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Installing Internet Explorer 8

After extensive research, planning, testing, and analysis, the final step in the deployment process is rolling out your installation of Windows® Internet Explorer® 8 to your users. This section describes the steps to follow when you are ready to deploy Internet Explorer 8.

Internet Explorer 8 installation prerequisites

For details about installation prerequisites see:

Selecting the right version of Internet Explorer 8

Internet Explorer 8 is available for Windows Vista®, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008. The following table lists the operating systems and architectures supported by Internet Explorer 8, along with the Setup file name for each.


The file names listed in the table are for the U.S. English language versions of Internet Explorer 8. The file names for other language versions will vary slightly.

Operating system Architecture File name

Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), minimum



Windows Vista



Windows Vista x64 Edition



Windows Server 2003 with SP 2 (minimum)



Windows Server 2003 x64

Windows XP Professional x64



Windows Server 2008



Windows Server 2008 x64



All versions of Internet Explorer 8 can be downloaded from the Windows Internet Explorer 8 Web site at

Multi-language support in Internet Explorer 8

Internet Explorer 8 provides multi-language support in two forms:

  • Localized versions of Internet Explorer 8.

  • Multilingual Installations (MUI installations will be available at RTM).

Internet Explorer 8 is currently available in the following languages.


Chinese (Hong Kong SAR)

Chinese (Simplified)

Chinese (Traditional)
















Portuguese (Brazil)

Portuguese (Portugal)





If your users' computers are all using a localized version of Windows XP (for example, the Spanish language edition), you should choose to deploy the localized Spanish version of Internet Explorer 8. If there are many languages being supported in your organization, and the users' computers are running the Windows XP MUI Pack, you should choose the corresponding localized version of Internet Explorer 8.


When installing localized versions of Internet Explorer 8 on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, remember that the base language of the operating system must match the language of Internet Explorer 8 that you are trying to install; otherwise the Setup Wizard displays an error message. For Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, the base language of Windows does not need to match the Internet Explorer 8 language version. When your user’s active language matches the Internet Explorer 8 language you installed, then Internet Explorer 8 appears in the desired language. You will still be able to use Internet Explorer 8 in all other scenarios, but it will appear in English as a default. For more information, see:


MUI packages for Internet Explorer 8 will not be available until RTW.


If you plan to distribute Internet Explorer 8 through the Group Policy software installation, you must use a Windows Installer package (.msi file). These can be created using IEAK 8.

Signing custom browser package files

Digital signatures identify the source of programs, and guarantee that the code has not changed since it was signed. Depending on the operating systems that users are running and how their security levels are set, Internet Explorer 8 might prevent users from (or warn them against) downloading programs that are not digitally signed.

We recommend you digitally sign the cabinet (.cab) files created by the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 8, and any custom components you want to distribute with Internet Explorer 8. Also digitally sign the custom components that you want to distribute with Internet Explorer 8. If you have a digital certificate, the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 8 can sign these files automatically.

For more information about digital signatures see:

To digitally sign .cab files and custom components:

  1. Obtain a digital certificate.

  2. When you run the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 8, specify your digital certificate information.

Preparing the distribution sources

Depending on the type of deployment you select for your organization, you may need to prepare one or more of the following distribution methods:

  • Windows Update or Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

  • Hyperlink in e-mail or Web page

  • Shared network folder

  • CD-ROM

  • Active Directory + Group Policy


If you plan to distribute Internet Explorer 8 through the Group Policy software installation, you must use a Windows Installer package (.msi file). These packages can be created using IEAK 8.

Windows Update or Windows Server Update Services

Internet Explorer 8 is published as a download through Windows Update, so in organizations where users receive updates directly from Windows Update, Internet Explorer 8 may already have been downloaded to user's computers.

To prevent excessive network traffic and to provide greater control over the packages installed on users' computers, larger organizations may elect to use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). WSUS lets you download a single copy of updates for Microsoft products and cache them on local servers. Users' computers can then be configured to receive updates directly from one or more WSUS servers rather than through Windows Update.

Approving Internet Explorer in WSUS

  1. Open your WSUS administration Web site (typically accessed through http://WSUSServerName/WSUSAdmin/), where <WSUServerName> is the name of your WSUS computer.

  2. In the To Do list, select Review synchronization settings.

  3. In Tasks, select Synchronize now to synchronize your WSUS server with Windows Update.

  4. In the navigation bar at the upper right of the page, select Updates to switch to the list of available updates.

  5. Using Search, in the Contains text box, type Internet Explorer 8 to filter the list of updates.

  6. Click Apply.

  7. Select the appropriate Windows Internet Explorer 8 for (Your OS) in the list of updates.

  8. In Update Tasks, select Approve for installation.

  9. In the Approval column, click the link for each computer group that you want to configure, and select the approval level.

  10. Click OK to apply the approval.


For Internet Explorer 8, there are a few additional considerations for installation on Windows Vista. WSUS administrators should allow all prerequisites for Internet Explorer 8, as Dynamic Updates does not function on WSUS installations of Internet Explorer 8. Specifically, make sure to allow KB957388. All other Cumulative Updates and Security Updates for Internet Explorer 8 should be approved as appropriate for your organization at this time as well.

Using a flat network share

A flat network share is a folder or folder tree that is accessible to network users. It contains the files necessary to install Internet Explorer 8. Installation can be as simple as placing a single version of the installer file in a shared folder, or as complex as creating separate subfolders for multiple architectures and operating system versions. If you work in a multilingual organization, you may want to provide separate folders to hold different language versions.


This media type is used when you build custom browser packages on a local area network (LAN), or when you plan to distribute your packages from a LAN. You can then direct users to the designated directory on your LAN, and they can run the Setup program directly from that location.

Using IEAK 8

If you selected Flat media type in the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 8, the wizard places all of the installation files in the \build_directory\Flat folder.

Manually creating the flat network share

Because Internet Explorer 8 comprises a single executable file for installation, to create a flat network share manually, copy the file into a folder and make that folder available to network users. To support multiple architectures or operating systems, create subfolders for your installation files that are clearly labeled by operating system and architecture. For example, create a folder to hold the 32-bit Windows XP version and another folder to hold the 64-bit Windows Server 2003 version.

Using a CD-ROM

If you selected CD-ROM as the media type during the Gathering Information stage Stage 1 of the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 8, the wizard creates a custom browser package that you can distribute to your users on CD-ROMs. You can copy or move the files from the \build_directory\CD folder to a CD-ROM imaging program. If the media imaging program supports drag-and-drop operations, you can drag the CD folder to the CD-ROM imaging software interface.

For more information about whether your program provides this option, see your imaging software documentation.

Users can then install Internet Explorer 8 by running Setup from the Autorun splash screen that appears when users open the CD-ROMs. Windows Update Setup for Internet Explorer 8 offers users the choice of installing the custom browser package, or viewing more information about the setup process. If users already have the current version of Internet Explorer 8 installed, the Autorun program automatically detects it.

Using Active Directory and Group Policy

Deploying software in this manner is generally recommended only for smaller organizations, with a small number of applications to deploy using a Group Policy object (GPO). This is due to the limitations of targeting and reporting not provided natively with this approach. Additionally, GPO delivered software depends upon .msi installation files, and many software packages are not available with .msi installation file definitions. For more information about GPO and software deployments, see:

You can make software available to users in Windows Control Panel. By using Add or Remove Programs, users can manage software on their own computers. However, you can control what software is available to users in Add or Remove Programs by using Group Policy settings.

Add or Remove Programs includes an active Web link for each application, which provides users with the support information they need to install certain applications. However, you can overwrite the default link by using the software installation extension of Group Policy. The support link then corresponds to your internal product support resources.

You can also have this Web link point to a support page that includes information such as an FAQ about a specified application, a help desk article about using the application, or instructions for requesting support. This can save time for both users and help desk personnel.

Troubleshooting the setup process

To troubleshoot Setup:

  • Review the Internet Explorer 8 Active Setup Log.txt file in the Windows folder. Each installation creates a log file, which collects information about that particular installation. If an Internet Explorer Active Setup Log.txt file already exists, Setup renames the existing log as a .bak file, and creates a new log file.

  • Make sure the download URLs that you specify during Setup are the same as the URLs for the download server.

  • See Troubleshooting in Part 4 of this deployment guide. This section provides information about commonly reported issues and solution strategies. You can also find more troubleshooting guidance at