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Where's The Checked Build?

So, where is the checked build download?? It's gotten to be like it's some sort of a freakin' test.? "If you can't find the checked build, you're not smart enough to write Windows drivers."? Caray!? If that's the case, then I?must be?a big pendejo, cuz it took me more than 30 minutes to find the damn thing.

Confused as to what to do with these downloaded executables?? If you're frustrated because you can't figure out how to install the checked kernel and HAL for your system from the executable downloads this article points to, check out this link.

Because I don't want you all to have to re-live my pain, here are the locations and links:


Windows 7

Direct Links:??I guess Microsoft is done providing direct downloads of the checked build, because I sure can't find any for Win 7.

MSDN:?Available in the Subscriber Downloads section of MSDN.

In the WDK:??Once again, the WDK team has done us a great service by providing checked Kernel and Hal components in the \Debug\ directory of the WDK. ?Use these, and avoid MSDN download annoyance.

Windows Vista

Direct Links:? Not available.? Apparently the checked build of Vista is so valuable, it is a state secret and only available to MSDN subscribers.

MSDN: As OSR Online member Charles Chopp reports, below, the Vista checked build is available via MSDN.

In the WDK: Perhaps the best option of all is to use the checked Kernel and Hal images that are provided in the Vista WDK.?You can find the images and associated PDBs in the \Winddk\6000\Debug\ directory.? I recommend you use these... it'll save you an hour or three or four, downloading and attempting to extract the appropriate executables.


Windows Server 2003 SP2

Direct Links:

32 Bit: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=096c54b5-7584-4a85-97e6-251a7606809e&DisplayLang=en

64 Bit: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=bd2576bb-2007-45c6-bff0-5f0b4509b5a4&DisplayLang=en

MSDN: Didn't even bother to check.? Use the link above.


Windows Server 2003 SP1

Direct Link: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=f07a5e49-4a13-42cb-898b-278a8b287e16&DisplayLang=en

MSDN: Didn't even bother to check.? Use the link above.


Windows Server 2003

Direct Link: (none that I can find)

MSDN: Go to msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions.? Click subscriber downloads?and log in when?prompted.?You should now see the download directory in the left pane.?Select Platforms, Windows Server 2003, English.? There you'll find Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition - Checked/Debug (English).? This is what you want.? Don't worry that it's Enterprise Edition.? Just use the checked O/S and HAL images.

(It's also on disk number 2085, May 2003)


Windows XP SP3

Direct Link:



MSDN:?Didn't even bother to check.? Use the link above, courtesy of a reader.


Windows XP SP2

Direct Link: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=7a4d8d12-9f5d-42bb-b31c-7b31657c869c&DisplayLang=en

MSDN:?Didn't even bother to check.? Use the link above.


Windows XP SP1a

Direct Link: http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsXP/pro/downloads/servicepacks/sp1/checkedbuild.asp

MSDN:?I can't find it online on MSDN.? But who cares?? Use the link above.


Windows XP (Gold)

Direct Link:? (good luck)

MSDN: Go to msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions.? Click subscriber downloads?and log in when?prompted.?You should now see the download directory in the left pane.?Select Platforms, Windows XP Professional, English.? There you'll find Windows XP Professional, Checked/Debug ISO CD Image (English).

Windows 2000 Checked Builds

Direct link: http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/servicepacks/SP4/SP4build/default.asp
(you can substitute SP1-SP3 for SP4 in both places in the above line to get the respective checked build)

MSDN: Go to msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions.? Click subscriber downloads?and log in when?prompted.?You should now see the download directory in the left pane.?Select Platforms, Windows 2000.? You'll find the checked builds for SP 1 and SP 2 directly under their respective entries.? The SP3 checked build is under SP3, then "Full Install Disc".? I can't find the SP4 checked build in MSDN.? Again, use the link above.

Windows NT V4 SP6

Direct link: http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/nts/downloads/recommended/SP6/SP6build/default.asp

User Comments
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"Partial checked builds"
There's a good article here on how to create partial checked installs for Windows XP and 2003


Or for Vista and Later http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff547188(v=vs.85).aspx

Following a suggestion from Scott I was able to install a checked version of the Windows 2003 kernel by visiting the link above (which just contains the service pack) and extracting just the hal and kernel files

14-Aug-12, Mark Cook

"XP Checked Build"
The XP Checked builds were removed from MSDN due to a settlement with Sun over Java, in case anyone is trying to find it still. It's noted on MSDN availability page.

19-Mar-11, Dejan Maksimovic

"XP Pro Checked build"
I'm having the same (apparently common) problem of finding a copy of the checked build of WinXP Pro; I'd like SP3, but at this point I'd settle for SP1a. The links given elsewhere on this page for XP SP2 & SP3 appear to lead to service packs, not the full OS with SP.

08-Apr-10, Jim Haggerty

"Vista Checked Builds"
It appears that logging on to the MSDN site using an account for a membership at the Universal subscription levle provides access to downloadable DVD ISO images for Windows Vista Checked/Debug builds for the x86 & x64 architectures. The MSDN Downloads pages have been restructured, again, making it more difficult to get to the proper page to navigate down thru Operating Systems -> Vista -> English to where you can find the various DVD & CD ISO images.

It'll only be another 16 to 18 hours before both are done downloading, then I can extract the required checked builds of the kernel, hal & fltmgr.sys files.

07-Sep-07, Charles Chopp

"Where is that XP pro checked build?"
The link is out of date and it is nowhere to be found on MSDN.COM.

25-Jan-07, Eric Fowler

"Not able to find Windows 2000 server checked build"

I couldn't find the checked build for Windows 2000 server on MSDN downloads. They have links to checked builds for service packs but not for the original. MSDN customer service is of no help. They told me that they have checked build for only service packs.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks, Mahesh

14-Sep-05, Mahesh Inturi

"Looking for the full CD checked build WIndows 2000"
I am looking for a full installation CD of Windows 2000 checked build. The various downloads of the MSDN seem to have only service pack updates , contrary to the heading of the ISO (like Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 - Full CD Installation (Check Build) (English))

Thanks in advance


18-Nov-04, Yaacov Fenster

"Service Packs"
The service pack files *always* only contain the files that have changed from the Gold (i.e. final SP0) relese.

09-Oct-03, Peter Viscarola

"ok, but...."
...where is the Windows XP Professional Checked Build? Where is there a link to that? The xpsp1a_en_x86_CHK.exe file will only run if you already have the baseline Checked Build. So where to get it without forking out 7000 bucks for an MSDN subscription?

Note: Article rating medium high since this is a burning question but not perfect since the burning question remains unanswered.

06-Oct-03, Antranik Ardziv

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