Upgrading Windows 7 RC to RTM

First of all, I’d like to congratulate Microsoft for (finally) signing off the RTM. Since it will soon be available for download and many users running the RC (Release Candidate) plan to install it, the following question arises:

Is it possible to upgrade from the RC to the RTM (Release to Manufacturing)?

According to Microsoft, upgrading from the RC (or any previous build) is not supported as mentioned in the “Windows 7 Upgrade Paths” document:

Unsupported Upgrade Scenarios

…Pre-release in-place upgrades across milestones (for example, Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 RTM) are not supported.

This isn’t good news for everyone, particularly those who have been using the RC for a while, customized it and changed its settings. However, there’s a workaround in the Windows 7 RTM installation to upgrade from the RC.

Workaround to Upgrade from RC to RTM

The same method for upgrading from Windows 7 Beta to RC works here as well. I’ve tried it and the upgrade was successful. Here’s how (assuming you have already the downloaded the RTM):

  • Extract the files in the ISO
  • Browse to the “sources” directory
  • Open “cversion.ini”
  • Change the ‘MinClient’ number from “7233.0” to “7100.0”
  • You should end up with something like this:

  • [HostBuild]

  • Save the file
  • Run “setup.exe” from the extrated files and upgrade!
Modifying "cversion.ini"

Modifying "cversion.ini"

The upgrade should also work with Windows 7 builds less than 7100 if the ‘MinClient’ is set to number lower than build number installed. Although it works, performing a clean install of Windows 7 is still recommended. (Use at your own risk…)

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20 Responses to Upgrading Windows 7 RC to RTM

  1. oDx July 28, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    thats a good article mate.
    but where do i get this RTM version????
    .-= oDx´s last blog ..‘Pirated’ Youtube Clip Boosts Band’s Album Sales =-.

    • Sean Marshall July 29, 2009 at 12:32 am #

      we cant tell you that… but if look hard enough. you will find it…check the hash…

  2. john July 28, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    try google.com, I’m sure it will have something for ya 😀

  3. Jon July 28, 2009 at 10:00 pm #

    ….and then the same people that attempt this and forever get errors during the RTM build will blame Microsoft for something.

    • Mustafa July 29, 2009 at 4:50 am #

      Yes it’s true… This might cause errors to come up. But I’ve tried it and didn’t face any problems.

      “Although it works, performing a clean install of Windows 7 is still recommended. (Use at your own risk…)” (mentioned in article)

      I don’t think I’ll blame Microsoft for that. Good point though 🙂

      • owenc July 29, 2009 at 5:52 am #

        The problem is that if you did buy the OS in Europe then complications are bound to arise with the “E” edition. You may wish to mention that? Apparently there are some bad complications because IE8 is woven quite tightly into the OS.

        • Mustafa July 29, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

          hmm… I don’t actually understand what you mean. Do you mean to say that there will be two English versions of the OS: en-US and en-UK?

          The Windows 7 “E” edition has been cancelled anyway and replaced with a browser ballot screen after installation.


          • owenc July 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

            If the “E” edition has been canceled then there will be no difference.

            It all depends whether Microsoft release an upgrade disk aswell or the disk only has a clean install option.

  4. Sean Marshall July 29, 2009 at 12:33 am #

    oh Mustafa , really good article. i like your work! keep it coming!

    • Mustafa July 29, 2009 at 5:34 am #

      Thank you very much!

      Looking forward to reading “My Mother And Windows 7 Part: 3” 🙂

      good luck,

  5. dva July 29, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    What about activation after upgrade from RC to RTM

    • Mustafa July 29, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

      No, keys for the RC don’t work with the RTM…

  6. SparkyRih July 29, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    What could go wrong than… If I upgrade from RC to RTM?

    • Mustafa July 29, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

      There is a possibility that ‘something’ can go wrong as Microsoft said it doesn’t support it. But as far as I’m concerned, I’ve tried it and didn’t face any problems at all.

      During the time of the RC, Microsoft recommended performing a clean install of the RC instead of upgrading from Beta (and didn’t support it). This wasn’t because something could go wrong, but just to ‘validate the product in real-world scenarios’.

      So I don’t think anything would go wrong, however it’s still possible…

  7. Tunde July 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    Thanks for this… Worked great! I notice a bit of slower response with Windows 7 RTM? Anyone notice the same?

  8. zammbi July 31, 2009 at 9:27 am #

    Upgrading caused a lot of problems for me last time , so I’m going to do a clean install.

    • Mustafa July 31, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

      Yeah, a clean install is recommended. But what kind of problems did it cause???

  9. nomadewolf August 4, 2009 at 7:59 am #

    Of course it’s not possible to update from RCs and BETAs to RTM. RCs and BETAs are not final products and are not sold, and there’s no reason to spend money and resources in that.
    I even disagree with upgrading from an ACTUAL OS because it will never be as ‘clean’ as a fresh install. It also diverts useful resources that could be put to useful features.

  10. Louis Han September 1, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    Thanks, I will try.

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