It 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.
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- Get a BitTorrent client, for example µTorrent.
- Go to a torrent tracker site, for example The Pirate Bay.
- Search for the SHA1 key of the Windows version you want to download (see below).
- 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)
Windows 7 Beta (x64) - DVD (English)
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, Enterprise, and Standard Beta (x64) - DVD (English)
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.