Running Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 as standalones


I know there are a lot of articles on the WWW detailing this process but none of them really worked for me.  I recently changed job and no longer have all my test machines at work.  Instead I only have the one workstation :eek  Still I've been asked to test some web applications (???) so I had to find a solution to suit me.  I'd done this before IE7 (so a long time since).

My office workstation setup for this is:

  • HP CMT DC7900
  • E5300 @ 2.60Ghz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • Windows XP Professional SP2 
  • Internet Explorer 7

As you can tell, not the most up-to-date but unfortunately I need to stay near to my customer base and match their setups as closely as possible.



My aim is to have IE 8 installed as my Windows browser (I wanted IE7 and the other 2 as standalones but apparently not possible) and then have IE6 and IE7 as separate browsers.  If I was at home I'd just use Virtual PC with Windows7 but my customers are on XP and I have to emulate their environment as accurately as I can which I can do by setting up my work computer to be just like theirs (using the same image, etc).

Programs which I would NOT recommend

I've put a list of programs which I installed and uninstalled just as quickly as they failed to properly reflect IE6 and IE8 features (& bugs?).

  • IECollection v1.6.0.6
  • Multiple IE Installer v?  (Old and unstable...)
  • Browser Sandbox (Need IE and install their plugin - does not reflect my customer's PC image)
  • IETester v0.4.3 (Returned different results from my IE7 tests)
  • ie6olas_nt (from - works but installing IE8 breaks it)
  • ie6setup.exe (from Microsoft's website advising on Run > c:\\download\\ie6setup.exe /c:"ie6wzd.exe /d:1 /s:""#E")


If you only want Internet Explorer versions 6 & 7

(Note that installing IE8 will break this)

Possibly the easiest thanks to who have a version 6 standalone.  Because their site seems to be under construction and links on the WWW are no longer valid, I've uploaded their zip just in case to my own site available for non-registered members at  

  1. Install IE7 from Microsoft's website.
  2. Reboot if necessary
  3. Navigate to 
  4. Scroll down to "Internet Explorer - Microsoft"
  5. Select Win32 > standalone >
  6. Download the ZIP file
  7. Scan for threats
  8. Decompress/Extract to a folder (by default it will create one separate to the default C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer).
  9. Scan for threats
  10. Run "C:\Program Files\Internet Exploreriexplore.exe" for IE7
  11. Run the "iexplore.exe" program found in the IE6 download to run IE6.

It will return v7 on the "about" dialog but I felt this was because I already had IE7 installed.  Note that a lot of websites have reported that installing IE7 standalone breaks the IE6 standalone and none reported the fix...


If you only want Internet Explorer versions 7 & 8

  1. First install Internet Explorer 8 as per usual (from Microsoft's site)
  2. Then download and install IE7 Standalone (from

Your IE7 standalone will return a few errors but for basic browsing it will navigate to other pages and it will identify itself as IE7 to sites that check your browser details (see below - Additional Info)


The Free Virtual PC solution (Requires ISO or WinXP disk)

Go to and search for Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1 (  

System Requirements: 

Virtual PC 2007 requires a 400 MHz Pentium-compatible processor (1.0 GHz or faster recommended), and requires approximately 35 MB of disk space. It runs on Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) (Enterprise, Business, Ultimate), and Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3).

Creating a Virtual PC:

  1. Download & Run the setup.exe
  2. Go to Start > Programs > Microsoft Virtual PC
  3. In the wizard, select "Create a virtual machine" > Next
  4. Name it (eg. Test VirtualPC 001) > Next
  5. Select the Operating System (eg. Windows XP) > Next
  6. Use the recommended RAM > Next
  7. Select "A new virtual hard disk" > Next
  8. Specify a virtual hard disk size (eg. 10000 MB which is about 10Gb) > Next
  9. Check your attributes and click on "Finish"
  10. The Virtual PC Console window should have it selected but click on "Settings" first
  11. Select "Hard Disk 1" and run the Virtual Disk Wizard
  12. Change it so that the file is not stored in "My Documents" (find somewhere on the C drive or other with space and real disks)
  13. It should go about creating a usable virtual hard disk.
  14. When it's done click on the small "Start" button below the "Remove" button (not your main Start menu button)
  15. As soon as it loads, press DEL to enter the BIOS setup.
  16. Navigate to the "Boot" section with the left & right arrow keys
  17. Press "Enter" on Boot device priority
  18. Press "Enter" on the first boot device
  19. Select "CDROM"
  20. Press "F10" to save and exit the BIOS.
  21. Load your ISO or CD into your CDROM
  22. Go to "Action" in the menubar and select "Reset..."


Additional Information



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Joel Lipman

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