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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftWindows 7

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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?