Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson
sbisson

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Nifty hack of the day: Run IE7 beta 1 alongside IE6

If you've got access to a MSDN subscription, then you may want to try out the Windows XP version of Internet Explorer 7 beta 1. Unfortunately the standard install will replace your existing copy of Internet Explorer - and, to be honest, the IE 7 beta isn't the most stable browser around.

Now, you could dual boot Windows Vista, but the Vista IE 7 isn't the same as the Windows XP version, and setting up a whole Virtual PC or VMware image just to try out a browser can seem a bit like overkill...

However there is a simple hack that will make IE 7 work as a standalone browser. Just follow these simple instructions (based on the instructions for older versions of IE):
  • Download the IE7 Beta 1 Install from MSDN
  • Open the install file with WinRAR (yep, it's an EXE, but it's a self extracting EXE) and extract them to a folder. Alternatively, you can just run the EXE, make a copy of the files which are extracted in the first step, and cancel the install. I was too chicken to do this on my work computer.
  • Look in the folder you extracted to for the file SHLWAPI.DLL. Delete this file.
  • Create a new text file in the folder, then rename it to IEXPLORE.exe.local.
Then just click on iexplore.exe and the browser will launch and run...

One thing to note - you won't have access to your bookmarks, and trying to open the favourites menu will cause a non-fatal error. Still, you're not going to be using IE 7 for anything other than test purposes...

If you need standalone versions of older browsers (not just IE) you can find them at browsers.evolt.org. How about a nostalgic spin round the interweb in Oracle's Powerbrowser? Or Netscape Navigator 1.1?
Tags: beta, hacks, internet explorer, microsoft
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