The Windows 8 Release Preview is a great option for trying out Windows 8 ahead of its official October 26 release, but what happens if you have problems with the download? Reader Kris suggests using torrents to fill in the gap.
Kris explains how torrents helped him solve the problem:
I've been having bad luck downloading the Windows 8 Release Preview x64. Specifically, my downloads consistently failed the SHA-1 hash check when compared the official hash. I downloaded it a total of four separate times and every time it consistently produced the same hash, only it didn't match the official one.
After trying with three different hash calculating programs (all showed the same result as my original program) I knew I needed to find another way to download the file. A brilliant suggestion on a forum saved me: namely, use BitTorrent to pick up the slack, rather than redownloading the file in its entirety.
Using the uTorrent client, I went and found a torrent that advertised the official Microsoft Hash and was more or less the correct size (3.2GB). I then started the download in uTorrent (only about 1MB or so) and quickly stopped it. Then, you can overwrite the downloaded data with the incorrect image from the http download (in my case, from my previous attempts from the MS website). Once that is done, simply use the 'force re-check' option on the torrent in the uTorrent client. Once it has completed the check, restart the torrent to download any missing data. Problem solved.
In my case, after my four download attempts of 3.2GB each, it turned out that each time the file was missing 4MB of data. It took about 5 minutes in total to fix using uTorrent (including finding the torrent). Two independent hash checks then confirmed that the SHA-1 now matched the official number. Turns out there is legitimate uses for torrents!
It's not a problem we've encountered ourselves, but definitely a good bandwidth-saving trick if you are having hash-related dramas. Thanks Kris!