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Step by Step Instructions on How to run Internet Explorer 6 on Windows 7

Here are instructions on how to package Internet Explorer 6 and make its engine run on Windows 7. This package utilizes Mozilla Firefox GUI and an add-on called IE Tab. With this configuration can you specify which URLs you want to render with the IE6 engine.



Instructions on How to create a package containing Mozilla Firefox, IETabs and IE6.

1. Capture Internet Explorer 6

    1.1 Start your W2K machine

    1.2 Make sure you have a snapshot of your clean system before you continue

    1.3 Copy the downloaded IE6 setup files to your image

    1.4 Install ThinApp version 4.0.4

    1.5 Run Setup Capture and do the pre installation snapshot

    1.6 Run ie6setup.exe

    1.7 Restart the machine when asked to

    1.8 Perform the post installation snapshot

    1.9 Activate Internet Explorer.exe, inetcpl.exe and cmd.exe Entry Points. Name the Primary Datacontainer and inventory name to something meaningful.


You do not need to use a separate container for the Read only data as I am doing with the .dat file in this example but for those not so experienced in tweaking ThinApp packages please use above settings.

    1.10 Make sure you use Modified WriteCopy as your default file system Isolation Mode


    1.11 Leave all the rest as defaults in the Setup Capture wizard

    1.12 Copy the C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware ThinApp folder out of your Windows 2000 machine and revert the snapshot on your virtual machine. Copy the whole ThinApp folder will make it easier later on when we will merge our sandbox into the newly created package.

    1.13 Verify that your package of IE6 will run successfully on the W2K machine at the same time as its locally installed IE5 is running. This just to make sure you have successfully captured IE6, if not there is absolute no point in carrying on.


    1.14 Now you can shut down your W2K image since it will not be used any more during this package creation.

2. Merge Mozilla Firefox and IETabs into the IE6 package

    2.1 Start your Windows XP machine

    2.2 Make sure you have a snapshot of the clean state

    2.3 Copy the VMware ThinApp folder to the root of your XP machines C drive. You folder structure should look like this:


    2.4 Replace your current registry key files with these two:

Download HKEY_CURRENT_USER (delete -1 in its name)


    2.5 Rebuild your project by simply double click on C:\VMware ThinApp\Captures\MozillaFirefox_IE6\build.bat.

    2.6 Start the Internet Explorer Entry Point (C:\VMware ThinApp\Captures\MozillaFirefox_IE6\bin\Internet Explorer.exe) and browse to http://www.mozilla.com and click on the link to download the Mozilla Firefox setup. Make sure you choose Open and Run to launch the installation within the virtual environment of IE6.


    2.7 I use all defaults during the Firefox setup

    2.8 At the end of the Firefox installation launch Firefox and browse to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1419 and install IE Tab for Mozilla Firefox


Restart Firefox when asked to.

    2.9 Within Firefox open the Tools – IE Tabs Options menu option

    2.10 Add http://bcheck.scanit.be/bcheck/ to the Site Filter


Make sure you add all URLs you need to render with IE6 engine in this filter list.

    2.11 Browse to http://bcheck.scanit.be/bcheck/ and verify that you are in fact rendering with IE6 engine and not Mozilla’s engine.


    2.12 Shut down Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer if still running.

    2.13 Start a command prompt outside the virtual environment

    2.14 Standing in the project folder (C:\VMware ThinApp\Captures\MozillaFirefox_IE6) execute the "\VMware ThinApp\sbmerge.exe" apply command.


When sbmerge is done executing shut down the command prompt.

    2.15 Open C:\VMware ThinApp\Captures\MozillaFirefox_IE6\Package.ini and add this to the end of it:

                [Mozilla Firefox.exe]
                Source=%ProgramFilesDir%\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe
                WorkingDirectory=%ProgramFilesDir%\Mozilla Firefox

Protocols and FileTypes are disabled in this example but by simply deleting the semicolon your will associate these with the package if you register the package on your clients.

Close and save your package.ini file.

    2.16 Rebuild your project by simply double click on C:\VMware ThinApp\Captures\MozillaFirefox_IE6\build.bat.

After the rebuild your bin folder should look like this:


3. Test run on Windows 7

Now is it time to copy the bin folder to your Windows 7 machine and launch the Mozilla Firefox.exe Entry Point. To verify functionality visit http://bcheck.scanit.be/bcheck/.


You should be able to run both the locally installed IE8 and the package simultaneously.


 4. Epilogue

Now that it should be proven that IE6 engine is capable of running ThinApped on Windows 7 it is time to clean up the project. In this guide have I not mentioned any files that you could delete to save space and make the package into a good solid ThinApp package.
Please investigate your project folder and clean out what is not needed to run the application in your environment.
Obvious Folder Macros that you should be able to delete is:
            %Internet Cache%

This project has a couple of Entry Points and a separate Data Container. This can be changed and the whole project could be compiled into one single executable. Inetcpl.exe was activated so that you very easy can customize the settings of your Internet Explorer 6.





This entry was posted in Applications, Internet Explorer on by .
Peter Bjork

About Peter Bjork

Peter Bjork is a Senior Staff Architect, Technical Marketing at VMware. He specializes in Identity and Access Management. He's widely appreciated as a speaker at events like VMworld, VMUG and vFORUM. He is the author of two books as well as numerous white papers and blog posts. When the work day is over, Peter volunteers as a Scout leader for the local Sea Scout troop outside Stockholm, Sweden. Twitter: @thepeb.

10 thoughts on “Step by Step Instructions on How to run Internet Explorer 6 on Windows 7

  1. Spence

    This is amazing! Thank you for the great post. I’ve got some questions if you don’t mind:
    1. Is it necessary to run the IE 6 browser without embedding it in Firefox? It seems that it would be fewer “moving parts” but then, it seems as though Firefox may be somehow helping to isolate the IE 6 engine from the IE 8 engine. What are your thoughts?
    2. The registry files you provide are significantly different than what gets captured. Is there any documentation out there on how/why these changes were made?
    3. Prior to finding this post I had been experimenting with Nlite to build an XP image with IE stripped out of it. The hope was that I would get a cleaner capture of the IE 6 or 7 browsers. Do you think it would be worth trying this with the Windows 2000 installation?
    Thank you again for this post. We’ve got several applications that require IE 6 and 7, and of course we’re getting lots of pressure to move people to Windows 7 and IE 8. If we can get a solid process for building out each of these applications as ThinApps with the appropriate browser, it would help tremendously.

  2. Peter Björk

    Glad you thought this post was of value to you..
    1. Mozilla Firefox is used in this package to give a good GUI to the user. If you capture only IE6 and run it on Vista or Windows 7 you will find that the buttons (STOP, BACK, REFREASH and so on) are not being displayed correctly. If you want an IE6 solution solely accessing one web page I would just as well use an IE6 alone package. As long as you do not need these buttons to be displayed correctly.
    2. There are a lot of different tweaks applied to this registry and I have not made a documentation of the steps. I wanted to, but the time has not permitted it so far. I am still hoping to reproduce all steps needed and document them.
    3. I have tried some steps I found on the Internet to rip IE6 out of Windows XP but none was successful.. Give it a try and if it works please let us know.

  3. Kent Marshall

    I have tried for a day plus..
    On this step it blows up when I launch Internet Explorer
    2.6 Start the Internet Explorer Entry Point (C:\VMware ThinApp\Captures\MozillaFirefox_IE6\bin\Internet Explorer.exe) and browse to http://www.mozilla.com and click on the link to download the Mozilla Firefox setup. Make sure you choose Open and Run to launch the installation within the virtual environment of IE6.
    Unable to load DLL C:\WINDOWS\System32\dwwin.exe->WININET.DLL
    Any ideas? I have retried the steps 5 times now.

  4. Peter Björk

    Kent, sorry to hear that it is not working for you.
    It’s hard for me to give you any tips not being able to see your W2K capturing environment or the project. Have you chosen the WriteCopy as the default File System Isolation Mode during Setup Capture? You are running the clean IE6 package on a Windows XP machine I assume.
    Does the IE6 package run on a W2K with IE5 locally installed?

  5. michiel kroeb

    Thanks for the nice explanation, does this solution also works for Windows 2008 server r02?

  6. Peter Björk

    Michiel, I believe so. Have not tried it but I think it should work.

  7. kallol kumar mondal

    we have follow the all steps as mention on above , it has open the IE on Win7 and it’s hang and not respons the IE , IF i go to IE properties it has showing the version IE 8, BUT SAME THINAPP I run on winxp machine and it not hang and showing the version on IE 6.
    Please advice for the same .

  8. Peter Björk

    Please make sure your registry files include IE8 fixes mentioned in this blog:

  9. John

    This is indeed amazing:
    The End User License Agreement (EULA) of both the Microsoft operating systems and the Internet Explorer supplemental EULA’s prohibit the use of application virtualization software for this purpose. It is not allowed to virtualize operating system components this way.
    Whatever the reason of virtualizing IE, the current license agreements do not allow this.

  10. Peter Björk

    I will not get into a EULA discussion with you. I just want to inform everybody that this blog post is old.. We have a much better way of virtualizing IE6 now days..
    Please see:

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