Testing all IE Browser (IE6, IE7 and IE8) with Virtual PC

by andrej 31. January 2011 15:07

When working on large web applications (e.g. currently the campsite portal camping.info) you cannot ignore users that are visiting your site in not modern browser such as IE6 and IE7 8 (we explain why in the blog post on IE6 and IE7 stats).

You Need to Test IE6 and IE7 – But How?

testing ie6 on windows 7 virtual pc - ie6 logo testing ie7 on virtual machine with virtual pc - ie7 logo

Previously we have been testing with desktop tools provided by xenocode. However they have stopped supporting the service, so we had to switch to a different solution.

An extensive post on stackoverflow.com had a wide selection of choices:

Our choice was to go with a native environment and “real” browser:

Testing IE6 and IE7 with Virtual PC

There is a great instructive blog post by Donavon West on how to set up IE6, IE7 and IE8 on Windows 7 with Virtual PC XP Mode.

Dislcaimer: This will only work, if you have Windows 7 Ultimate installed.

After following Donanons instructions, you should have easily accessible versions of IE6, IE7 and IE8 ready to test your web apps or web sites.

Testing a Local Web Application with Hamachi

However, if you are running your web applications via your local iis, you still have to complete a couple of steps to be able to access your local sites via your newly set-up virtual machines.

You have to get sure you are not browsing the real site outside your development enviroment. So all connections via http have to redirect to your local iis. This is done in the host file.


on the Host:

  1. Make sure you have hamachi installed on the host machine (hamachi is a shareware virtual private network (VPN) application)
  2. find the hamachi-ip on the host system:
    1. open a cmd and run ‘ipconfig /all’
    2. look for the IPv4 of your lan or wlan card (depends on how you got connected)
    3. our network is running with dynamic IPs. So this IP is surely gone next time. Thats were the Hamachi-IP comes to work. This IP is always the same. Just make sure hamachi is running if you need the testsetup.
    4. write down the hamachi IP from the cmd.
  3. write this hamachi IP address with the necessary bindings in the hosts file ((C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc) ) of the Virtual PC. Add all subdomains that have to be tested (www.exampl.com, en.exampl.com, fr.exampl.com... ).

on the virtual PC:

    1. go to the hosts file in the Virtual PC (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc)
    2. add hamachi-IP and all the bindings for the testsite to the hosts
    3. if you are missing one subdomain you will browse the real site and not your development environment.

Now you should be able run the testsite with IE6 in the Virtual PC. If its not working check whether or not the hamachi virtual networkcard is running.



Happy Testing :)



Frontendtesting with WatiN? not working for me…

by mark 26. January 2011 22:22

For one of our internal projects I was looking for another tool beside selenium for automated frontend testing in .NET.

And after some research around the web I decided to give WatiN a try and installed the TestRecorder on one of our virtual machines. a windows server 2008.

On the Video on http://watintestrecord.sourceforge.net/ it looked very simple to use but after the instalation of the TestRecorder it stuck at the start with this error message:


After a click on the continue-button the WatiN TestRecorder started anyway but I was not able to run it like shown in the video. There were some buttons missing. I wasnt able to run it in any form.


I spend some time searching the documentation and the internet but wasnt able to fix the installation. So i decided to stop it and will test again with selenium. Mabye WatiN will get a second chance sometime but for now it is selenium…

Best, Mark



Welcome to Happy Sharks – A Blog About Web Applications from an Admin Perspective

by andrej 26. January 2011 14:13

This blog is currently powered by teamaton – a small web application company based in Berlin, Germany.

We will share our insights on administrating and testing small to large web applications.

Primarily we are going to be writing about some of the following and much more:

  • system administration
  • web application testing
  • server maintanence
  • database related posts

Our current technology stack revolves around the asp.net framework. Which means we all work with Microsoft technology and products (servers, development tools, etc.).

Hope to see you around and giving feedback,




About the author

The authors are the admins at teamaton.

Isn't everyone a little admin?

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