Official Magento sample data is a bit old (Magento 1.2) and it takes too much time to install new Magento over them, since installation is updating too many tables at once. Also, there are some tables not present in default CE version, so we thought it would be great idea to update and clean them up a bit.
Magento sample data 18.104.22.168 can be used only on Magento CE >= 22.214.171.124 (PE/EE have their own sample data). Also, do not use sample data on existing stores or existing databases, they can be used only on clean installations and Magento developers mostly use them for learning or presentation purposes.
How to install sample data for Magento:
1. Import the sample data sql file “magento_sample_data_for_126.96.36.199.sql” into empty database
2. Copy sample “media” folder over your Magento existing media folder (merge them)
3. Run Magento installation and use database from step1 as install database
There is Magento wiki page with more detailed instructions:
Official Magento demo site is an example of what you get when install Magento with sample data, maybe they’ll start using our updated ones from now on