Want an Easy Upgrade to Win 7 RC? Upgrade from Vista, not Win 7 Beta


That's the message that Microsoft announced today on its Engineering Windows 7 blog, Cnet's Ina Fried reports .

While Microsoft says you can upgrade from Win7 Beta to RC when it becomes available , it prefers that you upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 RC. Why? As the E7 blog entry points out:

The RC...is about getting breadth coverage to validate the product in real-world scenarios. As a result, we want to encourage you to revert to a Vista image and upgrade or to do a clean install, rather than upgrade the existing Beta.  We know that means reinstalling, recustomizing, reconfiguring, and so on. That is a real pain.  The reality is that upgrading from one pre-release build to another is not a scenario we want to focus on because it is not something real-world customers will experience.

This reasoning makes sense from Redmond's standpoint, but since the same blog post acknowledges that millions of users (including, I bet, a lot of Maximumpc.com fans) are using Windows 7 Beta as their "full time" operating system, Microsoft has outlined a way to bypass the usual installer checks. Here's how, direct from the E7 blog entry (which also includes a screen shot for Steps 4 and 5):

  1. Download the ISO as you did previously and burn the ISO to a DVD.
  2. Copy the whole image to a storage location you wish to run the upgrade from (a bootable flash drive or a directory on any partition on the machine running the pre-release build).
  3. Browse to the sources directory.
  4. Open the file cversion.ini in a text editor like Notepad.
  5. Modify the MinClient build number to a value lower than the down-level build. For example, change 7100 to 7000.
  6. Save the file in place with the same name.
  7. Run setup like you would normally from this modified copy of the image and the version check will be bypassed.

Note that Microsoft warns that "If you do follow the steps below, you might run across some oddities after upgrade," such as needing to reinstall some devices.

When Windows 7 RC is released, what are your plans? Are you going to try the beta to RC upgrade method, or go back to Vista and upgrade it to RC? Hit Comment and share your plans.

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