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Windows 7 RC - Now available

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Public Download page:


You don't need to rush to get the RC. The RC will be available at least through July 2009 and we're not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time.

The RC will expire on June 1, 2010.

Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours.

Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start.

To avoid interruption, you’ll need to install a non-expired version of Windows before March 1, 2010. You’ll also need to install the programs and data that you want to use.

Q. Can I upgrade from the RC to the final version of Windows 7?

When you install the final version of Windows 7, you'll need to do a clean installation. So plan on backing up your data then reinstalling your applications and restoring your data.

Q. Can I upgrade directly from Windows Vista to the RC?

Yes. If you're running Windows Vista, you can install Window 7 RC without having to back up and reinstall your programs and data. But to be on the safe side, please do back up your data before you start.

Q. Can I upgrade directly from Windows XP to the RC?

If you are running Windows XP, you'll need to back up your data (preferably on an external device) and then do a clean installation of the Windows 7 Release Candidate. After installing Windows 7, you will need to reinstall applications and restore your files.

How to download the Windows 7 RC

1. Visit the Windows 7 RC download page.

2. Choose your language.

3. Choose a 32-bit or 64-bit version of the RC.

To see if your computer can run a 64-bit version of Windows, in Performance Information and Tools (Start>Control Panel>Performance Information and Tools) click View and print details and then look under 64-bit capable.

4. Get a Windows 7 RC product key. (You can use the RC for 30 days without a product key, then you'll need it for activation.)

5. Download the Windows 7 RC.

How to create an installation DVD

The RC download is an ISO file, which you'll need to burn onto a blank disc before you can install it. To do that, you'll need to use software designed for burning ISO files.

In addition to commercial ISO burning software, there are free programs such as ISOBuster and Active ISO Burner. To find one, go to a site such as Download.com or Tucows and search for "ISO," "DVD," and "burn".

Follow the instructions that came with your program to create a Windows 7 RC installation disc.

How to install the Windows 7 RC

You’ll need to do a "clean installation." That means you can’t upgrade an existing PC to Windows 7 RC. So if you’re using an existing PC and want to keep the information on it, you’ll need to back it up before you start.

1. Turn on your computer, insert the Windows 7 RC installation disc you created in step 2 into the computer's DVD or CD drive, and then do one of the following:

* If you want to replace your computer's existing operating system with the Windows 7 RC, and you don't need to adjust your disk partitions, go to step 2.

* If your computer doesn't have an operating system installed, or you want to install the RC on another disk partition, restart your computer with the installation disc inserted in your CD or DVD drive. If you're asked to press a key to boot from DVD or CD, press any key. If the Install Windows page appears, go to step 2.

If the Install Windows page doesn't appear and you're not asked to press a key to start from DVD or CD, you might have to specify that your computer uses its DVD or CD drive as the startup device. After you select your DVD or CD drive as the startup device, restart your computer, and then start Windows from the installation DVD or CD as previously described.

2. On the Install Windows page, follow the instructions, and then click Install now.

3. On the Get important updates for installation page, we recommend getting the latest updates to help ensure a successful installation and protect your computer against security threats. You need an Internet connection to get updates.

4. On the Please read the license terms page, if you accept the license terms, click I accept the license terms. (You must accept to continue the installation.)

5. On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Custom.

6. On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, do one of the following:

* If you don't want to specify a specific partition to install Windows on, or create partitions on your hard disk, click Next to begin the installation.

* If you already have another existing partition with enough free space and want to install the Windows 7 RC on that partition to create a multiboot configuration, select the partition you want to use, and then click Next to begin the installation. (Be sure to install the RC on a different partition from where your current version of Windows is installed.)

* If you want to create, extend, delete, or format a partition, click Drive options (advanced), click the option you want, and then follow the instructions. Click Next to begin the installation. (If the Drive options (advanced) option is disabled, you need to start your computer using the installation disc.)

7. Follow the instructions.

Here's what you need to have:

* Internet access (to download Windows 7 RC and get updates)

* A PC with these system requirements:

    1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

    1 GB RAM (32-bit) / 2 GB RAM (64-bit)

    16 GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20 GB (64-bit)

    DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Please note these specifications could change. And, some product features of Windows 7, such as the ability to watch and record live TV or navigation through the use of "touch," may require advanced or additional hardware.


Edited by Pave Low
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Is that a free time limited deal

yes and MS have confirmed it will be valid for a year

so well worth trying it if you have a PC available and that's more than enough time to make up your mind as to whether to buy a retail version if you are happy with it

The Release Candidate is now available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers, and will go on unlimited, general release on 5 May.

The software will not expire until 1 June 2010, giving testers more than a year's free access to Windows 7.

"It's available to as many people who see fit to use it, although we wouldn't recommend it to just your average user," John Curran, director of the Windows Client Group told PC Pro. "We'd very strongly encourage anyone on the beta to move to the Release Candidate."


and the initial stampede of MSDN and TechNet users brought the D/L sites offline >_<

just hope they put tons more capacity on for the public release ;)

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yes and MS have confirmed it will be valid for a year

This is really good, it let folks try it out on a spare PC where possible, and check how their software and peripherals work on it, cool!

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well I've just got round to installing it on an old PC in dual boot with Vista

and first impressions are Very, Very, Nice :thumbsup:

fast simple install and a very slick interface so far

but, will have to wait until get in from work tomorrow to dig deeper

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Installed it on a 3Ghz P4 (I don't even think there's a GFX card in it), install was a breeze, right over the XP, and it seems really fast around the desktop and various windows - put it this way, it's faster than XP on this Quad Q6600, but then this is seriously due a reformat.

I'll try some software and hardware on it, but I'm thinking this could be a worthwhile upgrade, so long as they don't fail at the last hurdle and come out with lots of different versions to confuse at the purchase point.

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