It is a problem to know what goes with what when building test machines. Quan To points to a solution:
A customer emailed me yesterday and was confused with which CTPs for VS matched with which CTPs for SQL.
One of our Release PMs (Jason) has kindly created a website to help sort out the madness. This also includes compatible builds with Avalon and Indigo.
Check it out: [link]
It’s a web application that looks at your machine to see what you have and tells you what need to install various CTPs. OK if your test machine can get to the Internet and, of course, the XML database can be used on its own.
Mary Jo Foley also has a detailed article on this subject. One point there is the utility of using virtual machines for testing. I’m personally an advocate of dual or multi-boot test machines because I worry about possible VM effects, but either way beats a dedicated test machine.