HashCalcIt took me more than 10 hours to download Windows 7 Beta from Technet. Downloading Windows Server 2008 R2 was even slower. However, the download was much faster from the Download Center. As I write this, it is impossible to download Windows 7 Beta from the official download site. It seems as if the interest in Windows 7 Beta is greater than it was for the beta version of Vista. The download via Torrent is significantly faster. I wonder why Microsoft doesn't use this technology to distribute software. The problem with such unofficial downloads is that there is always the risk of getting a manipulated file that contains malware. Thus, I usually prefer to wait a little longer to be on the safe side. If you are too impatient, you should follow the instructions in this post.

  1. Get a BitTorrent client, for example µTorrent.
  2. Go to a torrent tracker site, for example The Pirate Bay.
  3. Search for the SHA1 key of the Windows version you want to download (see below).
  4. When the download is finished, verify the SHA1 key using HashCalc, for example.

These are the SHA1 hashes that I copied from MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network):

Windows 7 Beta (x86) - DVD (English)
SHA1: 6071184282B2156FF61CDC5260545C078CCA31EE

Windows 7 Beta (x64) - DVD (English)
SHA1: E09FDBC1CB3A92CF6CC872040FDAF65553AB62A5

Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, Enterprise, and Standard Beta (x64) - DVD (English)
SHA1: D6E920581DC1E4FB647F4C60145988A0C4B162A0

It is essential that you verify the SHA1 key after the download. There are already enough Botnets out there.

Disclaimer: I give no guarantee for the procedure described here!

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It is better to stay on the safe side and download Windows 7 directly from Microsoft.

12 Comments
  1. Fr3d 14 years ago

    I couldn’t agree more about the BitTorrent idea, however, can I just correct this bit: You wrote: “The problem with such unofficial downloads is that there is always the risk of getting a manipulated file that contains malware.”
    This is quite unlikely, as long as the original .torrent file is created from a legitimate ISO image.
    BitTorrent performs hash checks on each “chunk” of data (usually between 256KB and 2MB each) that it it downloads. If the check fails, it discards the whole chunk, and downloads it from a different source.
    The only way to infect the ISO with malware would be to create another .torrent file and upload it elsewhere in the hope that people would use the infected one.

    Thanks for the link to HashCalc by the way – will save me having to find the command-line md5.exe or sha1.exe each time I download an ISO 🙂

  2. Michael Pietroforte 14 years ago

    Yes, this is what I meant. You never know who created the torrent. It might have been a good-natured fellow or a botnet entrepreneur.

  3. SLam 14 years ago

    I’m interested, but can certainly wait until the demand drops down, maybe sometime next week before downloading. I’m currently using Vista x64 and can only hope that Windows 7 is better.

  4. Fowl 14 years ago

    If you check the hashes there is no risk of getting an altered file. You can even add the Microsoft server as a web seed.

    (unless SHA-1 has been cracked, in which case we have bigger problems!)

  5. Leonardo 14 years ago

    I lack the patience to wait for Microsoft, been running it since Dec 27. Came across several posts containing the correct hash and verified it to be legit.
    There are some explorer (both IE and windows) bugs, but that’s expected.
    FYI:
    It does not like Adobe CS4’s shell and browsers extensions at all. I removed them by hand after install.
    Verified to work:
    AVG Antivirus.
    Slysoft’s Virtual Clonedrive.
    Office 2007.
    Skype 4.0 beta.
    For those with Nvidia cards, 181.00 beta properly recognizes W7 and run fine.

  6. Michael Pietroforte 14 years ago

    SLam, I am also using Vista x64 and I am quite content with it.

    Fowl, you are certainly right. SHA1 is secure. It is more likely that a purchased DVD has been tampered.
    Jerick70, thanks!

    Leonardo, that’s interesting. I hope that they will fix such compatibility issues. In theory, everything that works on Vista should also work on Windows 7.

  7. epiquestions 14 years ago

    @fr3d

    you could try hashtab v2 too (google it) it appears as a tab in the properties (right click on file click properties and go to hashtab tab and see the hashes there)

  8. Aidan 14 years ago

    I have done the following:

    1. Downloaded the Windows 7 64 bit Beta Build 7000
    2. Calculated the sha1 hash with HashCalc
    3. Compared the calculated SHA1 hash to the SHA1 hash published here.

    My questions are these. The calculated SHA1 hash is exactly the same as the SHA1 hash published here but the calculated SHA1 hash has lower case alpha characters while the SHA1 hash published here has upper case alpha characters. Is this significant? Does this mean my download is not completely accurate?

  9. Fr3d 14 years ago

    @Aidan: It makes no differnece. Some apps give it in upper case, and some give it in lower case. They are exactly the same 🙂

  10. guest 14 years ago

    Microsoft is still funny, and make me laugh. Funny Microsoft guys going to buy more and more servers for clustering…it’s try upload giant traffic from his IIS, it’s so funny! 😉

    For example – Novell (and practically all Linux developing companys) use torrents for distribution his SLED,SLES trial versions more what 4 years, and don’t have problem at all.

    Seem’s what Microsoft still live in 1999 year, and think what renaming functions and redesign old menu, really need someone…

  11. Saverio 11 years ago

    There is a simple application “Checksums calculator” a GUI tool to calculate md5, sha1, sha256, sha384, sha512 witch can run under Linux, Windows and MacOS x operating systems on both 32 and 64bit architectures. For more info take a look here: http://www.sinf.gr/en/hashcalc.html

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