The Windows 7 RC begins shutting down every 2 hours starting March 1st, and fully expires in June. All right, you knew you shouldn’t, but you went and installed Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) on a main computer didn’t you? Better yet, you installed Windows 7 Ultimate RC and now need to put a retail copy of Windows 7 Professional or lower on. What do you do?
Here’s the problem, if you installed Windows 7 Ultimate RC and need to put a lower retail version on your PC, and save what’s on it, your in for a surprise. It won’t. You will get an error messaging saying you can’t upgrade Windows 7 Ultimate. You need to wipe your drive and reinstall. There has to be another way….
Okay, I’ve led you on long enough. Here is what you do. Go to Upgrade the Windows 7 RC to any Version, and check it out. I have upgraded one of my machines from Windows 7 Ultimate RC to the retail version of Ultimate using this method. It worked flawlessly and kept all of my settings. Note, this method is not supported by Microsoft, and might not work. You could lose data.
But you need to decide if the risk is worth it compared to the time of formatting your machine and completely re-installing everything on it.