IE 6, IE 7, or IE 8 Web Test Agents

  • websquad66
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sounds like Microsoft is serious about IE 8, and that upon release they will push it to their user base via automated updates. So I just checked the stats (AWStats) on one of my sites, and out of 85,002 hits so far this month, here is what it says about Microsoft Internet Explorer:

MSIE 7.0 ... 42975 hits
MSIE 6.0 ... 16807 hits
MSIE 5.5 ... 57 hits
MSIE 5.01 ... 1 hits
MSIE 5.0 ... 16 hits
MSIE 4.01 ... 2 hits
MSIE 3.02 ... 2 hits
MSIE 2.0 ... 7 hits

(I know hits is a crummy metric, but that's all I can quickly get from my system without a lot of log analysis)

Of my four platforms, only two are Windows (both XP) ... the other two are MAC OS-X and Linus/Ubuntu. So, I have MSIE 6 on one windows machine and MSIE 7 on another. Apparently, when I decide to install MSIE 8, the logical choice will be to install it on the machine that has MSIE 6. I WILL NOT install VM, and I understand that when I install 8, 6 will go away. I do have some of my sites with conditional CSS code for 6 and 7, so all of that stuff needs to be tested for 8.

Any suggestions?
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Have you considered Microsoft's Virtual PC? There are developer versions of IE 6, IE 7 and IE 8 beta available for free. No extra licenses, etc. To the best of my knowledge these are available for this specific purpose.

Microsoft VPC Images

The only catch is that the image expires after something like 90 days and you have to go out and re download the images which I assume provides a few fixes and what not.
  • websquad66
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks, graphixboy ... let's see of this old geezer understands all of this: I download a 464.8 MB file which contains IE8B2-XPSP3_VPC.exe (which apparently contains a version of Windows XP SP3 with IE8 Beta 2 VHD). When I install/execute it, it creates a virtual XP system that includes IE8 Beta 2 and is apparently good through sometime in January 2009, and which time I can uninstall it. Whilst installed, I can still use my current Internet Explorer (IE 6 on this platform), and this will not otherwise screw up my computing environment.

Are my assumptions correct? Thanks !!
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yup you've got it. Basically it runs a second copy of xp or vista in a similar format to VM or Parallels in that its completely contained within the VHD so the only thing you need to install is MS Virtual PC and then you just point VPC to which ever virtual HD you want to use. You can even have multiple VHDs available For example my dev machine has XP SP3 with IE7 installed natively and I'm using VPC with XP/IE6 and Vista/IE8 to test those browsers.

You can't install much on the VHD's but it will allow for some plugins like Flash or DirectX.
  • websquad66
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks ... let the downloading begin !!

<><
  • websquad66
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The downloading was completed and the three files decompressed OK. However, there were only two text files and XP SP3 with IE8.vhd. That file can not be executed ... I have no application associated with .vhd files.

What is my next step?

Thanks !!
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sorry you need this one as well... http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/virtualpc/default.mspx Once thats downloaded and installed you need to "setup an environment" At that point say "use existing VHD" and point it at the vhd files.

Good luck.
  • websquad66
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Post 3+ Months Ago

LOST IN MS LAND

I followed the following sequence, thinking this was the best way to get IE 8 to work on my XP/Pro system without having to remove IE 6:

I downloaded IE8B2-XPSP3_VPC.EXE, which produced XP SP3 with IE8.vhd ... as previously indicated, it obviously needed something else.

I then downloaded dotnetfx3setup.exe, which loaded Dot Net 3. I then downloaded the service pack for it to bring it up-to-date.

I then downloaded XPSEP XP and Server 2003 32bit.msi, and it wanted to re-download Dot Net 3 -- thinking I was in a loop, I quit.

I'm lost in MS land -- I'm really not sure what to do next ...

Sad ....
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You shouldn't need Xpsep xp or Server 2003. You do however need Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1 Available Here Mine was called "setup.exe" when it downloaded. Run setup.exe to install Virtual PC 07. Product key should be pre-populated.

You then need a VHD with an OS and browser version (which you should already have) but available here

Now start Virtual PC (start -> Microsoft Virtual PC) The first time you use it you will get a setup wizard. Select "Use default settings to create a virtual machine". Choose a location and a name (this is the instruction set for where to find the vhd etc) so I chose to call mine XP with IE6. Now you'll get a list of settings in the left column (I usually bump up the ram from the default) and on the right it will ask for Hard Disk 1. Select "virtual hard disk file" and browse to the VHD file you downloaded earlier.

Now you should have another window "Virtual PC Console" with the name of a virtual machine. Highlite the machine and click "start" A copy of windows will "boot" in a window and you'll be able to use the installed browser to check your sites.

(note that the Virtual Machine cannot access your hard drive so you will have to place sites to check in an internet accessible location.)

Hope that helps.
  • websquad66
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Post 3+ Months Ago

OK, I'm confused. I didn't want to install a VM system. From what I had read from graphixboy's earlier posts and the MS pages referenced, I assumed that this was not a VM solution, but an emulator that ran under XP/Pro just to test compatibility. Now, when I go to the Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1 reference, I get the distinct impression that this is not some emulator that is running under XP, but a full VM system. That is something I wish to avoid.

So, is this an emulator and therefore just a XP application, or is it a VM system that will alter my boot process??
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It will NOT alter your boot process. Its what is called a virtual machine in that it runs on top of your current xp install similar to an emulator but shares your cpu and ram inside its own protected environment. This is NOT a dual boot/OS solution like Bootcamp. It doesn't mess with hard drive partitions, boot sectors etc. An entire copy of XP lives inside that VHD (Virtual Hard Drive) file and doesn't come in contact with your physical hard drive.

You can't really install programs into the VHD copy of XP, its just intended to provide a testing environment. This self contained copy of XP is important since IE is so integrated into windows it can't fully run without its own little version of xp doing all the heavy lifting.

If you don't like the way it works, simply delete the vhd and uninstall Virtual PC and nothing will have changed in your base xp install or your hard drives.

More background on Virtual Machines vs. a Dual Boot Solution.
  • websquad66
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Post 3+ Months Ago

graphixboy, I hope you are still monitoring this thread. Some issues came up, I had the surgery, and am recovering well. I finally got around to installing the Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 package and set it up for the XP/IE8 environment.

The problem is that I have no internet connectivity from VPC environment. Can't browse. Can't ping from the command prompt.

I jumped through all the ordinary hoops trying to establish a connection with my ISP -- nothing seems to work.

Any ideas?
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Glad your doing well. I haven't had that kind of an issue with the VPC. Are you using a modem? Or do you have some kind of connection that goes through a router to get to your machine? I probably won't be much help here as mine just worked out of the box, however I do know that this is a full install of XP/Vista (depending on which one you picked) so the same "connectivity" issues my apply. I would open your existing network settings in xp and copy down the fields and make sure that the fields in the VPC match.

Good luck. Sorry I can't be more help on that.

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