offering virtual pc images of Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 on Windows XP and Windows Vista. All you need to do is download those images and use them in Virtual PC 2007.

The images contain fully activated editions of Windows XP and Windows Vista which expire on July 3, 2008. Supported operating systems are Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows Vista plus roughly 1.5 Gigabyte free of hard drive space.

The naming convention at the download page is quite confusing and requires some explanation. I did download all images just to make sure I understand everything correctly. Mentioned on the page are the following virtual pc image downloads:

  • IE6_VPC.EXE - Windows XP SP2 with Internet Explorer 6
  • IE7_VPC.EXE - Windows XP SP2 with Internet Explorer 7
  • IE8_VPC.EXE - Windows XP SP2 with Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1
  • IE7-VIS1.exe - Windows Vista Business with Internet Explorer 7
  • IE7-VIS2.rar - part of IE7-VIS1.exe
  • IS7-VIS3.rar - part of IE7-VIS1.exe

Please note that the third part of the Windows Vista virtual PC image has a typo in the filename. It should of course be IE7-VIS3.rar instead of IS7-VIS3.rar like Microsoft named it. Just point the self extracting archive to the right file when it asks for it.

The Windows XP images have a size of roughly 1.25 Gigabyte while the Windows Vista image has a size of 6.3 Gigabyte. It seems that the Vista image is only available with Internet Explorer 7 as well.

I just want to explain briefly how you use those images. You install Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 from the location given above, create a new VPC and point it to one of the images that you have extracted before.


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  1. Ellis Benus said on September 9, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Why on earth do they expire?

    Are we not supposed to keep testing after this?

    Do you know why, or what happens after the expiration?

    Can you download them again or something?

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