Windows 7 RC nears auto-shutdown deadline, Microsoft warns

One month before free copy quits every two hours

Last year's free preview of Windows 7 will start nagging users to pay for the operating system in two weeks, and begin automatically shutting down PCs in one month, Microsoft reminded customers today.

Microsoft unveiled the schedule for Windows 7 Release Candidate's retirement in May 2009, when it issued the early look to the public.

At the time, it said Windows 7 RC would expire June 1, 2010. Before that date, however, users are to receive warnings of the impending end. Starting on Feb. 15, Windows 7 RC will display notices every few hours that the machine will periodically shut down beginning on March 1.

As of March 1, PCs running Windows 7 RC will automatically shut down every two hours. Those shutdowns will come without warning.

"To avoid any data loss, I suggest making plans to move to a released version of Windows 7 before the automatic shutdowns start [on March 1]," said Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc in an entry on the Windows 7 blog today. "During these shutdowns, your work will not be saved."

From March 1 to June 1, the automatic shutdowns will continue. On June 1, Windows 7 RC is tagged as "not genuine" -- Microsoft's term for counterfeit -- and boots to a solid black screen that shows a Windows Activation screen.

To make matters tougher for users still running the free version, Microsoft does not allow in-place upgrades from the RC to a paid copy. Instead, users must back up their data, do a clean install -- Microsoft calls it a "custom install" -- that erases the contents of the hard drive before it installs the operating system, then restore the backed-up data and reinstall all applications.

Microsoft has previously confirmed that customers can use the less-expensive upgrade editions of Windows 7 to migrate from the RC to a paying copy. Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade , for example, lists for US$110.99 on Amazon.com, a $69 savings over the $179.99 for Windows 7 Home Premium.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindows 7

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?