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Image courtesy Microsoft
Step right up and download Microsoft's latest and greatest

Well, here it is folks. After announcing the availability of Vista Beta 2 for developers and IT professional two weeks ago, the latest build is now available for public download.

MSBLOG reports that the English, German and Japanese builds are available in x86 and x64 versions. You will have to download the 3GB+ ISO file with a download manager provided by Akamai Technologies.

Considering that this is a huge software release for consumers, be sure to post in the comments sections about your thoughts/experiences/likes/dislikes about the new operating system. I've been using it for the past week and have generally been impressed so I'm eager to see what you guys think.

Updated 06/08/2006: Get your product keys here.

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Been useing it
By DEMO24 on 6/8/06, Rating: 0
RE: Been useing it
By TomZ on 6/8/2006 11:01:59 AM , Rating: 2
You say you hate it, but why? Because it is running a little slower than XP? Don't you think they're still working on performance and bugs still, since it is a BETA release?

RE: Been useing it
By DEMO24 on 6/8/06, Rating: 0
RE: Been useing it
By Hare on 6/8/2006 2:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
Whatta heck. These replies don't belong to my post. I think this comment system is broken...

RE: Been useing it
By Trisped on 6/8/2006 2:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
They are not in your post, they are in one that has been downgraded to 0. If you set your view to -1 you can see all the posts. It is kind of stupid though, since the whole point is to prevent undesireable posts from being viewed.

Maybe they could just put a gray bar where a filtered post is at?

RE: Been useing it
By Hare on 6/8/2006 11:29:07 AM , Rating: 2
Just get a mac :)

RE: Been useing it
By Master Kenobi on 6/8/2006 11:41:16 AM , Rating: 3
Until Apple releases Mac Os X by itself, nope. Mac hardware is trash, software isn't bad, but only runs on their hardware so its equally as worthless. Nice try.

RE: Been useing it
By Pirks on 6/8/06, Rating: 0
RE: Been useing it
By Trisped on 6/8/2006 2:44:55 PM , Rating: 5
Most people don't buy premade, they make their own. That is why we can say Mac is trash, because for the same dollar we can get something with 1.5x the power.

RE: Been useing it
By Trisped on 6/8/2006 2:46:25 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, and we can pick our own cases, so we are not limited to black, white or any other less attractive design if we don't want it. (But as my Dad would point out, its a computer, who cares what it looks like. Just stick it under the desk and forget about it.)

RE: Been useing it
By Pirks on 6/8/06, Rating: 0
RE: Been useing it
By Pirks on 6/8/06, Rating: 0
RE: Been useing it
By Master Kenobi on 6/8/2006 11:40:26 AM , Rating: 2
I'm gonna try and pull it down later today, seems servers are all full right now. But I plan to throw it onto several laptops/workstations here at work and let all my IT guys have at it. Anyone know if there is a way to disable the debug mode? ex... registry change?

RE: Been useing it
By GreenEnvt on 6/9/2006 10:01:36 AM , Rating: 2
I've been running the 32 bit version of Beta 2 for a week.
Speed seems OK in it (Athlon64 3700+, 2gb ddr400, radeon x800 256mb). I've had a few applications crash, like the network center, and IE, but both times I was able to recover without rebooting.

The new interface is nice, but will take some getting used to. I have'nt really had time to flog around in it and see how easy things are compared to XP, but it seems similar so far.

For some reason web access seems slow. my download speeds are still fine, 600KB/s or so, but page loading takes much longer then normal in IE7. This might have something to do with my network config though (2 nics, 1 to cable modem, 1 to internal network).

A Few Comments
By Ryan Smith on 6/7/2006 8:20:22 PM , Rating: 4
Our full preview won't be up until next week since we've got so much Comdex coverage coming the rest of this week(and I have a few tests left to finish), but here's a few comments Vista so far from what we've encountered.

1) It's still beta software, and not Google-beta either. Expect problems, crashes, and generally odd behavior. Debugging mode is also on, so RAM usage is high.

2) Gaming is fairly hard to do at the moment. Performance is fairly poor, especially when AA is turned on, and Nvidia and ATI have different quirks going on(CP and OpenGL issues). Creative doesn't even have full audio drivers for it

3) You'll probably want to disable UAC. It's great for security, but it's a bit sensitive at the moment and will likely get annoying quickly.

We'll have the full article next week.

RE: A Few Comments
By TomZ on 6/8/2006 10:57:15 AM , Rating: 2
It's still beta software, and not Google-beta either

If you mean to imply that Google beta software is bug-free, I think you should probably check out their Spreadsheet, which has lots of apparent bugs. How about Google Desktop - read any positive reviews of that in terms of stability/bugs? Obviously, I am expecting some bugs in beta software, but don't try to put Google in some class by itself in that way, because it is not reality.

In addition, I would say there is a large difference between the body of code that is Windows (hundreds of millions of lines of code) and Google's little web applets and small applications.

I don't mean to put down Google's efforts, but at the end of the day, they are just creating software, not unlike every other software company. They haven't figured out any revolutionary approach to developing software.

RE: A Few Comments
By Trisped on 6/8/2006 2:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
He means Beta has change from "in testing" mode to "in free advertising to limited customers" mode. This is a real beta, that means there is a chance something will go wrong. Penny Arcade posted once about a game beta they played that destroyed the partition on their hard drive (there by destorying all their data). Vista probably won't be that bad, but do expect problems that will be fixed before the offical release.

RE: A Few Comments
By Gnarr on 6/12/2006 7:55:26 AM , Rating: 2
Vista Beta 1 did destroy a partition on one of my harddrives :\ I always had to unplug that disk before running Beta 1 if I didn't wan't to lose my data. I haven't tested Beta 2 on that computer but I'm most certain MS has fixed it.

RE: A Few Comments
By raskren on 6/8/2006 11:27:35 AM , Rating: 2
The public Vista beta is not in "debug mode." This is a FRE build. Only the CHK builds are debug.

RE: A Few Comments
By Nekrik on 6/8/2006 1:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
you can still set the debug flag and hook a debugger up to it, just like setting the -debug flag in your boot.ini under XP

Downloading now
By tk109 on 6/7/2006 8:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going to give it a shot. It's going at a pretty decent speed. Should be done in a couple hours. I'll throw it on my other raptor drive and just have a dual boot system.

RE: Downloading now
By tk109 on 6/7/2006 9:02:25 PM , Rating: 2
It's downloading really sporadically. Then stop and go stop and go. And I keep getting dropped from the server...Server must be getting slammed or something.

RE: Downloading now
By armagedon on 6/7/2006 9:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
ditto here ...

RE: Downloading now
By armagedon on 6/7/2006 9:27:38 PM , Rating: 2
pretty useless tonight, the server keeps disconnecting me so i'll try later.

RE: Downloading now
By Dennis Travis on 6/7/2006 11:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto here also. Sometimes it's at my full DSL Pro speed then later it's at a crawl then aborts.

Servers are way overloaded.

RE: Downloading now
By johnsonx on 6/7/2006 9:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
yep, me too, using their akamai downloader. Got to 15% pretty easily, just a retry or two, but now I can't get it to connect at all. Crappy download manager, shouldn't it retry on it's own?

RE: Downloading now
By johnsonx on 6/7/2006 9:34:12 PM , Rating: 2
Once it starts going though, it goes at 300KB/s, pretty much my DSL's max speed. Now I got to 16% before it crapped out again. Think I'll wait a week.

By LazyBoyTony on 6/7/2006 8:16:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'm tempted to download and install it.

I know that its a Beta version. Are there limitations on the software such as Trial periods. Will i need a product key?

Also, can you upgrade your existing windows XP while maintaining currently installed applications?

Thirdly, can you go back to winxp pro?

Let us know your experiences.

By armagedon on 6/7/2006 8:24:36 PM , Rating: 4
People familiar with Ghost (or other partition backup)can give it a shot easily. Just "ghost" your system partition before and you're set. You can then reformat it and install fresh the beta. You can go back to Xp the same way after.
Well, i think i'll do it...

By LazyBoyTony on 6/7/2006 8:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
Good idea.

My C drive partition is 20g full, so i guess i can ghost it to my D drive and play. Anybody know if WoW works on vista? i can't be away from my raids for too long :(

By sandytheguy on 6/8/2006 2:55:19 AM , Rating: 2
You can not upgrade an XP install. Vista Beta 2 only allows a clean install. Vista does dual boot with XP though.

The first time I ran Beta 2 it was much better than I thought it would be from the screenshots.

By DEMO24 on 6/8/2006 10:03:05 AM , Rating: 2
I'll say it again. Thats not correct. To upgrade do the following: boot normally into XP>put vista cd in drive>upgrade

By Rapmastac1 on 6/11/2006 5:05:15 AM , Rating: 2
I have to say...Vista is amazing. First time download kept disconnecting, and when I finally got the guts to use it, it was corrupted, oh no. Had to install Windows XP twice (Failed first time, a file was missing?) Then I re-downloaded it, and got amazing speeds (470kbps) And I installed it on a 10gig drive I use on my computer (Don't know why) And I was surprised it installed on the drive. I have been using for an amazing 30 minutes, and I love it already, gonna boot into XP tho, I miss it...

RE: WOW!!!
By OvErHeAtInG on 6/11/2006 5:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
I can't get mine to install. It keep saying "An error occurred while Windows was validating for installation" or something. Is my key bad? I got it from the Vista site. Can't figure it out; I tried 32 and 64 bit versions, manually loaded HDD driver... same thing.

RE: WOW!!!
By Rapmastac1 on 6/12/2006 1:10:18 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm...I'm not sure what that could be a resulting problem of. Are you connected to the internet during the installation? And did you click on "Automatically Register Product" during the installation, un-click that and see what it does. -What point during the installation does it do that, how far, and at what stage. If nothing works, you might want to go to Microsoft and search for the exact phrase with quotation marks-.

RE: WOW!!!
By OvErHeAtInG on 6/12/2006 1:17:01 AM , Rating: 2
It's right after I choose the partition for installation, it notifies me that it's going to make C: a system partition, I click OK, and viola.

RE: WOW!!!
By Rapmastac1 on 6/12/2006 4:20:12 AM , Rating: 2
Well, as you said, you did it with both versions, so it might not be the fact the file is damaged. It could be your drive, you might want to error check it with a program, I will look around and keep you posted on such. I used some program called BootInG or sumthin. Lets you mess with partitions. One of the big things here is the compatiblity of Disk Drives, it may not have the driver for your current hard drive (tho it did show it in the menu, so I don't know why..)

RE: WOW!!!
By OvErHeAtInG on 6/12/2006 10:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yep... I was trying to install on a Maxtor Diamondmax 10 on a JBMicron SATA controller. Installed it on my secondary - a DM 9 on IDE (which Vista considers as drive 0)-- and the 64-bit version works fine. Now I just have to wait for a Vista driver for my Netgear wireless adapter. Kind of useless without internet. :(

32bit or 64bit
By Mogadon on 6/7/2006 9:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
Just wondering if most of you guys downloading it are getting the 32bit or 64bit version, I imagine driver support is far more limited for the 64bit version. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

RE: 32bit or 64bit
By bupkus on 6/7/2006 9:14:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm downloading the 64-bit beta, however, I keep losing my connection and I have to click to reconnect. It should do it for me automatically... if it were any good.

I'm going to install it on a new Biostar 6100 754-pin with a Sempron64. I wonder if I'll run into problems.

RE: 32bit or 64bit
By NordicNINE on 6/7/2006 9:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
There were a few chipset drivers I didn't get installed on my Asus GeForce 6150 with the last big build.
Since the 6100/6150 drivers are different than the Nf4, I hope they have 64bit drivers now.
If I remember right, the main problem was that I couldn't find an antivirus program that worked well with the 64 bit version.

RE: 32bit or 64bit
By xdrol on 6/8/2006 5:54:45 AM , Rating: 2
Actually you can use all nForce drivers with all nForce chipsets. The 6150 only differs it needs the graphics driver, too.

RE: 32bit or 64bit
By armagedon on 6/7/2006 9:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
i am going for the 64 bits version too. Nvidia has Nf4 driver for Vista beta 2 including Raid support already. Ati as well so i should be good.

vistabeta2 install
By wmail on 6/8/2006 3:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
If you have vmware or virtual pc (vmware is much much faster though), you could install the beta as a virtual session. That way you don't have deal w/unexpected startups or crashing.

RE: vistabeta2 install
By Hare on 6/8/2006 5:03:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. Works fine, except Aero Glass has some issues with vmware (or any other virtualization solution) since the OS cannot access the GPU directly. Anyway virtual machines are a great way to test a new OS.

RE: vistabeta2 install
By Nekrik on 6/8/2006 5:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
you can run it under Virtual PC and just RDP into the Vista virtual machine from a real PC (the host or a different box) to get the aero effect

RE: vistabeta2 install
By Nekrik on 6/8/2006 8:17:30 PM , Rating: 2
I had read that would work, I tried under virtual server and no go. I'll try under VMware or Virtual PC later.

RE: vistabeta2 install
By Brovane on 6/9/2006 6:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
I DL the Beta today and got it installed fine on VMware Workstation. Everything seems to be working fine inside of the OS.

ms using sun, only firefox works
By xero777 on 6/7/2006 9:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't even begin the download with IE, both with its native downloader, and with the given alternate downloader. With firefox, and the given downloader, again, zilch. However with firefox, and its native downloader, its coming in fine. Funny MS using sun's java and another companys downloader to give you their latest and greatest.

By armagedon on 6/7/2006 10:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
yah, amazing but he's right with FF downloader. Going at 2MB/sec...

By johnsonx on 6/7/2006 10:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
no good for me here... using Firefox 1.5.3 under SUSE 10.1. Download started ok, but died about 100Mb in (claims Finished; not very comforting!). I guess I'll keep trying in Windows.

By Trisped on 6/8/2006 2:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
JAVA was made for applets (little programs you download everytime you want to use them). It is only logical that they would use JAVA in a case like this.

System Slowing Power
By Sceptor on 6/7/2006 11:04:09 PM , Rating: 1
Not to hose my main box (Opteron)...I installed Vista on my "backup" Athlon XP 3200+ with 756MB ram...completely brought the system to its knees.

Not to impressed, considering its "supposed" to work on much less powerful Dell c/w onboard everything Celery systems. The Aero interface is mostly hype...not worth the upgrade.

RE: System Slowing Power
By vanka on 6/8/2006 2:41:57 AM , Rating: 2
Well Vista Beta 2 is a beta . The OS is running in constant debug mode, so it will take up more system resources. I have had no performance issues running the last Beta 1 build on a Pentium D 805 (2.66, not overclocked), 1 gig of RAM, and a 7600GS. The networking pissed me off so I swited back to XP; Vista would not aquire an IP from my router (had to be manually assigned) and I couldn't get my shares set up. Since the PC that I installed Vista on was my media server, I said screw it. I do like the updated GUI though, especially the sidebar.

RE: System Slowing Power
By raskren on 6/8/2006 11:28:10 AM , Rating: 2
Once again...

The public Vista beta is not in "debug mode." This is a FRE build. Only the CHK builds are debug.

RE: System Slowing Power
By Trisped on 6/8/2006 2:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
As noted in the post, this isn't like a Google beta (or even Blizzard beta) where it is pretty much done except for some polishing. Betas are usually un optimized, the check for errors, they keep logs, and they have poorly written code. The idea is to get a product that works out so it can be tested. While testing the programmers go through and clean up the code, simplify it, optimize it, and overall make it work better.

End the end I would expect the product release will be smaller, faster, and have fewer bugs/problems.
Also, remember that XP is suppose to run with 256MB of RAM. You can do that, but it really sucks.

By GameManK on 6/7/2006 9:30:56 PM , Rating: 2
download's not working for me..

RE: :(
By peternelson on 6/8/2006 4:52:11 AM , Rating: 1

Microsoft really SHOULD use BITTORRENT for this kind of thing, like Suse make available for Linux downloading.

It took long enough loading the 64 bit XP, (when eventually the server worked at a crawl speed rather than not).

Can't they foresee the number of people who want this, and the resulting flood of traffic would be much better served by TORRENTS.

Microsoft, get a clue.

RE: :(
By peternelson on 6/8/2006 4:57:40 AM , Rating: 1
What makes it PARTICULARLY annoying is those of us who are NOT in the US, are trying to access it too.

As half the US is probably trying to download this on FAT broadband, with low latency short hopcounts, and without congested transatlantic links, THEY get traffic priority.

Unfortunately that means everywhere else suffers poor download speeds.

Microsoft! A TORRENT would eliminate this problem.

If you claim to make great software, try a SOLUTION to your downloading, freeware, betas, patches etc...

RE: :(
By Trisped on 6/8/2006 2:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
We should set up our own torrent. The only problem is since it is an ISO I expect most people burn it to DVD and then delete it from their PC.

Why blame Microsoft for something I expect enthusiasts like us to do ourselves?

Just look at the friggin product page!
By Hare on 6/8/2006 9:42:02 AM , Rating: 4
YES you need a product key (you get it when you register/start downloading).
YES it will expire in a year.
YES the download link is easy to find.
YES to another dumb question...

Is it honestly that hard going to the MS Vista homepage? I quess it's far easier to ask people here and refresh the page every now and then than actually finding out for yourself?

By thegpfury on 6/9/2006 9:12:40 AM , Rating: 2
I did, repeatedly, the site just kept giving a "check back later" message. I managed to get a serial key, I knew how long the beta would work.

All I wanted was a direct download link, so I wouldn't have to wait for the site to be unbusy, which I found. For those of you who are wondering, here it is:


By thescreensavers on 6/7/2006 8:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
It is 3.13GB big build 5384.4

RE: Size
By ElJefe69 on 6/7/06, Rating: -1
RE: Size
By VIAN on 6/7/2006 9:00:41 PM , Rating: 3
wonder what is taking up all that space compared to WinXp.

RE: Size
By peternelson on 6/8/06, Rating: 0
Do you need a key?
By Penth on 6/7/2006 9:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
I thought these betas still require a key. Do you not need one for this public preview or is there a place to go to be assigned one?

RE: Do you need a key?
By johnsonx on 6/7/2006 10:58:48 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, you have to 'order' the beta and then they'll give you the key.

Near the bottom, pick your country and hit Go. You have to login with your Windows Live ID (nee MSN Passport?). Then you'll have to authenticate your e-mail address, etc, all that jazz....

Download manager
By chickenselects on 6/7/2006 9:38:29 PM , Rating: 2
it works...just use a DL manager, theres a link of the left

im getting 1M, decent for the amount of traffic.

RE: Download manager
By chickenselects on 6/7/2006 9:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
by left i ment right..haha

disk drivers?
By johnsonx on 6/7/2006 9:44:27 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone know if existing Windows XP or Windows 2003 disk drivers work with Vista? I'm using onboard SiS180 RAID, and SiS doesn't show a Vista download for it yet. I know Vista's codebase close to Windows 2003 SP1 (as is XP64's), but I don't know if that at all means the drivers will work.

RE: disk drivers?
By Nekrik on 6/7/2006 10:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
I used XP raid and audio drivers for a few Dell machines at work and it was fine. Just put the raid drivers on a CD and loaded them when asked.

Public Beta Site
By cbuchach on 6/8/2006 1:09:19 AM , Rating: 2
Here is the link for the public beta site with an easier way to get a product key:

The site is real slow for me and am having to resume multiple times--anyone having this problem?

RE: Public Beta Site
By Cunthor01 on 6/8/2006 4:05:00 AM , Rating: 2
My download is stuck on 12% for the past 15 mins. Hope it resumes...

Forget it.
By Clauzii on 6/10/2006 6:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
I see absolutely no reason to download a MS OS in beta version, with such a long and delayed development time, and yet so little to offer....

It is clear to me why MS stocks is not worth anymore than in 1998....

RE: Forget it.
By MemberSince97 on 6/10/2006 6:43:18 PM , Rating: 2
Hahahahaha, I kinda agree, I'd think the biggest download in history would be more substancial in its offerings...

Aero Glass...
By Rapmastac1 on 6/12/2006 4:25:25 AM , Rating: 2
So, have any of you used Aero Glass? Can't get mine to work, mostly becuase AIT completely skipped my series of Graphic cards, which I just bough last week. I may take it back and get a better graphics card, that has support too. I asked them about it in an email, only to get a reply that just purely insulted my intelligence telling me to check the Driver and Software section (Was the first place I looked, they sure are smart to tell me what I already know, I even told em I looked all over, and said I couldn't find a Vista Driver for my card) -ATI Radeon Stealth 9250 PCI 256mb. Anyone know another card that I could get that costs around 200 that has these same qualities (that is Vista supported too) And, any info on how to get Aero working, any hacks to get it to work, like a registry hack.

RE: Aero Glass...
By NT78stonewobble on 6/14/2006 6:05:20 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry if this seems offensive, but why on earth buy a 9250 with 256 mb ram???

Now if you don't game or atleast use it for some kind of media work (whered you probably be better off with some dedicated hardware) you might as well use an old cheap cheap card.

But then again i fell for the geforce 4 mx 440 thingymajik once sooo. ...

False alarm!
By Jag9 on 6/8/2006 12:00:34 AM , Rating: 1
This is not a public beta! You still need an MSDN product key to install and use the OS.

RE: False alarm!
By Penth on 6/8/2006 2:44:44 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe I'm blind, but I don't see the way to get a product key.

Does not require Internet Explorer
By bhigh on 6/7/2006 8:25:32 PM , Rating: 2
The download link does not require Internet Explorer. It looks like the download manager is a Java applet.

It's currently downloading at over 3Mb/second on my PowerMac G5 using Firefox.

By drxploder on 6/7/2006 9:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure about you guys, but I'm gonna try and find a torrent for this.

By peternelson on 6/8/06, Rating: 0
By Souka on 6/7/2006 10:24:09 PM , Rating: 2
Works well enough for all my work apps...except one... Cisco VPN client... Tried 4.6 to no luck.

Without the VPN client, I'm hosed.

I switched my primary laptop at work over to Vista 2 weeks ago...great so far...except for the VPN which I didn't test until last. Heh.

Better way to download
By Xenoterranos on 6/8/2006 1:38:51 AM , Rating: 2
I downloaded Internet Download Manager from cnet and it's doing wonders. It bottoms out to 0 every now and then but comes right back up...getting about 800K on average with spikes up to 2mb/sec. I just hope the iso's are readable tomorrow morning!

Direct Link?
By thegpfury on 6/8/2006 6:27:37 AM , Rating: 2
Anybody have a direct link to the file?

By Jag9 on 6/8/2006 12:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
If you had a download stored in the MS DL manager it will work much better now. I'm guessing as they closed the public downloads it closed out a bunch of the requests slamming their servers.

By plonk420 on 6/9/2006 1:26:16 AM , Rating: 2
i was having issues last night, and people today were having issues with even just getting the Akamai downloader... here's the x64 version via bittorrent:

At Last
By kibets on 6/7/06, Rating: 0
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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