I have Windows 7 Professional hosting Ubuntu inside VirtualBox for my development machine. To test my site, I run Internet Explorer and hit my Ubuntu box. This works great for Internet Explorer 8, the default browser on this Windows machine.

I also want to run another VM with a copy of Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6 or Internet Explorer 7.

Where can I download ISO image files of old copies of Windows XP? I've looked in Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image and these only run in Virtual PC/XP Mode which won't run while VirtualBox is running.

If I have to run VirtualBox (can't work without Ubuntu running the site), is there any way to test Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, and Internet Explorer 8 from the same Windows 7 machine?

  • possible duplicate of Multiple versions of Internet Explorer on a machine – Nifle Jun 1 '11 at 17:19
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    VirtualBox supports VHDs directly; Did you try making a new VB VM and attaching to the VHD image(s) offered at the link you provided? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jun 1 '11 at 17:27
  • @techie007 virtual box wants an .iso file. when I try and select the .vhd file it says 'not supported'. – Andrew Arrow Jun 1 '11 at 18:23
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    @Andrew VirtualBox only uses .iso files for CD/DVD images; you need to attach the VHD image(s) as an HDD, not mount it as a CD/DVD image. – Kromey Jun 1 '11 at 18:30
  • @Kromey - can u send a link with instructions? When I go thru the virtual box wizard to setup a window xp install it asks for the iso. how do I attach the VHD as an HDD instead? – Andrew Arrow Jun 1 '11 at 20:58

Using a VirtualPC VHD in VirtualBox:

  1. Create a new virtual machine
  2. Click Next and Enter the virtual machine name and type, clicking next again.
  3. Set memory size
  4. On the next page ("Virtual Hard Disk") select "Use Existing hard disk" and click the little folder icon "Choose a virual disk file" (image below)
  5. Browse through the filesystem to where your VHD is stored and double click it.
  6. Carry on through creating the virtual machine until you are done.

I have confirmed that this works on VirtualBox 4, I am able to download the Microsoft Windows XP image from the site you linked and run it in VirtualBox. You do get a lot of "Found New Hardware" warnings though.

Enter image description here

Alternative: Convert VirtualPC VHD to VirtualBox VDI:

Have you tried to convert the Internet Explorer test VirtualPC VHD files to the VirtualPC VDI files? That might possibly work, but I have no way to test...

There are some instructions here which I will sum up briefly:

  1. Install QEMU package (sudo apt-get install qemu)

  2. Convert .vhd file: qemu-img convert -O raw myfile.vhd myfile.bin

  3. Once the file has been converted, we convert it to .vdi format using VBoxManage: VBoxManage convertfromraw myfile.bin myfile.vdi –variant standard

    Note 1: “variant” is specified to ensure we have an expandable VDI file (.bin file is 17 GB, the .vdi file will be only 1.5 GB)

    Note 2: in the previous version, “convertfromraw” command was called “convertdd”

I would assume the process is very similar for working within Windows, just install or download QEMU and run the above commands from within the QEMU/VirtualBox directories.

  • @AndrewArrow I've updated my answer with direction on using the VHD file in Virtualbox – Mokubai Jun 2 '11 at 11:38

Windows XP is generally not available for download in ISO format from legitimate sources.

All an ISO file is is a bit-for-bit image of a CD or DVD. You can make your own from most physical CD/DVDs using commonly available software including most CD/DVD authoring software. If you have a spare Windows XP CD and license, you can either use it to make an ISO and mount it in VirtualBox (or any other virtual machine software) or you can use the CD directly in the VM.

However running a virtual OS merely to test the browser seems a bit like overkill. As pointed out by @Nifle, you may want to look at the answers to this question.

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    As it is the license key that carries the value, and not simply the software source, downloading an ISO of the XP CD isn't illegal. There are many of them available on Bittorrent. Look for files which do not include cracks, and which have been downloaded a lot and highly rated as these will be the least likely to include embedded malware. – music2myear Jun 1 '11 at 19:18
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    @music2myear That's true, though I would be very wary of such sources as they could easily be tampered with or otherwise adulterated. There's also the question of copyrights. While the downloader may not be infringing per se, the torrent site arguably is. – Andrew Lambert Jun 1 '11 at 20:03
  • Once again, it is the license that carries the copywrite as it is the license that carries the ability to legally use the software that may or may not be copywrited. While it is true that most Torrent hosts are infringing on copywrite in many, many other ways, it is not true that their hosting ISOs of umodified software media without accompanying license mechanisms is in any way infringment. – music2myear Jun 1 '11 at 20:56
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    @music2myear The software on the CD is Copyrighted. The license grants the licensee the right to use, but not copy, the software within certain fields of endeavor. While making a backup copy for yourself is fine, posting that copy for all and sundry to download is not. Distributing ISOs of proprietary software is legally no different from taking a book and distributing free PDFs of it: both are Copyright infringement since the right of the Copyright holder to restrict copying is being ignored. – Andrew Lambert Jun 1 '11 at 22:55
  • @Amazed "There's also the question of copyrights. While the downloader may not be infringing per se, the torrent site arguably is." The torrent site is not. The files are not stored on the torrent site. – Maciej Swic Jan 22 '13 at 10:48

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