Anyone who tried to install their upgrade version of Windows 7 to a fresh drive was treated to a cruel wake up call. Not when they installed the OS, not even after they installed all their applications, but when the time came to activate. The deal with upgrade media is simple, an existing, and activated copy of Windows must exist on the hard drive prior to installation, or be prepared to start over. To make matters worse, the activation warning doesn't even give you a phone number to call and appeal you're case. The good news is you’re not dead in the water, that is, as long as you're comfortable making a few simple registry edits.
This guide will give you tips on all the upgrading scenarios, and even teach you how to use your upgrade DVD to perform a clean install on a fresh system with no prior OS. We show you how to turn the tables on the dreaded activation error code 0xC004F061: "The Software Licensing Service determined that this specified product key can only be used for upgrade, not for clean installations."
For a lot of Maximum PC readers, the fuss over Windows 7 launch week might seem a little unwarranted—after all, many of you have been happily running Windows 7 for months now, so what’s so exciting about a retail launch? In fact, if you’re in that boat, the launch poses more of a hassle than anything else, since your free RC version of Windows 7 is closer than ever to shutting down. And when it does, you can't even do an upgrade install of Windows 7, you have to either re-install Windows Vista first, or buy a standalone version of Windows 7.
Or do you? Even though Microsoft’s official stance is that you can’t upgrade from the Release Candidate to the RTM/Retail version of Windows 7, it’s actually possible to do so using a quick, easy hack. This means that you can use the cheaper upgrade version of Windows 7, and do a "Custom Upgrade" to get a clean install. Or, if you don't mind the risk of additional headaches down the line, you can do an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 RC to RTM.
Read on to find out how to do it in 7 simple steps.
What's the first thing you're going to do after installing the Windows 7 operating system? If you live in Japan, perhaps you'll go celebrate your new, wallpaper-shifting desktop with some cardiac arrest. If you're one of the stalwarts still clinging to your XP or Vista operating system, well, you're probably going to spin your chair around in smug defiance of Microsoft's latest bit of software. And if you're a Maximum PC reader, I would hope that you're going to treat your fresh new installation of Windows 7 as an October spring cleaning of-sorts.
In fact, I urge you to. One doesn't often get a chance to reinstall an operating system from scratch. Or, rather, it's always easier to think of the hundreds of reasons why it's just not the right time to wipe-and-reinstall the contents of your primary hard drive. Resist the temptation to take the easy route. Backup your drive, give it a good format, and install Windows 7 onto your clean-as-a-whistle partition.
And once you've done that, read the rest of this article. While my colleagues at Maximum PC have given you some good first steps into your new Windows 7 world post-installation, I'd like to go one bit further and list out my typical post-installation routine for any Windows operating system. There are a number of key freeware choices that you'll want to slap onto your system to establish a baseline environment that's as efficient as it is secure--that, and you should really take this time to establish preventative measure that will keep your PC as clutter-free as can be throughout its new Windows 7 lifespan.
Windows 7 has finally arrived, and now that the day is here, you might still be wondering which version is right for you. Do you stick with Home Premium, or go all out and splurge on Ultimate? If you're hungry, and happen to be in Japan, order the Windows 7 Whopper Edition, available only at Burger King (where else?).
That's right, even Burger King isn't letting this long awaited marketing opportunity slip by. So what separates the Windows 7 Whopper from other versions of Windows, or other burgers? Try a (dare we say it?) whopping seven beef patties stacked over five inches high, which is almost twice the size of a 4x4 at In-N-Out Burger.
The promotion runs for a week and the first 30 customers each day will be able to snag one for ¥777, or about $8.50 in U.S. currency. Then the price jacks up to ¥1,450, or just over $17.
Earlier today, we asked you, our loyal readers, to share your early experiences with Windows 7. We like the responses we've gotten so far, so we'd like to hear from you again.
We've posted severalarticles sharing our favorite Windows 7 tips and tricks, but we know that there's no way to cover every single awesome Windows tip in just a couple articles, so we're hoping you can tell us what we've missed.
So give us your two cents: What are your favorite Windows 7 tips or timesaver? Hit the jump and let us know!
Last month we reported a killer deal for Windows 7 whereby eligible students could preorder a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional for just $30.Talk about a steal! But what Digital River (the company responsible for the promotion) didn't tell you was that instead of a handy ISO image that you could burn to a DVD for safe keeping, you instead would receive a trio of files on you desktop.
Power users that we are, this just didn't sit well with us, so we went in search of a solution. Well guess what? We found one, courtesy of WindowsSevenForums.com forum member SIW2. We verified that his method works, and if you're one of the students who jumped on the promotional pricing, we're going to show you how to quickly convert your copy of Windows 7 into an ISO file.
Before getting started, be sure you've downloaded your copy and clicked the Run button in the download manager. This will extract all the Windows 7 files that we need to a folder on your desktop.
Once you have everything in order, hit the jump to get started!
By now, many of you will have a fresh copy of Windows 7 in your hands, ready to load up onto your PC (we show you the right way to do it). But while that stock Windows install may be OK for your mom, but is it good enough for you? Never! You deserve a Windows that soars above the clouds, swift and strong. That’s why we collected our team of Windows experts and spent countless hours mucking around in the registry, downloading little-known tools, and searching for new keyboard shortcuts to bring you this, our finest Windows tips guide of all time.
Dig it: we give you the definitive list of kick-ass, Maximum PC–approved tips and tweaks for Windows, whether you run XP, Vista, or Windows 7. While some are specific to Microsoft’s latest OS (you’ve upgraded, right?), many will work on XP and Vista, as well. So sit back, relax, and get ready to make Windows better.
But now we want to hear from you! If you bought Windows 7, or if you’ve been using the beta or RC for the last couple months, we want to know what you think. Is it a big improvement over Vista? XP? Was the install process easy? How do you like the new taskbar?
Hit the comments and share your experiences with Windows 7!
Windows 7's launch is the main topic of this week's No BS Podcast. The gang compares the new Microsoft store that's opened in Arizona to Microsoft's first retail store in San Francisco from a decade ago. We give out pointers for upgrading to Windows 7 from XP, Vista, and the Win7 Release Candidates, answer some listener questions, and dish out a rant. This episode also features a contest for some free games. Listen to the show to craft your submission, and send entries to email@example.com
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
Got your hands on Windows 7? Excellent. It's time to install this bad boy. But you want to make sure you're installing it right. Our no-nonsense install guide shows you the right way to install Windows 7 and tells you exactly what you should do the moment your install completes.