M$ has laid down the rules..... upgrading from an activated RC to RTM will not carry your programs and settings over. Microsoft confirms Windows 7 RC upgrade rules by Darren Murph, posted Jul 14th 2009 at 11:23AM As October 22nd hastily approaches, Microsoft is slowly but surely dropping all sorts of knowledge on to-be Windows 7 buyers. The latest tidbit about the forthcoming OS revolves around upgrades, with a company spokesperson reportedly confirming that users running an activated version of Windows 7 Release Candidate will not have to "reinstall an older version of Windows before using a Windows 7 upgrade disk." Unfortunately, those who choose this path will see all of their files and such ushered into a folder labeled "Windows.old" when the final version of Win7 is installed, essentially putting a damper on what would've been an otherwise awesome experience. Interestingly, the fun doesn't stop there; if you ever need to reinstall the final version of Win7 from scratch using the upgrade copy you purchased, you'll first need to install (and activate) a copy of XP or Vista, which is different that Vista's somewhat more lax upgrade policies. Check out the read link for the full spiel, and make sure you wrap your noodle around it good before you go off pre-ordering the wrong box.