Lifehacker’s Guide To Upgrading To Windows 7 RC

Lifehacker’s Guide To Upgrading To Windows 7 RC

Whether you want to set up a dual-boot system, you’re ready to migrate all the way to Windows 7 RC from XP, or something in between, here’s what you need to know.

Dual Boot Windows 7 with XP or Vista

We showed you how to do this back when the Windows 7 Beta was released, but if you were waiting for a slightly more stable Win7 release, you might be ready to dual boot Windows 7 with XP or Vista. This is generally the method of testing Windows 7 that we’d recommend, since it allows you to try out everything Windows 7 RC has to offer without entirely giving up your trusty old operating system.

Upgrade from Windows 7 Beta to RC

If you’ve already taken the plunge with the Windows 7 Beta, chances are you don’t really want to set everything up all over again when you install Windows 7 RC. Unfortunately for you, Microsoft recommends a fresh install over an upgrade, and in fact, if you want to upgrade rather than install from scratch, you’ll need to perform a simple hack. Likewise, you’ll have to perform an in-kind upgrade, meaning you can’t go from 32-bit Vista to a 64-bit Windows 7 install without doing a clean install.

Upgrade from Vista to Windows 7

There’s really nothing to this; Windows 7 provides a direct upgrade path to Windows 7 from Vista, which means that when you install Windows 7, all you need to do is select the Upgrade option when you run the Windows 7 installation. Note: Windows 7 requires that you’ve installed Vista Service Pack 1 in order to upgrade.

Migrate from Windows XP to Windows 7

Unfortunately Windows 7 doesn’t have a direct upgrade path from XP, meaning if you’re going to take the full plunge from XP to Windows 7, you’ve got to do some work on your own if you’re hoping to migrate your files and settings from XP to Win7. Luckily Microsoft has a video detailing how to migrate from Windows XP to Windows 7 using the User State Migration Tool, an app from Microsoft that moves all your desktop settings, application settings, and files to a new Windows installation. (Also found via Life Rocks 2.0)

If you’ve made the early adopter move to Windows 7 and you took a different upgrade route, let’s hear more about how you did it in the comments.


  • As of Sunday, I have upgraded my live vista install to the new windows 7 RC, and to say i am impressed is far from the truth! The upgrade was so easy, i just cliecked a few things and the install did most of it itself. What i am finding, is my OS, as it was on vista, with the look, feel and features of windwos 7. So I recommend this process to anyone who is prepared to do so. If you can, a system state backup is a good thing if you have the drive space however i did not, but did the upgrade anyway, and am happy to say that i am 110% pleased with the result. Everything works just like it did before and the only 2 things i had to uninstall/upgrade was Daemon tools and my virus scanner, which new versions had support for W7 anyway.

    Also, i recommend that anyone who is going to attempt this, run the compatability test pre-upgrade. This will tell you what hardware/software you will need to aquire new version of.

    Good Luck ^_^

  • I just installed it and it seems to be missing some of the flashy stuff. Alt tab is plane jane, and i thought you hover out over the icons on the buttom it displays a preview, dont see settings anywhere to enable it.

    Also just noticed this, when i go to windows media center it says “TV and video may not work as expected because the video card does not meet the minimum memmory requirment of 64 MB…” but my card has 246 onboard, what gives.

  • I installed 7 over vista on one computer and it is running beautifully.
    But in my aattempts to install 7 to a new partition on my xp computer, the process stops at one of the installation reboots. The monitor just shows a message “out of range”. Cannot find a solution online that seems to fit my situation but I get the sense that it might be related to a driver (for Monitor?). There is an option at the start of installation to upload drivers. But what drivers?

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!