Upgrade Windows 7 RC to RTM

So you decided to try out Windows 7’s Release Candidate and you’re already dreading the day it expires and you have to format your computer and start fresh.  You were probably disappointed to hear that you couldn’t upgrade your Release Candidate to the full Windows 7 version once it came out.  Thankfully, you were being lied to.

All Is Not Lost

There is only one thing stopping you from upgrading to the Release to Manufacturer version of Windows 7, and it is a mere text file. That’s right, you won’t need to bust ouf the hex editor or download any cracks to get this working.

Start off by extracting your ISO to a folder. Once that is done go into the sources folder and look for a file named cversion.ini. Open up this file and you should see the following:


Now edit the value for MinClient so that it is slightly less than what build you are currently running. You can determine your build number by looking at the bottom right corner of your desktop. So for example if you are running build 7100 you could set this to 7000.0 or lower. I have not tried this upgrade procedure with the earier Beta builds but as far as I am aware it will work as well. Unfortunately I was not aware of this method several weeks ago when I moved from Beta 2 to the Release Candidate.

After editing the file, simply save it then either burn it to a DVD, or run setup.exe right from the folder to begin your upgrade process. If all goes well, you should be greeted with the following screen:


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14 Responses to “Upgrade Windows 7 RC to RTM”

  1. Travis Dunn says:

    Nice post. I’m persuaded and optimistic, and will be crossing my fingers for a weekend upgrade. Cheers!

  2. Doug says:

    I couldn’t wait to get a legitimate copy so I have a ‘fake’ RTM version running now. Is this possible to use your method to convert it back to the legit one?

  3. FettesPS says:

    @Doug – I have no idea, what do you mean by “fake” RTM? Assuming it has the same build number as the actual RTM I would think that upgrading would not work. If you simply mean you used a pirated key with the intention of purchasing a key when it comes out in stores then you’d probably have to change that with a utility or registry change like in previous versions of Windows.

  4. Abdujalil says:


    I tried your article, but I’m confising because I receive the following error:

    Windows 7 Ultimate cannot be upgraded to Windows 7 Enterprise. You can choose to install a new copy of Windows 7 Enterprise instead, but this is different from an upgrade, and does not keep your files, settings, and programs. You’ll need to reinstall any programs using the original installation discs or files. To save your files before installing Windows, back them up to an external location such as a CD, DVD, or external hard drive. To install a new copy of Windows 7 Enterprise, click the Back button in the upper left-hand corner, and select “Custom (advanced)”.

    I have Windows 7 RC Version 7100

  5. FettesPS says:

    @Abdujalil – Makes sense. You’re trying to upgrade it to a different version of Windows, the RC was a build of Windows 7 Ultimate and you are trying to upgrade it to a build of Windows 7 Enterprise, which has less functionality than Ultimate does. So try and locate Windows 7 Ultimate and upgrade using that, if not you’ll have to wipe and do a fresh install.

  6. Thomas Becks says:

    I have the “full version” straight from MS, windows 7 ultimate. Am currently running build 7100 of the release candidate and want to upgrade, can this be done?


  7. FettesPS says:

    @Thomas – Yup, just follow the guide 😀

  8. Nick says:

    When the article states to edit the value for MinClient, it uses an example where if you are running build 7100 you could set this to 7000.0 or lower. Is it just coincidence that the MinServer value which is also stored in the cversion.ini file happens to be 7100?

    My bottom line question is does the article really mean to change the value of the MinServer attribute, or is it correct when it states to change the MinClient attribute?

  9. FettesPS says:

    @Nick – Yes this is coincidence, you can safely ignore what is in the MinServer field.

  10. roger says:

    I have windows 7 ultimate build 7100. After Editing text file do i use the windows 7 Ultimate Key to Install the edited software ? Please advice

  11. Geno754 says:

    completed the above changed the file to 6900.0 and proceeded with the upgrade on my vista computer all works fine except how do I verify that the install is now RTM the bottom right still says evaluation copy build 7100. I registered the software but no evidence to verify a RTM copy.

  12. FettesPS says:

    @Geno754 – If you were just upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 then that is completely different than what this article detailed. This article covers upgrading from a release candidate of Window to the “Release to Manufacturer” version of Windows 7. The RTM is build 7600, if you are only seeing 7100 then you are not running the RTM.

  13. FredrickJ says:

    Hi. I have gotten windows 7 ultimate and i want to do a clean install from RC to ultimate and i have most of my files saved on additional hardrives, with the exception of my old windows files. I have a question though it may be common sense: Will any of my files in the other addition hardrives (E:,D:) get deleted if i do a custom install and wipe out everything? I know when i had upgraded originally, nothing got deleted from the two drives (but that i believe i installed under the “upgrade” option) just everything i had in the C drive got moved to the “Windows Old” file, i’m just wondering if they would get deleted even though they didn’t in the original beta.

  14. Deepak says:

    Thanks! it’s really helpful but i want to know is any software is there for converting rc to rtm as my internet connection is slow.

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