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Is there anywhere to download windows 7 to test on a virtual PC?

I have Windows XP now and I don't want to install the upgrade yet but wanted to just play around.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

You can still download the Release Candidate free. Works fine in a virtual machine.

  • download VirtualBox from
  • download the Windows 7 ISO from the above link.
  • after installing VirtualBox, create a New VM for Windows 7, make sure it has access to the minimum requirements from your system:

*1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
*1 GB RAM (32-bit) / 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
*16 GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20 GB (64-bit)
*DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

  • Go to the configuration settings for your new virtual machine, and access the CD-ROM settings.
  • Select the radio button to boot from existing ISO file and choose your Windows 7 ISO.
  • follow installation instructions and you'll be up and running in no time.
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i am a little confused. maybe i have a more fundamental question on how i would go about setting up a virtual machine to run this on? – leora Aug 10 '09 at 3:36
Annoying that Microsoft provides a ready-to-run VHD of Server 2008 R2 RC - but not for Windows 7 RC... that would have made it much easier. – Oskar Duveborn Aug 10 '09 at 9:27

I test it with virtual Box. Just download the W7 install ISO and install it to a new VM.

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how do you install it to a new VM? – leora Aug 10 '09 at 3:37

Yes, you can install Windows 7 (either the RC or the RTM version) in a virtual machine. I currently have the RC running as the primary OS on two of my systems, one of which also has Virtual Box running a Windows 7 RC VM to test Visual Studio 2010.

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