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Testing IE6 on Vista Using Virtual PC

If you're a web developer you may need to test on IE6, Firefox and IE7 while running Vista. The last two are easy the first one is a little trickier. Here are the steps needed:

  1. Download Virtual PC 2004
  2. Download the Internet Explorer 6 Testing VPC Image
  3. Unzip and setup everything and launch Virtual PC.
  4. Create a new virtual machine for Windows XP, click next, name your virtual PC image and then continue to add the "Hard Drive Image" you downloaded in step 2.
  5. Run the image and get the basics working. You'll now notice that XP has no memory and can't get on the network.
  6. To increase the paging file you have to right click on My computer, go to properties, advanced, performance, settings, advanced and set the virtual memory using the change button.
  7. If you get a firewall dialog box make sure you allow access.
  8. To get the VPC on the network you need to open up internet explorer and go to the options tab. Then go to connections tab and select LAN settings. Here you will need to uncheck the Proxy Server checkbox. ITGProxy is the internal proxy that needs to be used within Microsoft internally. It's clear that this was never tested outside of Microsoft as this setting should never have been set. This drove me crazy for about an hour as I checked all sorts of settings. Hopefully this tip can save you some headaches.

The entire procedure is rather a pain to test for a browser. You have to download a half a gig of software just to test compatibility. In theory it should be possible to run IE6 side by side with IE7 (I do this on XP using a great program called Multiple IE's) but for whatever reason it doesn't work on Vista. One step forward two steps back.

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