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our corporate is using presently IE8 as standard browser since all of the systems are running on Windows 7 SP1.

However I want to upgrade to IE9 due to some upcoming projects and more features/compatibility from IE9 are required.

If I Install IE9 in my system, it's going to replace IE8. But as I work on old/other legacy projects simultaneously. Can I run the IE9 to strictly display/render like IE8 without any difference.

If I am not able to render, it's going to cause lot of headache in downgrading again.

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Microsoft recommends to use virtual machines to test IE 6/7/8/9. Download them here.

Here's what they say:

In order to help web designers and web developers test their websites in older versions of Internet Explorer, we've provided the following VHD with Windows set up with the specified version of Internet Explorer. The images are patched with the latest security updates and are otherwise clean installs of the operating system with very few modifications.

This download page contains different VPC images, depending on what you want to test. These images are specifically designed to run on Microsoft Virtual PC, and may or may not work in other hosting environments.

Due to the size of the Windows 7 and Windows Vista VHDs, it is split across several files, you'll need to download all files for that version of the Internet Explorer and uncompress them to the same directory to unpack the VHD file.

The password to login to all of these images is Password1 and the username will be present when you first login.

*Note: You may be required to activate the OS as the product key has been deactivated. This is the expected behavior. The VHDs will not pass genuine validation. Immediately after you start the Windows 7 or Windows Vista images they will request to be activated. You can cancel the request and it will login to the desktop. You can activate up to two “rearms” (type slmgr –rearm at the command prompt) which will extend the trial for another 30 days each time OR simply shutdown the VPC image and discard the changes you’ve made from undo disks to reset the image back to its initial state. By doing either of these methods, you can technically have a base image which never expires although you will never be able to permanently save any changes on these images for longer than 90 days.

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Besides there's such thing: Press F12 in IE9 and you will see some kind of Developer console, there you can choose browser compatibility modes. Actually due to this I deleted my Windows XP IE6-8 VMs... –  user157378 May 24 '13 at 4:26

There are bunch of tools which can help you with it. For instance:

  1. IETester
  2. Expression Web

Also you can test almost all cases by switching browser mode from IE9 to IE8. However the best option is to set up a virtual machine with IE8.

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It's not possible to setup Virutal PC [need too many permissions and too much of work]. isn't it possible to run IE9 in IE8 mode fully? –  Nitin Gurram Nov 22 '12 at 4:38
    
I am not web developer where I am too much concerned about design or my projects use such designs. I am basically Java developer and our projects uses basic html/css designs. however to keep switching between projects and to check support issues, i need ie8 too –  Nitin Gurram Nov 22 '12 at 4:40
    
Unfortunately IE9's IE8 mode doesn't render accurately as IE8. But for 90% of the cases it should be enough. For other tricky cases I would recommend to use IETester. –  k0stya Nov 22 '12 at 4:42

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