Brian Keller

Director of ALM Evangelism for Microsoft

A More Reliable and Faster Download Experience for VS2010/ VS08 VPC's

A More Reliable and Faster Download Experience for VS2010/ VS08 VPC's

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***Updated 12/29/2011: The files mentioned in this post are no longer available. For the latest virtual machines, sample data, and hands-on-labs / demo scripts please visit http://blogs.msdn.com/briankel.

One of the things we have received great customer feedback on is the availability of Virtual PC environments containing Visual Studio 2008 and pre-releases of Visual Studio 2010. The VPC's are pre-configured to help speed the evaluation of these pre-releases without requiring an extensive setup process to get started. However, unless you have a fast and reliable Internet connection (or even if you do) the process of downloading these VPC's can be a bit grueling.

I've developed a technique for downloading these VPC's which makes the process a bit easier and much faster in my opinion. Hopefully this helps you, too.

  1. Download and install Free Download Manager. This utility provides:
    • Auto-resume support for interrupted downloads.
    • Multiple simultaneous download streams for (usually) a much faster download experience.
    • As the name implies, it's completely free.
  2. Download and open VS08_URLs.txt from the link at the bottom of this blog post.
  3. Within the text file you just downloaded, highlight the list of URL's for the download you are interested in and copy this to the clipboard.
  4. Now launch the user interface for Free Download Manager (either from the Start Menu or via the system tray icon if FDM is already running).
  5. Click File -> Import -> Import List of URLs from Clipboard.
  6. When prompted for a download group, accept the default ("Other") and click OK.
  7. You are now free to minimize Free Download Manager while the files download. By default, they will be saved to c:\downloads.
  8. When the files have finished downloading, visit the Download Details page for the respective release and follow the instructions to finish extracting and running your VPC.

NOTE: If you wish to download multiple VPC's from this set you can do so by simply repeating steps 3-8.

Was this helpful? Please leave a comment or drop me an email with your feedback / suggestions.

Attachment: VS08_URLs.txt
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