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Is there any kind of dev edition VM image of Windows 7 to play around with to avoid messing up my normal install?

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migrated from Jun 18 '10 at 1:16

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You can get a 90 eval of Windows 7 Enterprise here. I am not aware of any developer editions, or anything specific to running inside a VM.

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You can get images of WinXP or Vista (intended for testing various versions of IE) that expire after a period of time:

Microsoft currently updates these as the old ones expire - I'm not sure how long they'll continue to do that.

But as far as I know there's nothing similar with Win7 - you'd need to just install a demo version (or your own licensed version) in a VM. You can use any of the normal channels to get an install image (TechNet, MSDN, MAPS, retail, whatever)

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Not sure if this would work, but you could find a copy of Windows 7 Beta or RC1 (torrents?) and use that. You would still need a Beta/RC key and you would only be able run it for 2 hours before it would automatically restart. Could be worth a shot for just testing?

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