There are a lot of caveats, however. You don't want to install it on your work machine because you don't want to mess up your current configuration. The next best option is using a virtual machine. But you don't want to spend hours or days installing and configuring Windows and you don't even have Hyper-V running on your operating system (for instance, Windows 7).
Luckily, all these problems have easy workarounds. Here's a preview:
- Download the VHD file for the Windows Server 2012 trial
- Downlload and install VirtualBox
- Windows is already installed!
- Download the ISO for SQL Server 2014
- Mount the ISO virtually in your virtual machine
- Start the virtual machine
- Install SQL Server as you please
- You're done!
- However, if you're really interested, you don't even need to sign in to your new VM to access SQL Server. Just make it accessible to the network and make sure your VM host and guest can talk to eachother. Then just install your Client Tools (such as SSMS) on your host and you can remotely manage the guest. AMAZEBALLS!
Download the VHD file for Windows Server 2012 Datacenter (Trial)
Download and install VirtualBox
Create a new virtual machine using the VHD file
Download the ISO for SQL Server 2014
Install the ISO as a Virtual DVD in your VM
Start your Virtual Machine
Install SQL Server
Special note: You will need to install .NET 3.5 ... this is not automatically included in Windows Server 2012, but you can add it as a feature. Check out To install .NET Framework 3.5 by using the Add Roles and Features Wizard (scroll down about 3/4 of the way).