Microsoft has released the first VHD image of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) along with Windows Vista Sp2 and XP sp3 VHD images. These images are specifically designed to run on Microsoft Virtual PC, and may or may not work in other hosting environments like virtualbox and Vmware. The reason of providing VHD images is to help developers to test their applications or websites on different version of internet explorer supplied with each OS.
The images are patched with the latest security updates and are otherwise clean installs of the operating system with very few modifications. Before download Windows 7 SP1 VHD Image file let you clear one thing VHD doesn’t pass genuine validation without activation key. Immediately after you start the Windows 7 or Windows Vista images they will request to be activated. You can cancel the request and it will login to the desktop. You can activate up to two “rearms” (type slmgr –rearm at the command prompt) which will extend the trial for another 30 days each time OR simply shutdown the VPC image and discard the changes you’ve made from undo disks to reset the image back to its initial state. By doing either of these methods, you can technically have a base image which never expires although you will never be able to permanently save any changes on these images for longer than 90 days.
You can download VPC images of Windows 7 SP1, as well as Windows Vista Sp2 and XP sp3, at Microsoft download center. Due to the size of the Windows 7 and Windows Vista VHDs, it is split across several files, you’ll need to download all files for that version of the Internet Explorer and uncompress them to the same directory to unpack the VHD file.
Once you have completed the download, double-click exe file to expand the VHD file. Start Virtual PC and create a new VPC, and point to the files you just expanded. You can download latest version of Windows Virtual PC from this link.