For system administrators who lazy to install and set up Windows Server 2008 for evaluation or trial can now make use of VHD images released by Microsoft for instant running of the server system. Microsoft VHD format is the common virtualization file format for Virtual PC, Virtual Server 2005 and Hyper-V that provides a uniform product support system, and provides more seamless manageability, security, reliability and cost-efficiency for customers.

Windows Server 2008 VHD release is available in English only and is for evaluation and testing purposes. Evaluating Windows Server 2008 software does not require product activation or entering a product key. Any edition of Windows Server 2008 may be installed without activation and evaluated for an initial 60 days. For users who require more time to evaluate Windows Server 2008, the 60 day evaluation period may be reset (or re-armed) three times using the same procedure as with Windows Vista and Windows 7, effectively extend the original 60 day evaluation period by up to 180 days for a total possible evaluation time of 240 days.

The pre-made and pre-installed virtual machines are running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition Evaluation. One is the default full installation, and the other has been configured as a default Core installation.

Two editions of Windows Server 2008 virtual machine VHD image are available. There are VHD for Hyper-V and Virtual Server 2005 (VS2005), which requires corresponding Hyper-V or Virtual Server 2005 installed and running before able to mount and start the virtual machine to use Windows Server 2008.

Windows Server 2008 Evaluation Virtual Hard Drive Images (for Hyper-V)

Direct Download Link for Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Full installation: WS08_RTM_x64_EnterpriseFULL.exe
Direct Download Link for Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Server Core installation: HyperV_ServerCorex64_Enterprise.exe

More information and usage instruction at Microsoft Download Center.

Windows Server 2008 Evaluation Virtual Hard Drive Images (for Virtual Server 2005)

Direct Download Link for Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Full installation: WS08_RTM_x86_EnterpriseVHD.exe
Direct Download Link for Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Server Core installation: WS08_ServerCorex86_EnterpriseVHD.exe

More information and usage instruction at Microsoft Download Center.

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