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Forcing hyperlinks to not use virtual IE8 layer

Created: 15 Jun 2012 | 5 comments

Afternoon peeps,

I know have a working IE8 virtual layer!

It has a flag to be hidden from the OS and a second virtual layer created (with LaunchIt) that has access to both the hidden layer and OS, with a shortcut on the desktop.

I have locked down the settings (for too many reasons that I can't be bothered going into!) within the virtual layer to prevent users accessing things like the menu system or address bar. The IE8 layer loads up straight to the one website that I want the users to access with this IE8 layer.

Only problem I have is this.

With the IE8 layer open and that instance of IE being the last one used, if a user opens a hyperlink from email, etc it opens the link within a new virtual layer. This is by design of IE were is uses the latest instance of IE to open the page.

Does anyone know of a way to force hyperlinks to open on the base IE and not the virtual layer?



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EdT's picture

As long as the file IEXPLORE.EXE is in different folder locations on the base and virtualised installs of IE, then you can configure the shortcut to call the appropriate instance of IEXPLORE.EXE and pass the URL as an argument, rather than relying on file association to launch iexplore.exe.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

Jsmith73's picture

Thanks EdT. My base and IE8v have seperate folder locations.

My issue is not with shortcuts as I know I can change within the the shortcuts properties which IE to use.

It's for hyperlinks within an email to an external source.

If you open up 2 IE7 windows and click on a hyperlink it will open that hyperlink within the 2nd instance of IE that you opened. And every subsequent hyperlink click will open in the 2nd instance as it was the newest instance. If I open a 3rd instance, hyperlinks will then open in that one.

I thought it was maybe goverened by the PID of the iexplore.exe process but in testing some of my newer IE instances had lower PID's.

As I am needing to suppress users going to any websites other than the defaul within the IE8 layer this throws a wee sanner in the works!

EdT's picture

Is it done based on the Z-order, ie whichever IE window is nearest the "top" or has focus currently?

I suspect any solution to this is going to require some clever hacking into the way the operating system interacts with browser windows.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

Jsmith73's picture

nah, I thought that also EdT but its linked to the order the IE instances were open. I could open 3 instances, place the first instance into focus, click on hyperlink and it opens in the most recent, ie 3rd, instance.

Really annoying and agreed, most likely a disgusting reghack required!

EdT's picture

If you have access to a capture tool then maybe a capture of the system after each new browser instance is started would give you a clue as to how Windows recognises the most recently opened window.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.