How to run Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) in Windows Vista

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As soon as you install Windows Vista on you computer, you just say goodbye for good to Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) because it is replaced by Internet Explorer 7. Why bother? Yup, that’s the correct question to normal users but for web developers the absence of IE6 is troublesome especially when it comes to cross browser compatibility check. If you are on Windows XP you don’t have problem to install multiple IEs as they can run side by side but not in Vista.

There’s a solution to get around the problem but it’s not really the easy one. I break down the steps into 2 parts so that it would be easier to follow.

Part 1: Software installations

1. First you need to download and install Virtual PC 2007 (roughly 31 MB)

Virtual PC 2007

Virtual PC 2007

2. Download IE6 VPC Image. There are several packages so make sure you choose the right installer (IE6-XPSP3_VPC.EXE) which is 377 MB.

Windows_XP_IE6.exe file

Windows_XP_IE6.exe file

3. Once you are done with step 2, unpack the installer to a folder of your choice.

4. Run Virtual PC 2007 and click new to setup new virtual machine.

5. There’s a wizard that will walk you through the process and here are the details you need to fill in.

  • Select “create a virtual machine” when you are asked for an option
  • Name and location: Rename it if you plan to have several virtualization (i.e. running Linux at the same time)
  • Select Windows XP as an operating system
  • Simply go with 128 MB, you may upgrade it later on
  • Select Windows XP as an operating system
  • Virtual Hard Disk Options: choose “an existing virtual hard disk”
  • Find IE6 image by browsing the directory where you unpack IE6 VPC Image in step 3

At this stage you should be able to boot into Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6 installed. As far as I’m concerned, I had already completed my wordpress theme and had uploaded it to my hosting server and now I need to see it online via IE6. The following part will show how to set our IE6 so that it can be connected to the internet.

Part 2: Getting IE6 Online

1. Go to Virtual PC console and click on settings > Networking and select “Adapter 1” dropdown menu on the right. As I’m on a wireless network, I just select network card that’s associated to wireless connection. Otherwise, select “Shared Networking (NAT)” and click OK.

2. Go to Tools > Internet Options > Connections and click on “setup” in Internet Explorer 6. Make sure to do the following

  • Network Connection Type: Connect to the Internet
  • Choose Set up my connection manually
  • Internet Connection: choose Connect using a broadband connection that is always on
  • Click on “Finish”.

3. Without exiting the “Internet Option”, select “Local Are Network (LAN) Settings” and tick “Automatically Detect Settings” and click OK.

4. Restart Internet Explorer 6 and you should be able to online by now.

Now you are good to go online with IE6 on Windows Vista!

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About The Author

The author is the founder of eches.net. He was brought up and is currently living in a small town at the northernmost of Malaysia.