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RC1 time running out? Get yourself 90 more days Windows 7 for free

Posted on 25th Feb 2010 at 12:14 by Richard Swinburne with 24 comments

So your copy of Window 7 RC1 is running out and you're not yet ready to go for the full purchase? You are going to buy it after all, right, but this month's games have stretched the budget too thin and you'll have to wait until the March paycheck before you drop the 70-bob for a Windows 7 Home Premium disc?

So you just need a few more days time without Win 7 nagging you.

RC1 time running out? Get yourself 90 more days Windows 7 for free RC1 running out? Get yourself some more time on Windows 7 before purchase

That's where we can help.

If you borrow someone else's Windows 7 disc you can use the data to upgrade your RC1 to RTM status for up to 90 days longer, because a Windows 7 license status is determined not by its disc, but by its key. This is how IT managers roll out dozens of OS updates across a network from a 'single disc'.

As it stands though, just dropping in the Win 7 disc and hitting 'Upgrade' won't allow you to go from RC1 to RTM, but there is a hack involved to do this.

Before you start make sure you BACKUP EVERYTHING IMPORTANT and close your programs. I cannot stress this enough. It's not my fault if there are complications in the process and you lose a lifetime's worth of family photos and videos. I have personally done this twice now without issue, so it's highly unlikely anything bad will happen, but still, on your own head be it.

Firstly, copy all the data to your hard disk, like so:

RC1 time running out? Get yourself 90 more days Windows 7 for free RC1 running out? Get yourself some more time on Windows 7 before purchase

Go to the 'sources' folder,

RC1 time running out? Get yourself 90 more days Windows 7 for free RC1 running out? Get yourself some more time on Windows 7 before purchase

and find the file 'cversion.ini'.

RC1 time running out? Get yourself 90 more days Windows 7 for free RC1 running out? Get yourself some more time on Windows 7 before purchase

Right click with the mouse and hit properties, then uncheck 'Read-only' and hit the OK button.

RC1 time running out? Get yourself 90 more days Windows 7 for free RC1 running out? Get yourself some more time on Windows 7 before purchase
.

Open it in notepad or your favourite text editor, and change the MinClient version to 7100, which equals RC1.

RC1 time running out? Get yourself 90 more days Windows 7 for free RC1 running out? Get yourself some more time on Windows 7 before purchase

RC1 time running out? Get yourself 90 more days Windows 7 for free RC1 running out? Get yourself some more time on Windows 7 before purchase

Save that, close it.

Next go back a directory and run the 'setup.exe' file and continue through the Windows 7 installation process like normal, making sure to select "upgrade" when prompted.

RC1 time running out? Get yourself 90 more days Windows 7 for free RC1 running out? Get yourself some more time on Windows 7 before purchase

RC1 time running out? Get yourself 90 more days Windows 7 for free RC1 running out? Get yourself some more time on Windows 7 before purchase

During the process you'll be asked to check for updates before the upgrade. Personally I chose not to, because I prefer to do it after the OS is happy, or find specific drivers myself. In addition, for iTunes/iPhone users - you'll need to deauthorise the computer before the upgrade because it'll detect the OS kernel has upgraded and have a fit, in typical iTunes fashion.

24 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
yakyb 25th February 2010, 13:46 Quote
wow your confident you can put this on your home page?
kenco_uk 25th February 2010, 13:47 Quote
Last sentence: kernal = kernel.
Bauul 25th February 2010, 14:28 Quote
I can't believe anyone who went to the effort of installing the RC1 wouldn't have bought the full software by now, there's just no reason not to.
Cyberpower-UK 25th February 2010, 14:29 Quote
You might get more than 90 days.
mi1ez 25th February 2010, 14:34 Quote
it's not upgrade to final version, so i can't see it being a problem.
Risky 25th February 2010, 15:31 Quote
I have a laptop on some RC or similar of Ultimate since last May and was wondering if it was ever going to ask for some money. I'll see if it's squalking when I get home at the weekend. I just hope it will allow itself to be upgraded as I have one more licence on the Familypack.
Bindibadgi 25th February 2010, 15:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
wow your confident you can put this on your home page?

Yup. We're not telling you have to crack the OS - the would be illegal - and using the software before inputting a license key is OK in the grace period that Microsoft allows. It buys you 90 days if you forgot RC1 was running out and have to save your pennies for the full OS.

The benefit of doing it this way is that you don't need to format or anything at the end of, or within the 90 day period - you just buy the license key and input it, giving you fully registered software. ;)
Blademrk 25th February 2010, 16:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
I can't believe anyone who went to the effort of installing the RC1 wouldn't have bought the full software by now, there's just no reason not to.

I bought the full version when it was on offer pre-release but only just installed it over the RC last Sunday.

main reason for not upgrading straight away was I didn't want to lose all my save games (especially on steam which I ended up doing anyway even though I thought I'd backed them up :( ).
kenco_uk 25th February 2010, 16:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Yup. We're not telling you have to crack the OS - the would be illegal - and using the software before inputting a license key is OK in the grace period that Microsoft allows. It buys you 90 days if you forgot RC1 was running out and have to save your pennies for the full OS.

The benefit of doing it this way is that you don't need to format or anything at the end of, or within the 90 day period - you just buy the license key and input it, giving you fully registered software. ;)

Do you have to buy an Ultimate key? How would a Home Premium key work, doing this? I'd find it handy if I could use a Home Premium key and obviously end up with Home Premium, rather than having to wipe Ultimate RC off and start afresh.
coolius 25th February 2010, 17:20 Quote
Do you still need the Win 7 disc in the drive after you hit upgrade or does it run from the hard drive copy?
(My laptop doesn't have a disc drive and if I could just do this by copying the files onto a usb stick using my desktop that would be great)
chrisds 25th February 2010, 19:18 Quote
Great, this will buy me some time until i get round to the reinstall.....
cybergenics 25th February 2010, 20:37 Quote
Tech sites (and in particular Bit Tech and CPC) continually recommend Home Premium but don't mention that Professional is worth paying the extra for in my mind just for two very worthwhile features, XP Mode (essentially you get a 'free' copy of XP) and the backup incorporating Disk Imaging. Ultimate in my mind isn't worth it though.

Another issue, perhaps not so inportant to most, friend of mine boasted about how he had orderered 6 stocks of Corsair 4gb DDR3 off the net and would have 24Gb of ram. Wasn't so boastful when he realised that Win 7 HP told him to FO as it has a maximum limikt of 16gb.

Many people run 12gb of ram on X58, won't be long before 24gb is popular either. When Vista Beta was out, 4gb of ram was unheard of outside workstations and servers, msot boards wouldn't accept it, but soon it was the norm.
Jenny_Y8S 25th February 2010, 22:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybergenics
Tech sites (and in particular Bit Tech and CPC) continually recommend Home Premium but don't mention that Professional is worth paying the extra for in my mind just for two very worthwhile features, XP Mode (essentially you get a 'free' copy of XP) and the backup incorporating Disk Imaging.

1) But you can install your old retail version of XP / Vista in virtual box for free so "XP mode" which is basically virtual PC isn't going to be a deal breaker for many people.

2) Home Premium does come with drive image based backups (Was not the case with Vista)

With Vista I had pro on my laptop and ultimate on my desktop and umpc. Now I have Win7 home premium on my desktop and Snow Leopard on my laptop. Now apple has the right idea in pricing it's versions of it's OS!
cybergenics 25th February 2010, 23:42 Quote
There is no disk imaging option in Home Premium, I have HP and Pro installations and on HP there is none. Full image backup is only available in Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate/Enterprise.

All other editions have the file backup & restore option only. Home Premium cannot do the image based backup.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/compare

Apple may have the right idea in pricing its OS, but the hardware prices are ridiculous. The case of the Macbook Pro is durable and attractive, crusty old Core 2 processors aren't.
Combatus 25th February 2010, 23:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybergenics
Tech sites (and in particular Bit Tech and CPC) continually recommend Home Premium but don't mention that Professional is worth paying the extra for in my mind just for two very worthwhile features, XP Mode (essentially you get a 'free' copy of XP) and the backup incorporating Disk Imaging. Ultimate in my mind isn't worth it though.

Not sure how but my retail version of Premium (installed from a premium disk last week) has backup WITH disk imaging - I created an image of a fresh install last weekend and checked that it worked. It even allowed me to create images of several drives.
cybergenics 26th February 2010, 01:26 Quote
The one I have is 32bit, seems the 64 bit does....
Bindibadgi 26th February 2010, 01:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
Do you have to buy an Ultimate key? How would a Home Premium key work, doing this? I'd find it handy if I could use a Home Premium key and obviously end up with Home Premium, rather than having to wipe Ultimate RC off and start afresh.

Damn, you got me there - yes you do. RC1 was ultimate and you can't downgrade to a Home Premium key. Good call.

XP Mode is pretty pointless. It was thrown in to alleviate all those who were scared about missing their XPness. There's no DirectX support so old games still dont run and "run in compatibility mode" generally works well enough, plus, most people should upgrade their software along with OS. You can run Office 2010 beta for free for example. If you still need proper XP - do it properly with a second partition or second disk.

I'd rather pay for Acronis if I was serious about imaging personally and my WHS does backup :D Obviously if you need the extra stuff then get it, that's what it's there for, but for the vast majority of people Home Premium is "expenditure enough" on something they dont directly get enjoyment from.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolius
Do you still need the Win 7 disc in the drive after you hit upgrade or does it run from the hard drive copy?
(My laptop doesn't have a disc drive and if I could just do this by copying the files onto a usb stick using my desktop that would be great)

If you extract the files it runs from a hard drive or usb stick. ;)
iwod 26th February 2010, 04:17 Quote
I dont like upgrade, but could i install Windows 7 using my RC1 Key?
Or, if i just install Windows 7 not using any key , i will still get 90 days anyway...
Right?
Bindibadgi 26th February 2010, 10:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwod
I dont like upgrade, but could i install Windows 7 using my RC1 Key?
Or, if i just install Windows 7 not using any key , i will still get 90 days anyway...
Right?

Yes on the latter point. But RC1 keys are RC1 only
kenco_uk 26th February 2010, 10:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Damn, you got me there - yes you do. RC1 was ultimate and you can't downgrade to a Home Premium key. Good call.

A quick google later and hey presto, violins. I haven't tried it myself yet, but it could be win.
Bindibadgi 26th February 2010, 11:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
A quick google later and hey presto, violins. I haven't tried it myself yet, but it could be win.

Win! I'll drop in the link later
Grimloon 26th February 2010, 12:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
A quick google later and hey presto, violins. I haven't tried it myself yet, but it could be win.

I've just had a run through the comments on that site (TYVM kenco_uk!) and it would appear that all is not roses if you've moved the programs and documents on to different drives and/or partitions. I'm not sure of the accuracy of the comment but it looks like a fresh start if you've customised the installation. Oh well, it was time for a nuke'n'pave anyway :(
Kernel 3rd March 2010, 01:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
A quick google later and hey presto, violins. I haven't tried it myself yet, but it could be win.
Just done this, worked a treat :D
Ninja_182 8th March 2010, 22:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
I can't believe anyone who went to the effort of installing the RC1 wouldn't have bought the full software by now, there's just no reason not to.

If only I had noticed this before I went back to XP! It was inevitable anyway, a few more months would have only postponed it.
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