Scott Hanselman

Running Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta 2 without installing it.

February 1, '06 Comments [19] Posted in ASP.NET
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Ie7b2Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta 2 is out, and I'm not going to install it - I just paved my machine, and I don't want to throw it to the beta-wolves.

Fortunately this version supports the same hack as the previous. Download the Beta EXE here and unzip it. It's an EXE, but it's a ZIP, so create a folder and unzip the contents into the folder. There will be an UPDATE folder that you don't need that can be deleted.

Create a file called iexplore.exe.local and put it in the same folder. It doesn't have to have anything it in. You can do this from the command line like this:

copy con iexplore.exe.local

...then press Ctrl-Z. Now you can run IE 7 Beta 2 without having installed it (see image above).

OK, REALLY, FINAL UPDATE: This messed up my system as well such that clicking links in IE would open them in FireFox. While a neat trick, suboptimal at best. Thanks to Jon Galloway, I fixed it with this .reg file that deletes some tumor in the Registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{C90250F3-4D7D-4991-9B69-A5C5BC1C2AE6}]

UPDATE: From the IEBlog "As Chris Wilson pointed out, "'IE' is actually a collection of system components - networking, browser hosting, core HTML rendering, printing, etc. When we install a new version of IE, we're installing it for all applications that use these system components - including the tiny iexplore.exe itself." Because of this, we do not support the various hacks that allow side by side running of IE6 and the IE7 Beta 2 Preview. Running with these could cause issues with the stability of a system. 

So, seriously, now I'm sorry I even mentioned it. ;) Your Mileage May Vary. I recommend hanging back while we learn why this is all so hard.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.