Windows 8 Any chance that Release Candidate can be installed as an upgrade?


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
May 25, 2009
Ada Michigan

I'll do it but I hate the thought of starting all over and having to install all of my software again.
It was a real job getting everything up and running in Windows 8 CP.

All of my Adobe stuff some of which required installing older Adobe stuff first so that I could install the upgrade, all my games etc.

Interesting you ask. I have seen some speculation that it may indeed be possible to upgrade from a previous preview to a more recent preview, but it is just speculation since Microsoft doesn't seem to do much commenting on such things.
I would imagine there will be some clever work arounds (read hacks) like the cversion.ini minClient that was possible in Windows 7.
But, as I'm sure you already well know a custom clean install is always generally considered the preferred approach to an OS install. Granted, it's a pain, but the only real way to know with any degree of certainty that what you are seeing in the way of general performance and overall behavior is not in some way impacted by or inherited from a previous version of the OS.
I will definitely give it a go as soon as I can get my hands on the RP on my laptop which has a pretty plain vanilla install with just the OS, Office and a couple other programs. So a botched upgrade install won't really have much impact on that machine. I'll let you know one way or the other as soon as I know.

EDIT: From the horse's mouth. Seems they support "Migrating" or at least have in the past, which supports keeping your user accounts and files, but not programs.
Can I upgrade from previous versions of Windows to Windows 8 Consumer Preview?
Yes, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Consumer Preview from Windows Developer Preview, Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, but you might not be able to keep all of your files, programs, and settings. The following table shows what you can keep during an upgrade depending on the current version of Windows running on your PC:
Current operating systemWhat you can keep
Windows Developer Preview
  • User accounts and files
Windows 7
  • Programs
  • Windows settings
  • User accounts and files
Windows Vista
  • Windows settings
  • User accounts and files
Windows XP

  • User accounts and files

SOURCE: Windows 8 Consumer Preview: frequently asked questions
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HI Randy

The problem for me is that I have been using nothing but Windows 8 for months.
I have everything I'm doing in it now, from Adobe Premier to the Secret World Beta.

Starting all over again is going to be a pain, in fact the first thing I would need to do is get some of the stuff I don't have in Windows 7, working there just in case I have problems. So that I have something to fall back on.

Non of the software I have installed for Windows 8 is on the same partition that Windows 8 is on so some of it will probably run, or retain setting after a new install.

To quote the former Prez...... I feel your pain.
I am in exactly the same boat with the only possible exception being that when I made the commitment to make Windows 8 my only OS, I physically removed my Windows 7 hard drive from my computer and put it in a drawer. So I do already have a decent fall back position, I would just need to catch up my .pst for Outlook and a few items in my Downloads directory both of which I could grab from my current Acronis .tib file before doing anything drastic.
As someone else has already remarked, it's the price we pay when we decide we're going to be serious about this whole beta testing idea.
You are correct for the most part, once you perform a reinstall and get all the appropriate registry entries where they need to be for your installed programs, they will likely work without issue.
My problem is that I have a couple which required a bit of finagling to get them to work at all in Windows 8, hopefully I'll remember what I had to do.
That's my problem!

I got this all working but I don't remember how I did some of it.
And the things that are an update are a pain, I'm hoping that since the installs are still there it will see them and go ahead.

I have hav'nt used it for a loong time, but you could try "Easy Transfer"?
Short answer to the original query is, NO. RP must be installed as a clean install, there is no upgrade path available. Back-up all data to be ready for the transition. Dual-boot scenarios, where there is, also, a separate Data Drive are the most ideal. Have everything on the Win8 CP backed-up on the Data Drive. Install the RP & pull everything back, again, from the Data Drive. Software/programs will have to be reloaded.

Running a Beta OS as one's only OS & on one's only computer is not what ought to be done. If, for no other reason (& there, certainly are others) Betas expire. But, also, cus, cannot use upgrade paths.


Well I have all my software installed in Windows 7 and my data and Windows 8 programs are on a separate drive all together.

My paying projects (I'm in the middle of a menu for a restaurant chain) can be opened from either Windows 7 in Indesign, or in Windows 8 in a separate Indesign installation. It doesn't really matter which I use, the data in on my data drive. But that should be done before the transition anyway.

The biggest problem is probably going to be games, I'll have to make sure the back up all my saves for Skyrim, and I have 2 betas for Secret World, both the open and the closed beta.

But I think the game is going live about the same time that Windows 8 RC comes out so that will take care of it'self.
If I'm going to keep playing I'll have to reinstall it anyway.

It's all the little stuff, will the new Windows 8 have the traditional games in it?
Or will I have to go through all that again?

Well we'll find out soon.

I never made a backup of Windows 8, as I have with Windows 7 using Acronis, maybe I will when I get RC installed.

Hi Mike,
I would thing it will work. By mistake I installed Windows 8 CP over Windows 7 on my laptop. It worked like a charm except for minor problems with Adobe Flash and IE10. Like most of us, I don't remember the changes and twicks I made to Win 8 so I do hope the RC version will just install as an update. Contrary to all the whiners and negative postings I really like Win 8 and find it easy to navigate with. I rarely miss the start button. I do wish I had a touch screen. Maybe for Christmas.

Ok, 1st of all, I guess what y'all are calling "RC", you, actually, are meaning RP (Release Preview) or what I will call Win8 Beta2, CP being Beta1. RP will be released in a couple of days.

There is NO upgrade path available. Only clean install.

Yep, they sure did, lol. & last time there were several Builds (betas) that we, as beta-testers had, were given, knew about that the 'public' didn't get or knew of them. Anyway, this time it's Developer Preview, Consumer Preview (Beta1), Release Preview (Beta2). The RP will be very close (similar) to the GA. I expect there will, still, be a RTM just before the GA release. There is NO upgrade path between any of these. Clean ("Custom") installs, only.

As has been said.....
Read this Windows 8 Release Preview: frequently asked questions Click the link that says "Can I upgrade from previous version of Windows to Windows 8 Release Preview"
Unless it is something that you have just got to try for some reason or another, I really don't see any burning need to go through the pain of reinstalling all your apps yet again, unless you feel you need the practice.
With the RTM (Release to Manufacturers) due in August (some people are saying as early as July) and the Retail likely to be on the shelves by October, nothing I see in the Release Preview is really going to blow your skirt up.
"nothing I see in the Release Preview is really going to blow your skirt up. "
Have to agree with that, Trouble. I have been browsing it for a few hours now. A few more features to explore, but basically, no mind blowing differences from the previous release.
I can see, already though, that the lads are making some very overexcited comments about it on the forums!!


I can see, already though, that the lads are making some very overexcited comments about it on the forums!!"
That was bound to happen. And in addition I seem to be having an enormous amount of trouble with Skype with this new Release Preview. Which is a program I rely on heavily
For myself, Skype works just fine, even, in the RP, same as it did in the CP. Although, I did get an automated message from Skype whinging that my security was not on & that my computer speed & something else were below par... all of which, is false... bit weird. I have tested my Skype, typing, video & audio w/ other ppl & works perfect fine.

Some of the changes & improvements from CP to RP are (seem) subtle & or not so much superficial, in-your-face stuff. I have read a good bit on what's been done between CP & RP. Not that I personally care about them a whole lot ( a couple I find handy) but, the APPS are better than they were in the CP & this was expected. Also, there are a lot more choices in regard to 'cosmetic' stuff. There are now things like no need for Flash to be added nor any need for WinRAR any more nor for pdf readers to be added.

Bear in mind the work on Win8 is STILL on going from now 'til RTM... it OS is still not a fully 'done deal'.

But, some ppl will see & look for good in things, others will find it harder to find value... just the nature of humans.

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If there is going to be another beta version before release I may just wait for that, I have everything working really well, I never log into Windows 7 at all.

I started the process and thought it was indicating that you did not have to reinstall your software after updating, mainly because it has notes on some items that they do have to be reinstalled after update.

This makes me hope that other things don't have to be reinstalled after update.


It says all my other stuff is OK to go, but I guess that may just be wishful thinking.
It also says that after downloading you will be given a choice of how you want to install it.

The Adobe stuff is such a bear to reinstall because of their security and upgrade process that I hate to go through the whole thing again.

Consumer Preview had an upgrade rout it seems like the new one would have that as well, and what should be easier to do an upgrade from then the same operating system.

Anyway I guess I'll wait and see if there are any improvements that make is worth the effort.

So all you people who are doing it let up know what's new in the new version.

One thing I'm interested to know is, have they included the Microsoft games in the new release, it took me a lot of work to get FreeCell up and running! LOL

My longest streak in Windows 8 is 19 games, not close to what I've done before.

I'd also like to know if they have succeeded in blocking apps that restore the start button and the old programs window, like Classic Shell?

As I said, I've recently gotten an iPad 3, and while I now really understand the need for the Meto UI, I still don't think we should be stuck with it on a big screen monitor. There should be options for Pad or PC!

I've found a plus to owning a pad though, you get a free cell phone, just install Skype on you pad and your set to go.

My wife is talking to her cousin in Arizona for free right now, (they talk for hours sometimes, her cousin is 99 years old and you never know when it may be the last time!, but on the other hand, her mother lived to be 105) I've used it a lot and it's easy to hear even without ear phones. A nice bonus. Of course you could also argue that it's the world most expensive cell phone.

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Ok, Mike, I'm going to try to answer all your queries.

1. No, there will not be a 3rd beta. The next will be RTM & GA, neither are betas, anymore.
2. There are absolutely NO UPGRADE paths from non-beta OS to betas nor from 1 beta to another nor from a beta to RTM or GA. The only time upgrade is OK is from 1 non-beta OS of a certain level to certain levels of another non-beta OS. 'upgrading' from whatever to the CP is wrong & same applies to the RP or any other beta OS. This same principle was true w/ Vista & Windows7... will always be the case.
3. I hear Classic Shell, still, works but, there is, still, no need for it & it, honestly, just confuses things, I'll say. Point is, Win8 can be very easy to navigate & find things (@ the Desktop) w/out adding any 3rd party means. The only thing I, actually, added is just a 'shortcut' that makes it so I can have (all) applications in a Taskbar folder. This put everything, not just what tiles are on Start, @ my fingertips w/out leaving Desktop.
4. As for "being stuck w/ it (Metro UI) on a big screen monitor", you are not (stuck w/ it)! I have a 24", non-Touch, desktop PC. There choice IS there to spend 99.999% of one's time & activities @ or from the good ole Desktop. Plus when I do look @ Start, I have the quantity & arrangement of the tiles such that I do not need to move the screen to see them all. Remember, just cus something is in the machine, there does not have to be a tile for it (kept) on Start. And, that same item can, still, be easily accessed whilst on Desktop.
5. Games - I can't see much, like Free Cell or Solitaire or whatever. There is a tile for Xbox games, some free. Also, > the Store tile & there are a number of free games available. And, of course, more in both that can be purchased.
6. There are a fair bit of 'new & improved' in the RP (or Beta2) from the CP. Some under the covers & or subtle & some more dramatic & obvious. It is, @ least, as fast as the CP, if not more so. There is no longer any need to add Flash, WinRAR or PDF readers. The corners work better to the mouse & things are better sizes. There are more choices for cosmetics, colour & pictures selections & so on. Also, many of the APPs are improved. There will be additional enhancements between this beta (the RP) & RTM. Remember, this OS is, still, a work in progress.

I trust I have come, @ least, somewhere near addressing your curiosities.

Hi again.

Well I guess I'll wait a week or so, I have to get the job I'm working on right now done before I take a chance on screwing every thing up. Another week or 2 should take care of that, I'll have to figure out if Adobe is going to count this as another installation.

They one allow 2, I'll have to deactivate it to do it again.

I didn't install any software on the partition that Windows 8 is one so when I reinstall it may see that as confirmation for the upgrades, and retain my preferences as long as I install in the same place.

I'll just format the drive and start fresh.

The only thing that I need to have work for sure is Rocket Dock, I'd be lost without that.

I've used it for years.

Make that 2 things, Like Trouble, I have to have Skype, it's my telephone, I don't even have long distance on my land line.
I almost never use a real Phone.

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Well, for what it's worth, Skype works perfectly for me on x64 Windows8 RP, as it, also, did on x64 Windows8 CP. And from the bit of research I did, Rocket Dock will work on Windows8, too.

As for Adobe activation concerns... if, nothing else and if, need be (cus of activation issues), just keep that on your 'main' OS, rather than putting it on a temporary beta.

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