Download and install a VirtualBox image based on a current MS VPC application compatibility image.
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msie2vbox creates VirtualBox machines from the Microsoft Application Compatibility VPC images that Microsoft provide for testing websites in Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 or 8. This application only supports downloading and installing the Windows XP VPC image. This image defaults to IE6 but contains shortcuts to update to IE7 or IE8. It is recommended that a local copy of the downloaded VPC image be kept to make creating subsequent VirtualBox VMs quicker.

To run msie2vbox, just execute in a shell.




This program can be used to create a new VirtualBox machine from a Microsoft Application Compatibility VPC image. Since the original Microsoft images are built for Microsoft Virtual PC, there are a few 'inconsistencies'*. At present, this script only supports IE 6,7,8 under Windows XP.

The VMs can be installed to a specific location supplied by the '-l ' arguement or by default to ~/vbox/. The VM will be named based on the current timestamp, e.g. 'Windows_XP_IE_$(date +%s)', or by the name supplied by the '-n ' arguement.

Each VM will default to 192M RAM; this can be overridden with the '-mN' arguement where 'N' is the desired amount of RAM to allocate, in megabytes. This program will download the appropriate VPC image, but you can specify the path to a local VPC image using the '-f ' arguement.

The VMs require the Intel 82540EM network adapter. Drivers for this are downloaded and built into a ready-mounted ISO when the VM is booted. You will need to manually update the network adapter drivers before verifying your VM with Microsoft.

By default, the VM will not boot when this script is complete. Use the '-b' arguement to boot the VM.

Usage: [-h] [-mN] [-nName] [-f path] [-d path] [-l path] -b

-h Show this message
-m RAM to allocate (in MB)
-n Name of the Virtual Machine
-f Path to existing VPC image
-d Path to Intel Drivers EXE
-l Path to store VHD files
-b Boot VM on completion.


IE 7

  • IE 7
  • Existing local copy of Intel drivers in /home/max/Desktop/PROWin32.exe
  • Default 192Mb RAM
  • Default name of Windows_XP_IE_$(date +%s)
  • Download the VPC image

./ -d /home/max/Desktop/PROWin32.exe

After installation, you will need to use the desktop shortcut to update the machine to IE7.


  • IE8
  • Use 265Mb RAM
  • Name of 'WinXPIE8'
  • Boot on completion
  • Specify path to existing VPC executable
  • Download Intel Drivers

./msie2vbox -m 256 -f /path/to/Windows_XP_IE6.exe -n WinXPIE8 -b

After installation, you will need to use the desktop shortcut to update the machine to IE8.

After booting the VM for the first time, you will be prompted to activate Windows XP. Cancel the activation for now, and log in using the password 'Password1'. Open Device Manager, right-click on the ethernet adapter and selected 'Reinstall Driver'. Search for the driver automatically, and it should install the drivers from the attached CD image.

You should next install the VirtualBox Guest Additions. Once the installation is complete, you can reboot the VM and complete the activiation process; this should work okay. I've noticed that occasionally installation of the Guest Additions causes the machine to appear to crash. You can powercycle the VM, activate Windows XP, and generally the second attempt at installing the Guest Additions works fine.

*Inconsistencies / Manual Steps

  • The VM is configured without USB support
  • The VM is configured without audio
  • Update the drivers for the ethernet device with those provided on the pre-mounted D:\ drive
  • Validate the VM with Microsoft
  • Install the Virtual Box Guest Additions
  • Disable 'battery' devices

To Do

  • Investigate use of registry files or other some alternative method to automate driver installation
  • Automated installation of Vbox Guest Additions


This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see