Download Windows 7 RC

Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) is now available for download. This is a pre-release version of Windows 7 and is made available for free download until 30 July 2009.

Windows 7 RC is a full-featured edition, similar to Windows Vista Ultimate. It is available for free download and once installed, it will automatically send information to Microsoft engineers, to help them check the fixes and changes they made based on their beta tests. As a user of windows 7 RC, you will get to know the complete features of windows 7!

What problems might occur on windows 7 RC?

Windows 7 RC is a fully tested version. But you might still face a few problems like the following.

  • Software might not install or work correctly, including anti-virus or security programs
  • Printers, video cards or other hardware might not work properly
  • Might face problems in accessing corporate or home networks
  • Files might get corrupted

Though windows 7 RC is a pre-release candidate, Microsoft does not provide technical support for it and the computer may crash, leading to data loss, as it is not yet the final product.Hence it is advisable to download and test windows 7 RC, only if you are a reasonably experienced PC user who knows how to back up the computer, format a hard drive, burn an ISO file to DVD, and install an operating system from scratch. You should also be comfortable in troubleshooting problems on your own.

It is also better if you backup all your data before you install windows 7 RC.It is even better to test it on a spare PC and not on your primary home or business PC.

How to upgrade to Windows 7 RC from Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 beta?

If you are already running the Windows 7 Beta or windows XP, you’ll need to back up your data (preferably to an external device) and then do a clean installation of the Windows 7 Release Candidate. After installing Windows 7, you will need to reinstall applications and restore your files. However if you’re running Windows Vista, you can install Window 7 RC without the need to back up and reinstall your programs and data. But don’t take any chances and take a proper back up.

You will also do well to remember that if you want to upgrade to Windows 7 later on, you need to do a fresh, clean install.

System Requirements for Windows 7 RC:

  • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB RAM (32-bit) / 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Free download 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows 7 RC in English, German, Japanese, French, or Spanish from here.Note that windows 7 RC will expire June 1, 2010, and the bi-hourly shutdowns will begin on March 1, 2010. Download and experience Windows 7 RC until then!

Update: Windows 7 RC is no longer available for free download and you can instead find how to get windows 7 for free or download windows 7 Enterprise free trial.

Note: You can upgrade from Vista x86 to windows 7 x86 ONLY and from Vista x64 to windows 7 x64 ONLY. x86 to x64 is not possible and you must do a clean install.

All computers bought today (mostly with a processor newer than Pentium 4) support the x64 architecture. This architecture has several benefits over the x86 one, including the capability of using more than 4 GB of RAM. The other notable benefit is better performance for x64 applications (XP Mode will greatly benefit from newer x64 processors). If you are unsure what version to get, please get the x86 one as both x86 and x64 processors support it.

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