The download links do not work anymore because Microsoft must have reached their download quota for Vista RC2.

Vista Logo Thanks to the anonymous commenter on our last post for finding out that Microsoft activated the download page and links for Windows Vista RC2 (which is build 5744). I just started downloading it and it is maxing out my 5Mbps connection…so the speeds are pretty impressive (at least until the whole world finds out that they can download it).

It looks like for the time being Microsoft only placed the 32-bit file on the download page. I suspect that they do this because the 64-bit is a larger file to download so they wait until people start to finish their 32-bit downloads before posting this version. It is probably actually smart for them to do this because I know several people that download both versions. Heck, they normally don’t even get around to installing either of them but they want the “bragging rights” to say that they have them both. You know who you are. ;)

Looks like I will have something to keep me busy this weekend because the download should complete in 1.5 hours. For those people that haven’t experienced the joys of upgrading Vista I highly recommend that you just do a clean install. The upgrade process (for upgrading from XP or an older Vista version) typically runs 2-3 hours. That is opposed to doing a clean install which only takes about 20 minutes.

Direct Download Link: 32-bit Vista RC2
Filename: vista_5744.16384.061003-1945_x86fre_client-LRMCFRE_EN_DVD.iso
Build Number: 5744
Build Date: October 3, 2006 
MD5 hash: 83cee5f1642d094670147c5350c57762
SHA1 hash: 067CA4F94D001DE6276F08F76EF0780592B64BFD

Direct Download Link: 64-bit Vista RC2
Filename: vista_5744.16384.061003-1945_x64fre_client-lrmcxfre_en_dvd.iso
Build Number: 5744
Build Date: October 3, 2006 
MD5 hash: 23b213d7342b2e957b3db1d98c0ee3e6
SHA1 hash: 5D8C4BCEE51F6912801800E534F6DB5A22F654AE

Your previous Vista product key from Beta 2 or beyond will still work with this version. If you don’t have a product key you can try to see if this “trick” will still work for you. No one has said that it doesn’t work so your chances are probably still pretty good.

The 64-bit version has now been made available and the direct link is posted above.