Installing the Sample Data for Magento
Magento has a sample data archive available that contains sample products and CMS pages to allow you to explore your new Magento installation without having to create everything from scratch. The sample data archive contains a dump of the Magento sample SQL database that should be imported to an empty database using your database management tool (phpMyAdmin or whatever you use) and a ‘media’ folder with sample product images that should be copied to your Magento media folder.
These instructions assume you are in the installation phase with your Magento store and that you have not created your own products and pages. If you already have a working Magento store and database, do NOT install the sample data. Following these steps will wipe out your existing database.
When you're ready to set up your own store, you should re-install Magento without the sample data in order to start clean.
Important: The sample data must be imported before running the Magento Setup Wizard in the basic Magento installation process. (Among other things the Setup Wizard upgrades the Magento database to the Magento version being installed and the sample data, which is generic, cannot be imported after that conversion takes place.)
Instructions for Installing Sample Data
For details, see Preparing Your Server for Magento CE 1.8 or EE 1.13 and Installing Optional Sample Data.