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When the official release of Windows 8 comes out 10/26 (or soon thereafter), I will want to upgrade from the RC on my laptop.

I understand that I can't just upgrade in place; I have to do a full re-installation. Has anybody compiled a tutorial for how to do this? I assume I'll have to uninstall Windows-8 RC first?

If so, I know I need to do a backup of my personal files. Is it a case where the apps I've installed and my files might be lost, or that they definitely will be lost?

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You can do an in-place installation which means only your personal files will be saved. –  Ramhound Sep 21 '12 at 17:01
    
Are 3rd-party apps I've installed considered "personal files" in this context? –  B. Clay Shannon Sep 21 '12 at 17:14
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

According to this article:

Can I upgrade from one of the Windows 8 previews Microsoft has shipped this year?

Maybe.

In follow-up answers, Microsoft said that users running Windows 8 Release Preview -- the newer of the two sneak peeks, shipped on May 31 -- can upgrade using the Windows.com upgrade tool and pay the $40.

However, the only bits that are retained during that upgrade are personal data files. Other elements, including the applications, Windows settings and user accounts that migrate from Windows 7, do not.

So, for anyone running Windows 8 Release Candidate, the "upgrade" is only as effective as that from ... wait for it ... the 11-year-old Windows XP, which also keeps only personal files. Go figure.

Although Microsoft did not spell out what options are available to those who stuck with 2011's Developer Preview or the February 2012 Consumer Preview, our assumption is that such an upgrade won't be supported.

There is also an unsupported method to upgrade from the RP to Pro/Enterprise RTM:

  1. Extract the Windows 8 ISO or copy all files off the Windows 8 DVD to your HDD.

  2. Browse to the Sources folder and open the cversion.ini file.

  3. Find the entries shown below and change the values from 8508.0 to something lower, such as 7100.0:

    Editing Win8 cversion.ini

  4. Start the RTM installation process as usual and select the Upgrade option.

According to some sources, this unsupported method even lets you keep all your files and applications, but that's not something I can confirm ATM. In any case, it is always good to have an up-to-date backup of all your personal data on another physical drive before you attempt an OS upgrade/install.

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I'm willing to try this unsupported method, but what does step 4. mean? Is there a file named RTMInstall.exe or something on the Windows 8 DVD? –  B. Clay Shannon Sep 21 '12 at 16:04
    
It just refers to the normal installer/setup.exe or whatever it's called. Just launch the setup as you would normally do. Also, do post back with your results using this method, as I'd be interested in them as well. :) –  Karan Sep 21 '12 at 16:52
    
Okay, it won't be until 10/26 or soon thereafter, though. If I forget, you can contact me at b as in bee, clay as in matthews, shannon as in sharpe at att dot net. –  B. Clay Shannon Sep 21 '12 at 17:13
    
Thanks, will do, if I've not tried it myself before then. –  Karan Sep 21 '12 at 17:20
    
It won't be possible to try it PRIOR to 10/26, will it? –  B. Clay Shannon Sep 21 '12 at 18:00
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