How to Upgrade from a Testing Build to Final RTM Version of Windows?
NOTE: This tutorial will help you in upgrading from Windows 7, Windows 8 and later operating system's testing version (such as Preview version, Beta version or RC version) to final RTM version which is not possible by default.
UPDATE 2: Tutorial updated for Windows 8.1 RTM version.
UPDATE 1: Tutorial updated for Windows 8 RTM version.
Consider the following scenario:
- You try to upgrade from Windows 7 Beta or RC build to Windows 7 RTM version
- You try to upgrade from Windows 8 Developer Preview, Consumer Preview or Release Preview versions to Windows 8 RTM version
- You try to upgrade from Windows 8.1 Free Preview to Windows 8.1 RTM version
As soon as you run the setup installer, you get following error message:
Compatibility Report (saved to desktop)
You can't upgrade this prerelease version of Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 8.1. Go online to see how to install Windows and keep your files and settings.
It happens because Microsoft doesn't allow you to upgrade from a testing build of Windows to final RTM version. Its always advisable to perform a clean installation of final version of Windows as the previously installed testing build might contain bugs and issues which may cause problems in future if you directly upgrade the testing build of Windows to RTM version. So you should always do a fresh installation of final version of a new Windows edition.
But sometimes you might need to upgrade the testing build of Windows to final RTM version. You can't afford a clean installation. In such case, this tutorial will help you.
Although Microsoft doesn't allow upgrading of a testing build of Windows to RTM version but its possible to upgrade by modifying a text file "cversion.ini" present in Windows setup directory.
If you also want to upgrade your already installed testing build of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 to final RTM version, follow these simple steps:
1. First go to the folder containing the ISO file of RTM version of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. Now extract the ISO file using 7-Zip.
2. Open the extracted setup folder and again open "Sources" folder inside it and look for "cversion.ini" file.
3. Open the INI file in Notepad and you'll see 3 lines similar to following:
4. This INI file contains MinClient and MinServer values which are used by Windows setup. MinClient value tells the setup what should be the minimum build number of existing Windows build to be able to upgrade it to RTM version of Windows.
As you can see in the above image, the MinClient value is set to 7233 in Windows 7 RTM setup file but the RC build number of Windows 7 was 7100. That means the MinClient number in Windows 7 RTM setup is greater than the build number of Windows 7 testing build, that's why you are unable to upgrade from previous testing build to Windows 7 RTM version.
To successfully upgrade your Windows, you just need to change the MinClient number in the INI file to exact or less than the build number of previous testing build which you have in your system.
- For Windows 7 RTM upgrade, change MinClient value to 7000 in cversion.ini file
- For Windows 8 RTM upgrade, change MinClient value to 7100 in cversion.ini file
- For Windows 8.1 RTM upgrade, change MinClient value to 9431 in cversion.ini file
5. That's it. Save the file and run the setup.exe file again. Now it'll allow you to upgrade from testing builds of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 to final RTM version.
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