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Can I do an In-Place upgrade from Windows 7 Release Candidate To Release Code??

Can I do an In-Place upgrade from Windows 7 Release Candidate To Release Code??

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I’ve been getting numerous emails from people asking if it is possible to do an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 Release Candidate to the Final Release Code (when it becomes available).

Of course, my first response is “Why would you even want to do such a thing??!!?!?”.

Let’s take a step back and think about this scenario and why it is really not a good idea.

Beta products are likely to have lots of bugs in them (hence why it is still beta) that have not been found and fixed.  There is also a lot of extra debug code included so that the programmers can find these bugs and fix them.  Beta products are also not supported in production by the company that creates it since it is not a released product yet.  I don’t know of a company that is willing to bet their business by running their production systems with Beta code.

When we (Microsoft) made the first public beta of Windows 7 available to the general public, we did make it quite clear at that time that you could not go directly from Beta Code to Release (Final) Code.  The Beta was to be installed onto a test machine and NOT onto a production machine since it is beta code.  The intent at that time was to get feedback on bugs and issues with the product.  When we came out with the Release Candidate (Still Beta Code), we also stated at that time that you could not go from Beta directly to RC, but had to wipe and reload.  Yes, I know there were folks who figured out a way around that and did an in-place upgrade from Beta to RC, but then again, some of those same folks experienced issues that were a “side effect” of doing that.  Either way, RC is still Beta (as I mentioned before) and we did state that we do not support going from Beta to Final Code.  Even though I cannot find any “official” statement on our website that specifically states you cannot go directly from RC to Final Code, suffice it to say that this is not something you would want to do.

Before you point out that Microsoft uses Beta Code in Production, I want to clarify a few things.  First, we do use our beta products in “semi” production to do the best job we can in testing out products before they ship.  This is what we refer to as “Dogfooding”, but we do NOT deploy our entire production environment on beta code, only a small portion.  There are quite a few employees at Microsoft who are using Windows 7 Release Candidate on their production system (like me).  Please note that our IT Department can support this in production because they have direct access to the Product Group should a major issue arise.  This is once again somewhat of a “dogfood” environment so that we can test out our products as best as we can in a production environment prior to shipping.  This does not mean that other companies should go and do this as well.

I also happen to be “old school” and do NOT believe in in-place upgrades.  I ALWAYS wipe and reload from one OS to another and definitely from beta to release.  I have been at Microsoft for just under 10 years and have spent many a cycle rebuilding my production machine because I was testing different builds of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 when it was in Beta.  Needless to say, I ALWAYS flattened my machine and started from scratch once the product released because I did not want any possibility of having “left over” code from beta on my machine by attempting to do an in-place upgrade from beta to release.

To conclude this long winded post, my answer to the initial question is: NO!!!!

Harold Wong

  • Most of the time, when you purchase a new PC, you do not get a Windows CD or DVD, you either get a set of recovery discs or the ability to make these recovery discs from within Windows.  What are these people supposed to do when they purchase a Windows 7 upgrade?  Maybe I'm mistaken, but won't the majority of purchasers of the upgrade edition of Windows 7 fall into this group?  People who build their own PCs tend to purchase an OEM copy of Windows which is usually the same price or not much more than an upgrade edition.  

  • I also would like to know if windows 7 will come in 32bit and 64bit on the same DVD?

    I per-ordered my windows 7 Home pre.. and when i did it did'nt say so i called the store and asked if i could get the 64bit win7 and they said that it came in both 32/64bit on the same disk, is this true????

  • What about upgrading to Windows 7 from RC 7100? I had an activated Vista SP2 running on my PC before installing W-7 Beta Release 7000 and then RC 7100. Any problems I should look for in the upgrade to the final release product? Thanks.

  • "If you purchased the Windows 7 Upgrade, you only need the original media (CD / DVD) of Windows XP or Windows Vista.  The Upgrade media will ask you to insert the media from XP or Vista so it can perform a check of the physical media before proceeding."

    This directly contradicts what Windows bloggers all over the Internet have been saying.  Do you have specific experience with the Windows 7 upgrade installer?

  • Please see my latest post: http://blogs.technet.com/haroldwong/archive/2009/07/22/update-in-place-upgrade-from-windows-7-rc-to-windows-7-rtm.aspx with answers and clarifications.  Thanks.

    Harold Wong

  • Harold -

    You mentioned the issue with the beta code being mixed in with the RC code - but you missed another crucial issue with going from RC to RTM.

    Right now, the RC is installed as Ultimate. Most people I know of are only getting Home Premium or Professional. As far as I know, there's NO way to downgrade from Ultimate to HP or Pro... It only works the other way around.

  • You can go from a beta version to a full release version without any problems it all depends on updates,  hardware and third party software installed at the time.

    i have dun this with many version for windows from 95 to windows 7 some of the advice given is misleading any operating system can be upgraded from its beta version to a full pledged working operating system without any trouble,

    It was like everyone said you can not install windows XP professional on a Windows 95C version machine running 64 bit memory and intel pentium 2 but i did it and until the machine died just last year had it running like windows me without hassles.

    And like many beta software to say the company is not respondable for the operating system outcome is a misguided fact every software vendor is required under the laws to ensure their software is capable of support and is to ensure it comforms to the end user satifaction international laws also state the manufactor of software must ensure that their beta version can be supported after the final released version has be market for commerical use for a set period of time unless the company has advice the market otherwise in advanced that it will not support the beta product it still must allow the users a way to support new hardware and software upgrades to its marketing version or oem or retail version.

  • The only thing you tech people do is complain and complain.  You will find out when Windows 7 comes out.  Stop asking this question about doing an upgrade as nobody actually knows the legit answer yet.

  • If people feel like doing an upgrade in place install instead of a clean install, I sure wish so many people wouldn't slam them.  They act like they have to deal with any issues that arise. They don't.  They don't have to do it and they don't have to answer any questions about if if they don't want to. That said, if an in place upgrade fails, there is always the option of redoing it from scratch at that point anyway.  Regardless, there is a way to trick the install to see the correct upgradable version which was on the win 7 blog at one point, but you may need upgrade the actual RC to a RTM line build first before trying to do the final in place install of final RTM.  I'm sure as soon as the d/l's begin, hopefully on 8/6, the answer will be available.

  • Wednesday, July 08, 2009 7:00 PM HaroldWong

    RE: Can I do an In-Place upgrade from Windows 7 Release Candidate To Release Code??




    Very Good advice.  I have been wiping drives and media since 1964.

    The first computer I worked on cost approximately $50 Million Dollars - that was in 1964.  That was thought to be a lot of money in those days.   The Computer Memory Banks - I used to walk around them every morning to ensure everything was OK.

    We had the original bugs - Insects that used to get fried in the gates.  Not Software bugs.  I spent several years writing machine language - I was only too pleased to stop that help develop higher level languages - I also got weary of that.  Today I just like to help some genuine people - and pose simple questions to stimulate the minds of the newcomers.

    Anyway back to the matter at hand -

    Hard Drives should be wiped (min. 2 times prefer 8 times) - not just formatted, as the information can still be reclaimed - Viruses can be hiding on the drive - ready to zap you later.

    All Old Drives (whether working or not) should  be Wiped at least 8 times followed by a series of zero's  before sending to the rubbish pile.

    Myself being paranoid about foreign governments and villians I also drill holes into the drives afterwards, then incinerate or crush then in a motor vehicle crusher.  Unless of course you want to give out false information as we sometimes do.

    Sorry for rambling on but us oldies have a habit of doing that, and repeating ourselves.

    Sorry for rambling on but us oldies have a habit of doing that, and repeating ourselves.

    Yours ever,  TLS

    ps. If you are interested in computer history why not use the link below:


  • You can.

    Modify the cversion.ini file under sources directory of the install path, and change minversion value to 7000.

    Extract the ISO to a directory, modify this value and recreate an ISO/MDS.

    I did it and am now upgraded to Windows 7.

  • hi, can we at least use some tool like migwiz.exe to avoid re-install everything we (successfully) tested ?


  • Harold-

    Just want to let you know that we ALL appreciate your hard work and good advice.  Yes, some of us DO like to complain but, hey, everyone needs a hobby.

    We should all remember the original DOS 4.00 and Windows ME days ... then sit back, laugh, and follow the best practices that will yield a result we can each live with.

    Remember, though, an in-place upgrade is really just like adding gas to our cars ... it gives us more fuel for future complaints.


  • OK, I wish I had read this before upgrading RTM over RC on several home machines.  My question is:  Could I not do a repair install (upgrade RTM over the exisiting RTM installation) and get all of the upgraded code overwritten by pure RTM code?  I have used this method of repair install (upgrade over installation) to repair boot configs with XP/Vista several times, in order to reassert the Win7 boot primacy and even repair Win7, and it works fine.  Would it overwrite the RC code completely?

    Meanwhile, the performance jump on all machines after RC to RTM upgrade is marked so I would probably avoid clean reinstall for now.  I have upgrade disks coming in Oct. to launch for my XP and Vista saved partitions. One other question:  will there be any way to clean install XP-to-Win7 Premium to another partition from the XP environment?  Just askin.  THanks.

  • I agree, you should always do a clean install unless it is absolutley unavoidable (some people may have programs they no longer have disks for, various other reasons). If you HAVE to do an upgrade then use imaging software to back up your old installation.

    HOWEVER, Microsoft representatives have been extolling the virtues of clean installs lately but last I remember MS has been making it more and more difficult to do clean installs from upgrade media. What happened to the old days of tossing in the qualifying media into the optical drive to allow installation from an upgrade media.

    With the vista upgrade disk MS forced an upgrade but now you are telling us that we should do a clean install, has MS suddenly reverted to the old method of proving qualification for upgrade media?

    One MS policy treats us like thieves (and forces upgrades and unnecessary installs)  and another tells us we are foolish for upgrading, make up your mind MS.

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