Fool the Windows 8 RTM into upgrading the Release Preview

Microsoft had already announced that there would be no upgrade path from the Release Preview to the RTM version of Windows 8, and for whatever reason you'd still want to be able to do this, it appears it's now possible with an easy (unsupported) workaround.

A blogger over on the Knowledge Exchange going by the name of "Mrdenny" posted the details on how to fool the RTM to allow the upgrading of the Release Preview and earlier versions of Windows 8 as far back as the Developer Preview. This trick should work on any version of a test Windows 8 build anyway.

Simply find the n:\sources\cversion.ini file on the media and open it with notepad. Change the two numbers from 8508 to 7100 save and close the file.

Of course, in order to do this you'll have to extract the RTM ISO file to disk and make the change to cversion.ini and then install locally, which is pretty normal for an upgrade anyway.

Just know it isn't supported, and as Mrdenny points out, it's not thoroughly tested if this actually upgrades all the bits properly.

The same trick could be applied to Windows 7 when it was released back in 2009.

Source & Image: Knowledge Exchange via DBA Star

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20 Comments

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FoxieFoxie said,
Does it mean that I can install w8 RP and upgrade to RTM for $40?

I think the preview versions all use the same key so it's likely that key won't be recognized as a qualifying license.

Do this and watch as the potential problems pop up 2 months, 6 months or even a year from now. A lot of persons did this with Windows 7 and they end up having to do a clean install anyway. Service Pack 1 had some problems or it was that particular Windows Update that refused to install. Windows 8 RTM does a safe enough job by keeping your personal files, use that and just reinstall the apps and drivers.

Mr. Dee said,
Do this and watch as the potential problems pop up 2 months, 6 months or even a year from now. A lot of persons did this with Windows 7 and they end up having to do a clean install anyway. Service Pack 1 had some problems or it was that particular Windows Update that refused to install. Windows 8 RTM does a safe enough job by keeping your personal files, use that and just reinstall the apps and drivers.

Doing the 'supported' clean install or restore previous OS image and upgrade is always the best course.

However, the down the road problems are more of a boogie man, than real issues. We do have test systems that were loaded with Win7 Beta and were moved to Win7 RTM, SP1, and on to Win8 CP, Win8 RP, and Win8 RTM, and have no errant issues or problems. Often the success of these types of Frankenstein upgrades have more to do with 3rd party software/drivers and how they handle the changes.

I understand the allure of doing a clean install. However, I have too much stuff set up and too many apps and too much work to do to take the time to install everything all over again. Upgrade it is. The upgrade from Win7 to Win8 RTM was actually very clean, no issues so far.

The thing is, you aren't going to get any pity for this. Everyone and their grandmother tells you not to use the DP/CP/RP in a "production environment" or on your primary machine. That is to say, if you're so deeply committed to your install of a pre-release version of the OS, it's your own grief, and nothing anyone owes you any support for.

If, of course, you acknowledge that, rock on. Just keep in mind, if your RTM install of Windows 8 is buggy or quirky, don't knee-jerk to blame Microsoft for it until you thoroughly research the bugs/quirks--you may be solely responsible for them.

As it stands right now, I currently have 3 separate installations of Windows 8 on this computer.
The RTM of Windows 8 Enterprise I'm using now has replaced my previous Windows 7 setup,
while the Release Preview and Consumer Preview are both still sitting in their own partitions
on my secondary hard drive ... not got around to getting rid of them yet!

I'll give this workaround a go on one of them (and blitz the other one) later today . . .

I always go for fresh installs, but this time around, I'm gonna risk it for a biscuit. What's the worst that can happen?

(famous last words) lol

DARKFiB3R said,
I always go for fresh installs, but this time around, I'm gonna risk it for a biscuit. What's the worst that can happen?

(famous last words) lol

Last time when people tried this trick to "upgrade" 尚WCP仁WRP, they found totally messed-up metro apps and app-store, good luck.

FaiKee said,
Last time when people tried this trick to "upgrade" 尚WCP仁WRP, they found totally messed-up metro apps and app-store, good luck.

I will report back. I'm in the middle of moving house right now though, so it won't be until next week, when this news post will be long forgotten.

I'll probably start a thread about it on the forum, or add to one if it's already being discussed over there.

DARKFiB3R said,

I will report back. I'm in the middle of moving house right now though, so it won't be until next week, when this news post will be long forgotten.

I'll probably start a thread about it on the forum, or add to one if it's already being discussed over there.

OK, tks.

im not a massive fan of performing offical rtm to rtm upgrades on OS's (i.e. Vista to Win7 and Win7 to Win8), i would always recommend performing a fresh install, as weird problems always seem to pop up a week / month later on upgrades.

REM2000 said,
im not a massive fan of performing offical rtm to rtm upgrades on OS's (i.e. Vista to Win7 and Win7 to Win8), i would always recommend performing a fresh install, as weird problems always seem to pop up a week / month later on upgrades.

In just OS RTM to OS RTM upgrades, there isn't going to be any issues.

What creates issues is third party software when there are virtualization or driver issues that don't adapt to the differences.

The majority of people will not see these issues, as it is weird 3rd party software that is not compensated for by the OS upgrade or weird hardware that weird drivers are not compensated for and replaced by the OS upgrade.

If people know what they are doing and have the time, go for a clean install. However, if you don't fully know what you are doing or don't have the time, try the upgrade and only if you notice the OS or any software acting strange, then move on to a clean install. The majority of users will not have issues with RTM to RTM upgrades.

(We have test systems that are running on images that started out as Win98 to WinXP to Vista to Win7 to Win8 and are rock solid.)

** The trick listed in the article should only be used by people that need a quick fix upgrade, and plan on doing a clean install later on unless they have specific licensing consumption issues they need to avoid with a new install.

thenetavenger said,

In just OS RTM to OS RTM upgrades, there isn't going to be any issues.

What creates issues is third party software when there are virtualization or driver issues that don't adapt to the differences.

The majority of people will not see these issues, as it is weird 3rd party software that is not compensated for by the OS upgrade or weird hardware that weird drivers are not compensated for and replaced by the OS upgrade.

If people know what they are doing and have the time, go for a clean install. However, if you don't fully know what you are doing or don't have the time, try the upgrade and only if you notice the OS or any software acting strange, then move on to a clean install. The majority of users will not have issues with RTM to RTM upgrades.

(We have test systems that are running on images that started out as Win98 to WinXP to Vista to Win7 to Win8 and are rock solid.)

** The trick listed in the article should only be used by people that need a quick fix upgrade, and plan on doing a clean install later on unless they have specific licensing consumption issues they need to avoid with a new install.

OS to OS upgrades always leaves a lot of crap behind and it's true that there could be unique issues. I've always sweared that if you are going to install a new OS, do a clean install.

Even though it's a good work around, why go through extra pains after install is complete to see everything is working properly instead of doing a clean format?

I wouldn't recommend doing this though. I would rather install RTM clean and not deal with any issues potentially carried over from an RP upgrade.

Yeah it's probably easier to clean install and then install the apps again. It would probably take the same amount of time as an upgrade anyway.