July 2, 2009

As some of you may or may not know, I dual-boot with Ubuntu on one partition and Windows 7 Beta on the other. I am usually using Ubuntu to do the most of my work but alas, at times I do need to use Windows for applications I use that will only run on Windows. If WINE would run these apps, I would be much happier but certain programs like, Photoshop CS3, Dreamweaver CS4 and the like, refuse to play nice with WINE or even an amazing program called Crossover.
Short & the long of it is, I need a Windows machine at times and I prefer speed over using a Virtual Machine.
So, imagine my disdain when I was reminded a few days ago that the Beta version of Windows 7 I was running was expiring on July 1st.
Well, July 1st has come and gone and thankfully the expiration hasn't done anything too drastic.
So far the changes are pretty benign; you get an annoying pop-pop that tells you ," This Beta version of Windows 7 will expire in '0' days. Please install any version of Windows 7 Ultimate', then after approx. two hours, the machine will shutdown trashing any unsaved work, messing with the registry, yadda-yadda-yadda.... From what I've read, the PC is only supposed to reboot every two hours but mine has been shutting down.
So this presented me with a problem; it tells you to "install any version of Windows 7 Ultimate...which won't be out until October.

So, I have a long-term [1 year] solution thanks to John Baker over at John Baker's Brit Blog. He points out that Microsoft is still offering free downloads to the Windows 7 RC [Release Candidate] version until August 15th!

What this means is that anyone with a Windows Live ID, [MSN, Live.com, Hotmail, etc.] can download the RC ISO, burn it to a disc and replace the beta version. The good news is that this version is good until June 1, 2010 which gives users like myself time to decide what to do.

Bad news is, if you already have a version of Windows 7 installed, you have to back up all of your data because the upgrade will perform a full format of your hard drive. This frustrates me to no end as Ubuntu, ever since I first installed it back in 2005, releases an upgrade, for free, every six months like clockwork.
When you perform the upgrade, you never have to back anything up as Ubuntu just works and makes sure all of your important data won't be destroyed.

Anyway, here are my options;

  1. Keep using Win7Beta & keep an eye on the clock so I know when it's going to shut down. [This isn't really viable as I hear that it will completely cease operation on August 15th.]
  2. Back up my 455+GB of data, then perform a full wipe while installing Win7RC.
  3. Giving the "finger" to MS and performing a complete install of Ubuntu 9.04 -Jaunty Jackalope knowing that my data will be safe.
Well, I'm more than likely going to go with number 2 as I have the means to do it and also due to the programs I mentioned above. [I know there are Open Source alternatives like GIMP and Kompozer but I'm very good with the Adobe products...plus...I actually paid for these apps instead of boot-legging them like some other "unsavory types." As a software developer, I realize that we "gots to get paid" so if software is meant to be purchased, I buy it rather than downloading keys or cracks. Now it the software is offered for free...then heck yeah I'll use the free option and if I like it, I'll donate a few bucks to the cause.

So if you're in the same boat as I am, or something similar and you were wondering, "WTF! Expired!? What do I do??."

Just head on over to Microsoft's Windows 7 Release Candidate page and follow the instructions to back up your data and install Win7RC over the Beta.

Also, I am indebted to John Baker's very informative article and without it, I would have been caught off guard, stuck & Googling from my Android device attempting to find a solution, so jump on over there after reading this and make sure I haven't missed anything. ;-)

He also has an article regarding the release dates of the Official Windows 7 versions including pricing and it's definitely worth the read.

So until next time, post any questions as a comment or send them on over as an email to qanda@Krubuntu.com and if we have or can find a solution/answer for you, we will not only send you the solution, but if it's a good question or solution ro a previous one, we will use it in an article!
Thanks for reading as well as you re support and watch soon for our series on Getting Android to run on an OLPC XO-1 Laptop! Should be interesting!


~Matthew Krum