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 you just need a few more days time without Win 7 nagging you.
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:
Go to the 'sources' folder,
and find the file 'cversion.ini'.
Right click with the mouse and hit properties, then uncheck 'Read-only' and hit the OK button.
Open it in notepad or your favourite text editor, and change the MinClient version to 7100, which equals RC1.
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.
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.