Thursday, October 12, 2006

Preparing for and Installing IE7


IE7 is scheduled for release on October 18 and will be delivered via
Automatic Updates:
"Automatic Updates will notify all such users (including those with Automatic Updates configured to automatically download and install updates) when Internet Explorer 7 has been downloaded and is ready to install."
John Hrvatin, Program Manager, wrote that most people have not had any problems with the installation of IE7 but, particularly due to the wide variety of anti-malware applications, explained why it is recommended that anti-virus and anti-malware applications be disabled when installing IE7. He provided some excellent advice. However, in my opinion, his advice falls a bit short of the mark. Let's start with what Mr. Hrvatin posted in the IE Blog in "IE7 Installation and Anti-Malware Applications":

"A few people have asked why we recommend temporarily disabling anti-virus or anti-spyware applications (which I’ll refer to together as anti-malware) prior to installing IE7, so here’s a little insight to the situation.

Along with copying IE7 files to your system, IE7’s setup writes a large number of registry keys. A common way anti-malware applications protect your computer is by preventing writes to certain registry keys used by IE. Any registry key write that fails during setup will cause setup to fail and rollback changes. We work around the problem in most instances by checking permissions at the beginning of setup, but many anti-malware programs monitor the key rather than change permissions. Therefore, setup thinks it has access when it starts, but then fails when it later attempts to write the key."

There you have it. On one hand, Mr. Hrvatin is recommending disabling anti-virus and anti-malware software, but, as I emphasized in the quote above, Automatic Updates will have IE7 already downloaded to your computer and ready to install. So, before clicking "Install" a couple of extra steps are necessary.

Although directed toward corporate and small business users, the IE Team has made available tools for testing application compatibility, extensions, and the like. Additional information and links to the tools can be found in the IE Blog in "IE7 Is Coming This Month . . . Are You Ready".

I suggest you print or copy the instructions below so you will know what to do before clicking the Install option when you are presented with the following:


When presented with the above image, IE7 will already be downloaded to the computer. Following are my recommendations before clicking "Install".

1. Disconnect from the Internet and save any work and close all open programs.

2. Disable your anti-virus software and close your firewall.

3. Create a restore point.
Before installing any software, it is wise to create a restore point. Creating a restore point is easy to do. Just follow these steps:
  • Click on the following: Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore
  • On the next window that opens, select the option to "Create Restore Point"

  • Click Next. In the next window that opens, type in a description that you will remember.

  • Choose "Create" and then close System Restore.
4. Disable real-time protection
As recommended by Mr. Hrvatin, the next step is to disable real-time protection afforded by any anti-malware applications on your computer. The list is quite long so the main thing to remember is if during or after installation of IE7 you are prompted by the real-time protection software on your computer whether to allow or disallow the changes to the registry, it is important to allow the changes.
With most of the real-time protection applications accompanying anti-malware software programs, merely disabling the software is sufficient. However, for Lavasoft's Ad-Watch, additional steps may be necessary. As written in the Ad-Aware SE manual:
Even if Ad-Watch is turned off and something DOES install onto your system, it will recognize it and will kill the process as soon as it has seen it when turned back on.
Because of the variety of settings that can be selected for Ad-Watch, for this situation, I strongly suggest that anyone using Lavasoft's Ad-Watch take the extra precaution of disabling all blocking prior to the installation of IE7. After the installation is complete, re-enable the settings you had before. In the event you do not elect to take these steps, it is vital that you accept any changes that may be alerted by Ad-Watch.
To disable Ad-Watch:
  • Right-click on the Ad-Watch icon in the system tray
  • Select "Restore Ad-Watch"
  • At the bottom of the screen you will see 2 options -- Active and Automatic.
  • Uncheck both options (red X).
  • Under "Tools and Preferences" turn off all blocking actions:
Instructions for disabling other real-time protection is available in the Castle Cops Wiki. Follow the links below now for any of the listed software installed on your computer so you will know how to disable their real-time protection prior to installing IE7.

Having followed the above safety precautions, the computer is now ready for installing IE7.

Clicking on the install button will start the process, which will require Windows Genuine Advantage validation. A restart will be necessary to complete the install.

Note that installation of Internet Explorer 7 will not override any default browser settings. In addition, all compatible toolbars, home/start page, favorites, and search settings will be transferred to IE7. When Internet Explorer 7 is launched, there will be a presentation offered that highlights new features and changes in IE7.


Microsoft MVP Harry Waldron installed IE7 after it was released in final. Here is what he discovered and posted in his blog:
"IE 7 - Recommended installation approach

* Use only the official download from Microsoft's site
* Reboot PC for fresh start (e.g., advanced users should take a system restore point)
* Shut down all started applications and Disable AV scanner
* Do not run anything else during the complete install process
* Wait patiently as some processes are long-running and might seem to hang, (overall this required about 5 to 10 minutes for me).
* Reboot as prompted (twice)
* Select the "run" to continue the process after 1st reboot.
* Keep lucky charms and a celebration kit handy, e.g., plenty of Mountain Dew "
Thanks, Harry!


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