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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Download Windows 7 Beta Checked Builds

Client and Server – 7000.0.081212.1400

In addition to the plain-vanilla Windows 7 Beta (7000.0.081212.1400) releases, Microsoft has also made available the checked builds for both the client and server flavors of the operating system. However, although meant for testing, the checked builds of Windows 7 client Beta and Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta (Windows 7 Server Beta) are designed with a specific target group in mind: device driver developers.

At the same time, the Redmond company is not serving the checked builds of Windows 7 client and server through its official Win 7 hotspot of via the Microsoft Download Center. The developer releases are only available through Microsoft Connect. The following Connect ID WIN7-3HQW-RF74 along with a Windows Live ID permits access to the downloads. Microsoft is offering 7000.0.081212-1400_server_unstaged_en-us-GB1SXCHK_EN_DVD.iso; 7000.0.081212-1400_client_unstaged_en-us-GB1CXCHK_EN_DVD.iso; 7000.0.081212-1400_server_unstaged_en-us-GB1SIAiCHK_EN_DVD.iso and 7000.0.081212-1400_client_unstaged_en-us-GB1CCHK_EN_DVD.iso.

The Microsoft Windows checked builds are a tradition of the company, and they are also referred to as debug builds. Microsoft clearly separates the check builds from what it is referring to as the free builds (or the retail builds) of Windows. With the checked builds, driver developers will be able to sniff out operating-system-level issues in Windows 7 and correctly diagnose them. The checked releases of Windows 7 come with compiler optimizations disabled and debugging check enabled in order to streamline the process of analyzing disassembled machine instructions and to respectively identify internal inconsistencies.

According to Microsoft: “the purpose of the checked build of Microsoft Windows is to make identifying and diagnosing operating-system-level problems easier. The checked build differs from the free build in the following ways: Distribution media containing the checked build are clearly labeled "Debug/Checked Build." The checked build distribution medium contains the checked version of the operating system, plus checked versions of HALs, drivers, file systems, and even many user-mode components. Because the checked build contains fewer optimizations and more debugging checks than the free build, the checked build is both larger in size and slower to execute than the free build. As a result, the free build is used in production environments unless it is necessary to use the checked build to identify serious problems.”

Windows 7 Beta is available for download here.

Product keys to activate Windows 7 Beta are available here.

Download Windows 7 Beta Checked Builds

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