Monday, March 1, 2010

Try Before You Buy

Want to try the next generation Windows operating system? Afraid you might get frustrated as most were with the "forced" upgrade to Windows Vista?

Is it really worth your hard-earned bucks or are you better off with whatever you are currently using?

The good news is you can try Windows 7 for 90 days FREE before buying it. You can download the whole Windows 7 trial from the Microsoft website.

The fastest way to download Windows 7 is through BitTorrent protocol, using a BitTorrent compatible client (e.g.: uTorrent, Vuse, BitComet). The ISO image of Windows 7 64-bit is about 3GB while the 32-bit version is about 2.3GB. We are only interested in the 64-bit version of Windows 7 because the 32-bit edition does not offer anything greater than what Windows XP can do. So we will go straight with the 64-bit version which can make use of more memory than any 32-bit version of Windows can.

Untouched ISO Image
What we need is an "untouched" ISO image of Windows 7. Untouched means it was not modified in any way because there are many leaked versions of Windows 7 out there in the BitTorrent communities. Those leaked versions are often pre-activated and at times have malwares within them. Or, even if they do not have any embedded malwares, they are sometimes activated in a wrong way. And we do not want that either, do we?

The untouched ISO image of Windows 7 is one that came originally from the MSDN website. This ISO image is the exact image of the disc you burn to a DVD±R. It is the same exact disc that you can get from any retail store (except that you did not get it from a store).

It is crucial that you check for the authenticity of the ISO image that you have downloaded. The ISO file should be bit-for-bit the same as the one provided by MSDN. This ensures that there are no alterations and no corruptions while downloading the file.

Torrent File
The torrent file for the ISO image can be downloaded here (mirror1 / mirror2 / mirror3). This torrent file is about 16KB. Do not confuse the torrent file for the ISO image. The torrent file is simply the container for the ISO file. You load up the torrent file using your BitTorrent client, and your BitTorrent client will be the one downloading the 3GB ISO image file. Depending on your ISP provider, it might take you hours or even days for your download to complete.

Integrity Check
After the download is completed, you may want to check the integrity of the ISO image file. To do that, you will need an MD5 hash checker. You can either use HashTab or HashCheck. Or any other hash checker you want.

The ISO image file should have an MD5/SHA-1 hash of:
  MD5: F43D22E4FB07BF617D573ACD8785C028
  SHA-1: 326327CC2FF9F05379F5058C41BE6BC5E004BAA7

The file name is not that important. But the extension name should be .iso.

If everything else is checked, that is, the hash checksum of the ISO file you have downloaded is the same as stated above, then we are ready to burn your ISO image as an image disc.

Contributed by: Emil Baseleres

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