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I'm thinking of installing Windows7 RC. I'm wondering if the auto-updates along with a production licencense will be sufficient to convert the RC to the RTM. Or will I have to reinstall?

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And will the 1-yr license work in such a case? –  Michael Haren Apr 30 '09 at 23:11
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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Windows 7 RC will expire June 2010. So you will be able to continue to use it until then. You may be able to upgrade it to the full version, but most likely they will recommend a fresh install.

They recommended a reinstall when moving from the Beta to the RC, but they provided a work around. Most likely they will provide a work around at RTM, if not you can probably find a way.

Additionally, nothing beats that fresh installed OS feeling. Reinstalling after 12 months of use is probably a good plan anyway.

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Add to that the frequent recommendations by Paul Thurott on Windows weekly to the effect of "you may be able to upgrade, but you're going to want to do a clean install" –  AnonJr May 1 '09 at 2:33
    
If you reinstall the RTM copy, do you get 12 months? Or is the 12 month trial only for the RC? –  Michael Haren May 1 '09 at 12:59
    
It isn't a flexible 12 months from date of install. There is a hard deactivation date of June 2010 for the RC. I imagine the RTM will have different license behavior. –  Jim McKeeth May 1 '09 at 16:23
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I've used the workaround to upgrade my development workstation from the beta to the RC. I will nuke-and-pave when the RTM comes out, but I wasn't prepared to do it on my workhorse machine when RTM is probably only 3 to 4 months away. I will say that I am starting to see some cracks and it will definitely be worth doing that clean install when the time comes. –  Tim Long May 10 '09 at 12:44
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Based on the release blog, you will need to reinstall.

Specifically:

In both cases, you’ll need to rebuild your test PC to replace the operating system and reinstall all your programs and data.

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there's nothing better than a clean and fresh windows install

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... and then spending 2 days re-installing and re-configuring all of your apps, and another two weeks in frustration that all the minor helpers and settings you're so used to are not there. –  dbkk May 1 '09 at 18:42
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...but then you come out the other end fresh and reinvigorated, with expanded knowledge of where your data is and what your dependencies are. –  Michael Petrotta May 12 '09 at 18:50
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