Free Windows OS Evaluation Versions

If you are not aware, Microsoft does offer evaluation versions of it’s operating systems and software like Exchange. This is great for those that want to learn more about Windows operating systems and software, but don’t have the funds for a MSDN or other licensing. These are 90-180 day evaluation versions (90 for Desktop OS’ and 180 for Server OS’), but if you are just getting started rebuilding a domain every couple months is good practice. RAM is cheap, build some virtual machines (VMs).

Microsoft’s Technet Evaluation Center –

Prebuilt Developer VMs (Windows XP-10) –

Alternatively for around $1200 for the first year you can pay for Visual Studio, which includes MSDN access to most Windows software and operating systems for testing purposes.

Pricing | Visual Studio

OpenVAS Install Checker

OpenVAS is a great vulnerability scanner if you do not have the funds for Nessus/Nexpose/Qualys, but still want to do a little vulnerability scanning. It certainly isn’t the fastest scanner, but for free/open-source you can’t ask for more. Today I ran into an issue where OpenVAS stopped working on one of my test virtual machines (VM) and I found that OpenVAS has a config checker tool. Running that let me know something was wrong and give me the command to fix it, which to my surprise worked. Not sure why their link to the tool goes to another site with no good SSL cert, but here is the information page on the OpenVAS site that links to it.