ZAV - General Tips for Successful Virtualization of Internet Explorer (IE)

  • 7017198
  • 27-Jan-2016
  • 27-Jan-2016

Environment

Novell ZENworks Configuration Management
Novell ZENworks Application Virtualization

Situation

The tips below are a collection of some common tips for successful deployment of  Virtualized Internet Explorer (IE), though any given tip may not apply to every environment.
 
- Deploy the Latest Version of Internet Explorer to the Windows Device.  Use ZENworks Application Virtualization (ZAV) to deploy older Virtualized Copy of IE.
 
The reason for this recommendation is Internet Explorer in many respects is part of the OS and not just an application.  As a result, there may be core OS processes that are always running that will exist outside of the Virtual Application.  These processes are more likely to be Backward Compatible with older versions of IE than Forward Compatible with Newer Versions of IE.
 
- Minimize Communication between Virtualized IE processes and Natively Installed IE Processes.
 
By Default, IE will attempt to communicate across all running copies of the Internet Explorer Process.  When both Virtualized and Non-Virtualized copies of Internet Explorer are running, this may not be desirable.
IE8 through IE11 optionally support the following options:
"-noframemerging" (HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,FrameMerging=00000000(DWORD) and
"-nosessionmerging" (HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main, SessionMerging=(DWORD) 00000000).
 
If these settings are desired, it is recommended to configure them in both the virtual application as well as pushing the registry keys to the user's profile.
This is because the behavior of the natively installed IE needs to be updated, not only the behavior of the virtual application.
 
- Isolate the "TEMP" / "Working Directories"
Inside of the Virtual Application's File System, set the "Isolation Level" for the "Application Data" and the "Local Application Data" to FULL.
Under "System Drive\Windows Folder", Create a "TEMP" folder and set the "Isolation Level" to Full.....Assuming the default SYSTEM TEMP location has not been changed.
 
- Isolate Internet Explorer Plugins
 
Ensure the following keys are "EMPTY" and then set the Isolation Level to Full. (Pre-Populating Specific Values may be OK if you want to FORCE certain Plugins to be available)
 

[HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext]

[HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects]

[HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext]

[HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects]

[HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext]

[HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects

 
- How to Include a Specific Version of Java with Virtualized IE
 

Additional Information

While it is NOT recommended to deploy Newer Versions of IE to systems running old versions of IE, there are some steps that help increase the probability of success.
 
Using the Built-In Template is Generally the Simplest and Best Solution, the template may not include the maximum possible Windows Subsystem and thus the possibility a newer Virtual IE may not run on older systems.
If this issue is seen, attempt performing a snapshot. 
 
#1 - Ensure the Host Machine is Running the Base OS, Base Service Pack, and No Patches that would not be installed on every target device.
#2 - Ensure Internet Explorer is not installed on the device.  (Internet Explorer can be removed via the Add/Remove Windows Components.  Reboot after taking this action.)
#3 - Ensure the "Internet Explorer Snapshot Compatibility Mode" is enabled under "Options" within ZAV.
#4 - Install and Patch IE, Install and Configure any Desired Plugins, and perform a final reboot prior to completing the snapshot.
 
This virtualized copy of IE may be twice as large as the standard template virtual app due to the inclusion of far more Windows OS subcomponents.
As a reminder, deploying Virtual IE in this method is counter to the recommended method.  Use at your own risk.