Windows Vista Beta 2 Public Release

Today Microsoft Windows formally announced public availability of Windows Vista Beta 2.  In a nod to community and blogs, Windows announced it first on The Hive:


“As members of The Hive, you are some of Microsoft’s most technically-savvy and enthusiastic users, and we wanted to give you an opportunity to be first to obtain the code before we more formally announce the CPP’s availability tomorrow.”


Click here to see the announcement and click here to get the beta


The beta is build 5384 for those of you keeping track.  The team has done a good job of making this beta process as easy as possible for users.  First, on the GetReady site one can use the Upgrade Advisor to see if one’s current Windows XP machine can run Windows Vista.  Secondly, system requirements and a product guide are also available.  And, Windows Vista Beta 2 may be either downloaded or ordered on DVD for a small fee in 32 bit or 64 bit.


Happy beta testing!

Comments (61)

  1. compugab says:

    Youououou. Thanks for delivering the good work.

    I’ve got a question by the way. When I donwload Vista with the suggested donwload manager, my connection reset too often.



  2. Adam Guerin says:

    Nice work, been waiting ages for the public release.. now, if I could but get a slot on the download queue 🙂

  3. Tim Hunter says:

    I didn’t see any suggested download manager but perhaps that’s because like the gentleman above, Mr. Guerin, I can’t seem to get a slot on the download queue either. Some people must have gotten there with beforehand knowledge or I am just unlucky! 🙁 Will keep trying, however.

  4. Eric Savard says:

    I can wait to be able to download this build of Vista. For now this is what I get when visiting the download page:

    Thank you for your interest in Windows Vista Beta 2.

    We are currently experiencing a high level of demand and cannot process your request at this time.

    Please check back later for availability. We apologize for any inconvenience.

  5. MFrancois says:

    After 10 attempts to download, with the repeat message that the servers are too busy to allow a download at THIS time, I am presented with this:

    " Thank you for participating in the Microsoft Windows Vista Customer Preview Program.

    You have received the maximum number of Product Keys available for this program.

    Note:  Windows Vista Beta 2 can be installed and activated on up to 10 PCs using with one Product Key. "

    I have exactly 1 product key, 0 OS images, and less-than-o hope of actualy GETTING a OS image.

  6. justin says:

    torrents and what not available here… just use the key MS provided you

  7. Sylvio Furtado says:

    i´m happily downloading at full speed here, and i have a question…

    is this iso bootable?

  8. Sidebar Geek says:

    Yes, the .iso image is bootable once burned onto a DVD.

  9. Geo says:

    Thank God! I am downloading it now! I can’t wait to install it!

  10. Sidebar Geek says:

    Have fun! I’ve been using Vista as my main OS for almost 2 weeks now. Its actually not bed although EXPECT to have *some* issues. It is a Beta – remember that.

  11. justin says:

    Is it possible to beta test Vista Home Premium edition? I’m currently using XP Media Center and don’t want to lose my Media Center functionality when beta testing Vista.

  12. Sidebar Geek says:

    The current download is Ultimate Edition and comes with everything including Media Center capability.

  13. Geo says:

    SideBar Geek, you said you use it as your primary OS, I want to do the same thing, but you say there are Minor issues with it. What would those be?

  14. Sidebar Geek says:

    There are certain applications that are designed to detect which Windows version you are running which don’t install or work correctly…but application compatibilty is one of the top things Microsoft is working to improve.

    Minor issues could be anywhere from a small driver issue to maybe a explore.exe crash to network issues.

    Everyone’s experience will be different since we are all testing on a variety of hardware.

    What I was trying to say is this is a Beta product. Its a product that shouldn’t be used in "production environments". Like me, you would be taking a big risk running it as your primary OS. Expect issues because its Beta.

    DO NOT expect to install Beta 2 and have it work perfectly. If it worked perfectly, it wouldn’t be Beta 2 – would be RTM instead 😉

  15. Tangent says:

    Have been waiting for this. I’m planning to test it on my desktop, but 2 questions:

    Q1: Can I not lost all my programs when I switch to the Vista beta version?

    Q2: When I don’t want to continue with the trial and wish to switch back to my current OS (Windows XP Pro – 32-bit), how should I do?

    I’m still a noob to Windows Vista. hehe…

  16. Sidebar Geek says:


    DO NOT expect all your programs to work after upgrading to Windows Vista. They may work, or may not. Its a risk – the risk comes with testing Beta software.

    I am unfamiliar with moving back to XP as I don’t do upgrades due to personal preference but I wouldn’t take the risk. PLEASE BACK UP YOUR DATA before moving and upgrading to Windows Vista!!

    You can always switch back to your copy of Windows XP  but how easy it will be I don’t know – I usually just reformat and reinstall XP when I moved back. I haven’t moved back in a long time though 😉

    PLEASE be careful with your data while testing Vista out as it is BETA SOFTWARE.

  17. Tangent says:

    Hmm… I didn’t mean to say that all the programs would run on Vista. Well … anyway … thanks for your advice. I will try to look out for more info. about Vista

    Anyway… wish all have good time with World Cup 2006! : )

  18. dividebytwo says:

    Interesting – got my key 24hrs ago, and had nothing but

    ‘Thank you for your interest in Windows Vista Beta 2.

    We are currently experiencing a high level of demand and cannot process your request at this time.

    Please check back later for availability. We apologize for any inconvenience.’

    … so I wondered if it may have anything to do with IE7 ? – on 2 PCs I entered the link the IE7 yielded the same response and the IE6 worked first time…

  19. explorerash says:

             Hey, DJ Tech, the link which u mentioned i cannot download man. Its just a 161 kb file (.iso).

             Can anyone tell me any other link.


  20. Frank Williamson says:

    I got the download fine, burned to disc.

    Install gets to 40% of copying files. gives error 80070241

    and then restarts the setup again.

  21. LaVen says:

    I’m glad to see that Vista BETA is finally out for the public. I’ve been trying to get hold of this for a while.

    I am also having problem when downloading the file.  Keep resetting and I’m unable to download via DAP.

  22. Abz says:

    Unbelievable…. I have been trying to download for the past 8 hours at work and nothing.

    Keeps coming back with this stupid messsage

    "Thank you for your interest in Windows Vista Beta 2.

    We are currently experiencing a high level of demand and cannot process your request at this time.

    Please check back later for availability. We apologize for any inconvenience."

    Whats the deal? Why is it taking this long? Maybe if I do eventually get it, it may not even work. Come on MS sort this out will you!

  23. Koen Calliauw says:

    where do I go to file bug reports? I thought that’s what beta versions are for though I cannot seem to find where to file them.

  24. Garry Trinder says:

    Would there be a conflict if Vista was installed on a system running Windows XP (on seperate partition)?  (My version of XP is OEM, so if I need to reinstall it later, I’d lose everything.)  In that situation, is it even worth it to try to evaluate Vista?

  25. David McQuaker says:

    The only problems I’ve had were with drivers. I just now got my system to run stable and it works great.

    I think its worth it indeed, it just might take a little extra work to get the system to work properly. Maby a little internet searching to find fixes for your favorite programs and games.

  26. Sidebar Geek says:

    Ted, the risk is up to you: testing Beta software always comes with risk. I had been dual-booting XP with Vista for quite some time now without any issues. Things to consider are XP needs to be installed first and on the primary partition. I used my second partition on my harddrive that was about 23gigs. I popped in the DVD and intitiated the install through XP that way it allowed me to choose which partition and didn’t screw up XP’s boot.

    Is it worth testing out? For the average home users no. For someone really into technology and PC’s of course.

    Like I said: you take a risk no matter what by installing a Beta.

    As for everyone’s comments regarding download issues: Microsoft is getting bombarded with download requests for the Beta…thousands and thousands of people are after Beta 2 so unfortunately you may get delays in downloading. Nothing can be done about this – its the disadvantage to have so many people wanting to test drive Vista. But I can assure you – you will get it! Please be patient 😉

  27. Steve says:

    What about the errors on the ordering page when trying to order the DVD kit? It won’t let me enter my postal code and since thats the only thing left (although required), I can’t get the DVD kit.

  28. Hussain says:

    Problem during installation of Windows Vista

    I’ve downloaded the Windows Vista Beta 2 32-bit edition and have written it on a DVD.

    But when i start installation it terminates after completing 34%, generating following message:

    An error occured while copying setup files onto your local machine. Error code is [80070241].

    Can anybody help me to solve this issue!!!

  29. Sidebar Geek says:

    Hussain, I’d go to the newsgroups and throw that error code out – I know the newsgroups is an excellent place to get tech support questions answered:

  30. says:

    These are happy times – I am really excited about Vista..

    Thanks Microsoft!

    Too lazy to mess with the d/l I ordered the DVD… Now I must wait 2-4 weeks more !

  31. Dean Clatworthy says:

    I can’t even get past the first part of install without receiving this error number: 80070017

    I can’t find any documentation about it, and I can’t even find a replace to report the bugs. So I ask what is the point of this beta if we can’t even give bug reports…

  32. Sidebar Geek says:

    As I have stated in the above comments (please read through them before posting) – you can direct support related questions to the Beta 2 Newsgroups Microsoft has set up specifically for Windows Vista Beta 2:

  33. ash says:

    For all those who are unable to download (just see on the link that says servers are busy and sorry for incovenience). Here’s a remedy, it may sound wieerd but it worked for me.

      I had the IE 7 beta 2 installed on my system. I read somehwere that if u rollback to ie6 and try again, it wud work.

       Well, out of sheer frustation i did that, and woila in 3-4 attemepts in ie 6 i got the link and now i m downloading.

    Again a warnind dont use microsoft download manager as it is showin the same server busy error, so use ur own download manager.


  34. ashish_1 says:

    Hey, can anyone tell me whts the download size of the english 32 beta version download.

      my download manager is showin 3200.85 mb, but as far as i know microsoft mentioned that it is 3500 mb. Can anyone plzz ceheck out their download size and post it here or email me at

     I am worried that after 3200 mb it wont work. so please

    Thanks in advance.

  35. darkjetx says:

    i downloaded the iso and on my hdd its 3.12 gb …it should work

    is it true that i can use vista only till the first of july ? 🙁

    please answer me , to know if i’ll install it or not 🙂

  36. Sidebar Geek says:

    Don’t worry you can use Vista way past the 1st of July! 🙂

  37. JohnRust says:

    I started the install using the upgrade path and some way in I received a message telling me to remove Norton Internet Security, Virus scan, and windows Defender.These are all important peices of Kit, will I be able to reinstall afterwards or do they not work with #Vista?

  38. Sidebar Geek says:

    You will probably need to uninstall any antivirus protection you may have.

    Its unknown how well Norton Internet Security will work if at all – but its part of why Microsoft is releasing this Beta…to get a feel for which applications don’t work, or somewhat work so they can improve application capatibility.

    Like I’ve said, don’t expect all your applications to work perfectly when testing Vista Beta 2. You shouldn’t be going into testing this Beta out as if you can run everything just like you were on XP because you’ll find that this may not be the case.

    Windows Defender is included in Vista though.

  39. jamie says:

    How my experience went pretty well–

    I was able to dl the 32 bit beta the night it came out with a different dl manager, before the server really got hit. I then burnt it to DVD and went to install. Well stupid me, I of course didn’t read up before installing on my external HD and I tried it 3 differnet ways before finding out that I couldn’t. I then took a chance and partitioned my laptop HD (first time) and that and the subsequent install went perfectly. I have been using it for a couple of hours now without nary a hitch. I am pleasantly suprised about how stable it is so far. I plan on trying some more intensive processes to see it’s full capabilities, but overall I have had a good experience. Just wanted to post a positive post instead of one that is whining 🙂

  40. buzzyone says:

    As a sys arch, an "F" for delivery. I need your help.  I have tried to download Vista a few times in the past 24 hours without luck. I was issued two PIDs, but have zero to show for it.  

    I just tried to DL again, and got a message back – that I have DL Vista on 10 PC-been issued 10 PID and have hit the limit.

    This all seems absurd given I have nothing to show for it.  Can you aid me in getting this reset?  


  41. Cadguru says:

    I was getting this same error for 2 days:

    "Thank you for your interest in Windows Vista Beta 2.

    We are currently experiencing a high level of demand and cannot process your request at this time.

    Please check back later for availability. We apologize for any inconvenience."

    Then I read a post somewhere to try a different browser than IE, so I tried the link with another browser…it hooked right up and I had the download in 90 minutes…then I tried again with IE and I got that error again….can’t DL MS software with an MS browser?  very strange indeed….

  42. Garry Trinder says:

    buzzyone, I was getting the same issue.  When checked my e-mail address, I got a link to the software download page (the key was confirmed in the e-mail; the page doesn’t ask for it)  The link is

    It says x64 in the link, but they’re both on the page.

  43. Sidebar Geek says:

    For folks trying to download the Windows Vista Beta 2 through the CPP I suggest reading this post:

    Servers are maxed and doesn’t look like its letting up anytime soon.

    I suggest saving yourself the hassle by ordering the DVD.

    And for technical issues regarding installation of Windows Vista I must continue to direct you to the public newsgroups Microsoft has set up for Windows Vista Beta 2:

  44. Kostas*GR* says:

    Hey guys. Is this the last beta that Microsoft will give us until the final release or we will see more version of Beta 2? I ask because I want to download only the last version of Beta 2. Thanks…

  45. Sidebar Geek says:

    This Beta 2 is the only Beta 2 released that is through the CPP.

    People who download or order Beta 2 through the CPP and activate their copy with automatically get access to a new build later this year called RC1 or Release Candidate 1.

  46. Cybercraft says:

    If you want to save your user’s setting, program files and the earlier versions of windows:

    Lunch the install on XP ( not in boot), if your XP can read the ISO 13346 format (UDF) you can save your files in Window.old folder.

    PS: Sorry for english, i’m french ^^

    <== Beta-testeur and IT certified ==>

  47. Ron says:

    After several hours of "high level of demand and cannot process, yadayadayada" I finally got in but I was having problems getting it to download. I finally narrowed it down to my firewall (Zone Alarm Pro 2006). Ended up having to shut it down and all went fine after that. It took about 1.5 hours to download on high-speed cable.

    I think I’m gonna have to scrap ZA Pro ’cause lately, it just seems to be way too protective and more hassle than it’s worth.

    peace out.

  48. Morgan ABBOU says:

    Hi, I spent the week-end testing Windows Vista. Great experience, thanks ! Unfortunately, the system is not in french 😉 (I’m french), and it requires so much memory that I had to order a Gb of memory to keep on (for now I disabled any demanding feature). I’m sure it will solve my pb. I also need to adapt to the new Remote Desktop but for the rest, I love it !

    One thing though : I have such a hard time removing the windows.old that takes up so much space. You should have a procedure to erase it easily for the people who don’t have that much space on their hard drive.

    Keep on guys, great job !

  49. Tim says:

    When I go to install Vista(click "install now") I get a message box that states:

    "Temporary setup file could not be copied to the c: drive. Setup cannot continue."

    Whats wrong????


  50. Sidebar Geek says:

    Hey Tim, I’m sorry you seem to be having issues installing Vista. It sounds like something is preventing Vista’s setup on the DVD from writing to your harddrive.

    I suggest heading over to Microsoft’s public newsgroups they’ve set up for Beta 2 and post your question there. There are alot of folks in the public newsgroups who can help you try to solve this issue so you can get Vista installed.

  51. Geoff says:

    How do you uninstall the vista beta 2, it won’t let me switch back to xp at the boot screen and there are to many bugs for me right now to deal with???

  52. Tom Gordon says:

    I installed the "upgrade" version of Vista Beta 2.  I have Norton antivirus and other products.  They don’t work with Vista currently so I wanted to use the alternate antivirus tools from Trend or Computer Associates.  I need remove the Norton stuff first but the uninstall applications (programs) won’t uninstall it (since Norton is not compatible with Vista),  Norton’s own uninstall won’t work (since Norton is not compatible with Vista.) and Trend’s install program, which recognizes Norton and says it will remove it – won’t uninstall Norton either!  Anyone know what to do next.  I’m in a Norton/Microsoft "loop" and running almost "naked" on the Internet which I don’t like at all.  Thanks for any and all ideas and help.

    Tom Gordon, Riverbend Marketing

  53. i need a product key code for my vista says:

    how long do i have to wait

  54. Luca says:


    I’ve been trying to install Windows Vista but haven’t managed to yet. In fact I get a BSOD reporting the error message: "The BIOS in this system is not fully ACPI compliant. Please contact your system vendor for an updated BIOS."

    My machine is laptop, in particular it’s an Asus M6N, updated to the latest bios available.

    Windows XP is currently running very well and the system is recognized as an ACPI compliant machine.

    Is there a way to bypass the ACPI compliance check of Windows Vista installer?


  55. Sidebar Geek says:

    There is no way to bypass the ACPI during Vista’s setup that I am aware of. I’d post your issue on the public newsgroups and see what kind of answer you get there – maybe its as simple as a driver issue?

  56. Luca says:

    There are already some posts about my laptop in that newsgroup, but still unsolved, because no one knows a way to bypass that check. Someone suggested pressing F7 during setup, but that didn’t help.

  57. Chris says:

    Ok, I have been up since midnight trying to make this work. Vista is installed, and everything is updated. As far as my computer is concerned, everything should be running fine. Problem is, none of the icons in the system load, and for some wonderful reason I cannot run the Aero interface. Granted, this is all on a laptop, but I bought this laptop to be Vista Premium compatible. As far as anyone who i have called and yelled at can tell me, it should be working fine. Yet, Vista’s own litlle performance rating software tells me my computer gets a 2 out of 5, 5 being the best. I am running Core Duo at 1.83ghz, 2gb of 677mhz ram, a 100gb 7200rpm hd…. what more does it want from me? I do not understand why it runs this horribly on a machine that should be able to handle this just fine. I ran the Vista Upgrade Advisor before install, and it even agreed that everything should work fine. Any ideas? Or maybe just help me get back to XP Pro without formatting? I have about 15gb of files on here I would prefere to not have to try and get back later, but I cannot seem to burn dvds from Vista as it made me uninstall Roxio 7. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  58. metaldragon says:

    Any one know of problems with Vista beta2 and speedtouch 716 ADSL2 routers running NAT??

    having probs with the internet connection, up down up down but the LAN is fine.

    All was fine with the install on a two year old PC which is now duel boot with XP media edition.

  59. feins says:

    I’ve try intall Vista twice once trying to perform an upgrade second trying to install as separate both fail after install i cant detect what’s the problem as Vista freeze once trying to bootup. the only thing i seen is a loading bar and nothing move not even they keyboard responding. I went over the Vista advisory and all hardware has pass the vista advisory. Any where to determin the crash from.

    Im installing it on a Pentium D 3.0 Kingston 2GB PC4300 of ram Msi 945P Mobo, WD 160GB SATA2 Hard Drive and Creative Audigy Entertaiment Sound Card.

  60. tom says:

    Have found a bug and did not know what to post it.  Vist with Office 2007 Beta.  In outlook in replying to an email.  (using Word as email editor) the Blinking cursor was in the to line. but when you type you were typing in the body.  had to click the to button to select person.  then I has 2 blinking cursors in different location the the screen.  

    I was running Citrix 9.15, Trillian pro 3.1, Free Download manager, Remote Desktop client, and 4 tabs open in Internet Explorer when thsi problemoccured.

  61. says:


    I received my DVD version in the mail yesterday (very nice looking, thanks MS!)… tonight the install.  

    Has anyone been able to install Vista on an external USB 2 HD? Also I have a Dell Dimension 1GB ram, 3GB P4, anyone have issues w/similar setup?


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