back to article Wanna upgrade from Windows 7 beta? Go back to Vista first

Microsoft is asking Windows 7 beta testers to remove the program and return their computers to Vista, before upgrading to the forthcoming release candidate of the firm’s latest operating system. The near-ready version of Windows 7 is expected to land next month. However, Microsoft has admitted the path to the RC isn’t going to …

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Anonymous Coward

Minimum spec for 7?

Windows 7 seems to be THE hot toy to play with this year, and I keep reading about the world and his wife installing it onto everything, including Vista-shy netbooks, and raving about it.

So is this thing capable for boxes that aren't usable with Vista (like for instance my 4-year-old PC)?

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Anonymous Coward

Fair enough

As pointed out by MS, upgrading from Beta to RC proves nothing in normal circumstances. The point of RC is to test "real world" scenarios.

However... there's a huge argument to suggest that in the "real world" there are plenty of people who are using Win7 in a "real" scenario who would be looking to upgrade to the final version. I'd imagine there were minimal numbers in this situation for XP or Vista.

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Joke

Upgrade...

'“The reality is that upgrading from one pre-release build to another is not a scenario we want to focus on because it is not something real-world customers will experience,” it said.'

Really? I thought that was the process for Vista to Windows 7...

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What shall we give as a reason?

“getting breadth coverage to validate the product in real-world scenarios"

Yeah, that sounds ridiculous and perplexing enough that people won't question it, go with that.

I LOVE the smell of horseshit in the morning!

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Gates Horns

If millions are using Windows 7 full time..

Then surely moving to the RC is an upgrade path that they want to test.

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Meh

So what? It is a beta after all.

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Priorities

It's nothing to cry about. Why bother spending all that time building and testing an upgrade path from a Beta product.

Lets not lose sight of what Beta is. The only reason this is a problem is because 7 has proven to be a great product and the uptake of the Beta is so high.

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N

Typical Microbollox

I binned it weeks ago as its a POS but I how hard can it be to just issue another key?

Why is it that these toss pots have to make the simplest of exercises as difficult as possible?

But, "Were Microsoft the almighty - you the customer? youre worthless" - is the message I get

So "Fuck off" is my reply.

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Dead Vulture

_WANT_TO_

"Wanna"? Use proper English, damn your eyes!

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Stop

NEVER!

It is never a good idea to upgrade install an OS. NEVER NEVER NEVER!

I'll be doing a fresh install with the RC and a fresh install with the RTM anyone who doesn't is asking for trouble.

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Anonymous Coward

@ AC 11.58

One of my test bed machines here is a P4 2.8 w/ 1GB RAM & Intel GMA graphics, thought I'd chuck 7 on there to see how it handled it. Not exactly amazing (and I've had to turn the Aero etc off, as you'd expect, but I hate that pointless crap anyway) but certainly runs faster than Vista on the identical machine sitting next to it.

Not sure what they did to optimise the code but it's certainly faster and tighter than Vista.

If only they'd let me have the Windows 2000 appearance & Start menu etc like they do in Vista but not in 7, I'd upgrade all my machines when it comes out. Not sure whether I can cope with that horrendous menu though.

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Thumb Up

64 bit...

...it took ages to get Vista 64 drivers for some of my hardware. I wonder if Windows 7 can use Vista64 drivers (as it undoubtedly contains 99% of its' code)... otherwise I'll have another long wait for hardware support.

The beta was an interesting experience, too. MSN locked the whole system up :D Other than that, though, it was a fast and decent system. I'm even considering being an early adopter for once :)

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Still looks like 6.1...

It still looks like the 7 moniker is more marketing hype than reality...

Nothing I've seen so far suggests it's a completely new build as opposed to extensively tweaking the existing OS (Vista)...

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@ mittfh

Well, yeah. Who cares about the semantics if we're getting a better OS? Which we are, even the beta version shits on Vista SP1 from a great height. They also did the same thing with 2000/XP, if you recall...

@ Paul, I'm only using the 32 bit version but where I've had to look for drivers the Vista ones have all worked, I'd expect the same to be true of 64 bit as it is on the same kernel.

I had a couple of really weird problems installing it as a dual boot on one of my machines - it borked remote desktop and the ability to synchronise to internet time on the XP boot although it was on a separate partition (albeit the same physical disk). Recovered my XP partition from the backup image after I'd installed 7, and then it all worked perfectly. Strange...!

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This post has been deleted by its author

Stop

RE: Typical Microbollox

RTFBP

The reason that the upgrade from Windows 7 Beta to RC is blocked is because a) Microsoft wants to test upgrades from previous Windows versions, as this is what is most likely to happen when RTM is released and b) there are certain known issues that occur when doing a build-to-build upgrade, and it's not worth fixing these because most people wont be doing this when RTM is released.

It's nothing to do with "just issuing a new key". Entering a new key doesn't magically upgrade the software.

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Gold badge
Gates Halo

You get what you pay for

In this case, if you are running a BETA system (that was given to you for evaluation purposes only) full-time, you deserve what you get. Are these same freeloaders going to kick up a shit when the evaluation period expires and they have no OS at all? Probably.

Tossers.

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Alert

A little Unfair

Just to make sure I wasn't being not paying attention, I went back and counted. The article mentioned downgraded to vista at least 5 times (including the title). And only once mentioned that you can also simply do a clean install, which is what I would imagine the majority of users would do.

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Joke

That's a load of balls

I've been updating from one Windows 7 build to the next for the last 6 months. And as I type this, my other machine is updating to the possible RC build; from a previous post-beta build, and guess what - it's happy as larry doing it!

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Jobs Halo

re Never

"It is never a good idea to upgrade install an OS. NEVER NEVER NEVER!

I'll be doing a fresh install with the RC and a fresh install with the RTM anyone who doesn't is asking for trouble."

Interesting. I've simply done an upgrade install on my various Macs ever since I've had Macs... since 1984. Never had a problem. Not even once. That method is Apple's recommended method for doing an OS upgrade and has been for, well, years, decades even.

Is Mickeysoft quality really that bad?

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@Ken Hagan

"In this case, if you are running a BETA system (that was given to you for evaluation purposes only) full-time, you deserve what you get."

Umm, surely it's in Microsoft's best interests for as many people as possible to be running the beta as often as possible in scenarios that most closely match the way the release version would be used? And what better way to achieve that match than to simply use the beta full-time as your primary OS...

Also, suggesting that they're just a bunch of freeloaders is rather unfair, since they're worried about the upgrade path from the beta to the full version which rather implies that they WANT to switch to the full version once its available. Of course, maybe they all just want to be able to switch to a hookey copy of the full version, but suggesting that would be equally unfair, and considering how many of them seem to have been having a bloody good experience with the beta, I suspect more than a few of them would find the idea of paying for a legit copy a lot easier to swallow than if they'd never been able to give the beta such a thorough extended workout.

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Alert

RE: Minimum Spec & Re: NEVER

Re: Minimum Spec:

Lets just say, If you have XP Pro working perfectly, Windows 7 should too.

It is MILES better than how Vista handeled.

Give it a try.

I tried it in a VM and noticed the difference straight away.

RE: Never.

I upgraded from Vista to Win7BETA and experience no problems.

At all.

I'll be doing the same to the RC.

Dank je wel :)

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Stop

re re Never

@ James. So, how are you getting on with watching that blu-ray movie? What, you mean Apple still doesn't support it? Odd, I've had it working from day one under Vista.

As for Apple's "quality"; what would you like to discuss? Exploding laptops, cracked cases, dud displays or endless reboot sequences?

Or the fact that you have to pay for every minor incremental update to OSX?

I'm sorry if that seems a bit harsh. I'm not anti-Apple, it's just that you need to realise that all products have some problems; yours included.

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Silver badge

@David Simpson

"It is never a good idea to upgrade install an OS. NEVER NEVER NEVER!"

I installed Slackware 11.0 on this machine back in October of 2006, and have been in sync with -current ever since. Now I'm running 12.2 -current ... and fully expect that when PV releases 13.0, I will already be running it. Likewise 14.0, etc.

Microsoft, with all it's engineering brain power, can't do what a single dude can.

Just food for thought.

Side note: This isn't a production, or "work" machine ... it's the one in the office that any guest to our facility can use to check email, brows the web, view videos, etc.

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Jobs Halo

re ac

"@ James. So, how are you getting on with watching that blu-ray movie? What, you mean Apple still doesn't support it? Odd, I've had it working from day one under Vista.

As for Apple's "quality"; what would you like to discuss? Exploding laptops, cracked cases, dud displays or endless reboot sequences?

Or the fact that you have to pay for every minor incremental update to OSX?

I'm sorry if that seems a bit harsh. I'm not anti-Apple, it's just that you need to realise that all products have some problems; yours included."

if you really have that much confidence in Mickeysoft, why can't you actually use your name?

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Testing... testing...

Windows 7 is in testing stage. What use is it to MS if testers test upgrading from W7 beta to W7 RC1?

Microsoft want clean installs or upgrades from existing OSes. I would have thought that most testers would want to see how Windows 7 RC1 installs from scratch, as this is what they'll be doing in the real world once W7 is complete.

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Flame

@AC

> Or the fact that you have to pay for every minor incremental update to OSX?

If you have 10.4, 10.4.1 to 10.4.11 is free. If you have 10.5, 10.5.1 to 10.5.6+ is free. There's significant changes in terms of added API and functionality between 10.3 and 10.4 and between 10.4 and 10.5.

Do you really need random renaming to know the difference? Should Apple rename 10.6 as Mac OS OMGWTF the same way WinNT 5.1 was called XP, and WinNT 5.2 was called Windows Server 2003? Does the product name really determine what's a major and what's a minor upgrade?

Back to topic, the OS is beta, and bugs that are fixed by the time of GM could have caused inconsistencies in the registry. Fixing the registry isn't as easy as replacing dlls, so the advice to nuke it from orbit and start over makes sense. I think the registry itself is a hideous design flaw, but it's not some vast conspiracy here. Reinstall the OS, get a fresh registry, and move on.

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Upgrading installs

Never was and still hasn't been a problem on my now almost 3 year old box running Ubuntu.

It takes a while, because there's often a lot of stuff that needs to be updated and such, but my installed programs never suffered, I never had any data loss (Even if I had, I keep back-ups of important stuff anyways, don't you?).

As for paying for incremental updates... Win2k to win XP or win2k3 server would count as a 'minor' incremental update by your definition. Same for Vista to win2k8 server or Windows 7.

Apple is actaully up at OS XV or such, they just don't want to make the number even bigger.

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Minimum Spec

Is officially 1ghz CPU + 1gb ram + GPU with 128mb onboard

I installed it on an old PIII rig with that spec which btw runs XP just fine

but

Windows 7 + above hardware = runs like a wounded pig

Hmmm... Deja Vue, Vista, I mean Seven ready...

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Thumb Up

minimum spec...

ive had the beta running on my 'netbook/umpc' since its release and a dell USFF both run very well and not noticably slower than XP...

the UMPC is a Flash based Sony UX1XN - core solo 1.33, 1gb ram and intel 950 graphics... fine and full aero, incredibly fast boot! off to desktop in 40seconds. battery runtime is a bit longer than vista business which it shipped with

the Dell is a P4 2.4ht with 2gb ram intel 845 graphics and 4200rpm 2.5" hard drive... originally shipped with XP... Win 7 is lovely, but no aero support...

both machines will have a format and reinstall with the RC... :) win7, stable thopugh it is, is still just a Beta, for testing only!! :)

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Random having a pop at Apple...

...as others have pointed out above, it's not exactly paying for minor increments now is it.

Leopard (10.5) gave us a lot of new features over Tiger (10.4) but the point releases (10.4.1, 10.4.2 etc) didn't bring out a huge amount... but then again I guess the major changes between XP and Vista that cost £300 at release are ok - when in reality i don't see a whole lot of change except a greater desire for resources....

As for the other Apple issues raised, sure they don't sell as many, but you're talking major minorities there... see the figures, Apple consistently come out on top of the reliability AND desirability stakes - surely a more accurate angle to examine? All PC's have issues with the batteries etc as as people continue to bleat on about, they use the same parts these days...

Anyway - back to the original comments.... The Win 7 Beta did explicitly state that at the end of the Beta period you would need to reinstall... plus it's software they've given free. What's the issue here!?!

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@ Paul Delaney

Expecting it to actually run on that spec is probably a bit optimistic though! Remember that at the time the P3 was released, we were all using Windows 98 (shudders at the thought of those days); there's been a fair few Windows releases since then...*

I agree the minimum (MS quoted) spec is not good enough as always, but from my tests on quite a variety of machines it will definitely run happily on a lower spec than Vista. I probably won't chuck it on anything earlier than a P4, but I don't really have any front line machines older/slower than that anyway.

It will take a lot to tear me away from XP as it's rock solid when I set it up as I like it, but it is getting old and unable to use the latest hardware to its full capabilities, so I'm going to have to upgrade sometime. Vista was too much of a resource hog for me but I think I will be purchasing quite a few copies of 7 quite soon after it comes out (and it's rare for me to be an early adopter). My main reservation is still the abject lack of classic view for those of us who view our computers as a tool rather than a pretty multimedia experience that wants to make friends with us!

*I believe it's somewhat frowned upon to mention the name of Windows 98's successor in polite conversation, so I've omitted it to save everyone having horrible flashbacks and panic attacks.

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Bronze badge

For the record

James, that's because you've only got 6 applications on your Apple Macintosh.

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Anonymous Coward

Bahhhh Humbug

After having gotten a bagle worm / rootkit / trojan "thing" all in the one go, and seeing just how easialy MS's douchbag windows defender, the security updates and patches, and safe boot and system restore - were knocked out - like a cockroach under a Sunday news paper.

Never mind all the other security products that were turned off too......

If they are such a wonderfully innovative company - how come they are not fixing this stuff up - which has been such a huge pain in the ass for so many consumers, for such a long time.......

Or rephrased - if they can't make the effort to get this crapware fixed and secure, then what is going to change next time around?

NOTHING.

MIcrosoft has already been phased out on all my PC's - and Linux is improving in leaps and bounds.

Why? - Because Microsoft is not worth shit.

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@Sam York

"Remember that at the time the P3 was released, we were all using Windows 98"

Not all of us, Kemosabee. In early 1999 I was running Slackware 4.0 ... The wife was running NT 4.0 ... The home servers were mostly SunOS 5.7 (Solaris 7) on 64bit UltraSPARC, with BSD for reliable backup of the Solaris stuff, which I was testing. I *think* I still had a PowerPC running Solaris back then, too ... That box ran SunOS 5.5.1 (Solaris 2.5.1), if I remember correctly, and was my Usenet server for a couple years.

There were others. None ran Win9x for more than a week or three.

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Gates Halo

RE:James O'Shea

"Interesting. I've simply done an upgrade install on my various Macs ever since I've had Macs... since 1984. Never had a problem. Not even once. That method is Apple's recommended method for doing an OS upgrade and has been for, well, years, decades even.

Is Mickeysoft quality really that bad?"

One thing apple fan bois like to forget is that with a Mac, apple controls more or less the whole eco system of hardware and OS. With Windows, Microsoft have to cope with almost limitless combinations of system hardware, while migrating from one version to another does work, it's not always the slickest of systems going forward. It works, it's just not optimal.

James's Apple fan boi comments aside, a clean install of any OS gets rid of traces of naughty programmes that don't uninstall properly and generally give you that new system sparkle, every time there is an article on EL Reg about this they give the impression you have to reformat your drive to do it and it's a major issue. When in fact it's a minor inconvenience. In this case moving from a free beta or free RC, it’s not too much to ask to do a fresh install, let’s face it if you’re not in any way technical a pre release OS isn’t for you. Microsoft make this quite clear when you sign up for the beta product key.

I run the beta of Windows 7 and personally I’m looking forward to a nice fresh install of the RC that will fix the very few bugs I have come across with the beta.

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