While recent reports suggest that Windows 8 pre-release user numbers are down when compared to Windows 7, there are still millions of us using the next-generation operating system. Microsoft has even decided to make the upgrade path for us early adopters a bit easier this time around. Well, actually, in the past they provided NO upgrade path from the beta to the final release, so anything is a step up.
This time Windows 8 Release Preview users will be able to upgrade while saving all of their personal settings. Of course, if you are coming from Windows Vista or Windows 7 then you can bring along files and apps, but those get hosed if you helped Microsoft out by testing the new OS. Yes, it doesn't sound fair, but there are reasons. Mainly there is one reason - upgrading a piece of beta software can cause problems and Microsoft doesn't want to have to support those problems. Understandable.
Now, a post over at Windows 8 Update has revealed that there is, in fact, a way to do a full upgrade from Windows 8 beta to the RTM version. There are absolutely no promises with this hack, but it's probably worth trying since the worst that can happen is a loss of personal settings, which are really the easiest things to restore in all of this.
It's a very simple solution. Download the Windows 8 RTM and, before installing it, browse to the download and locate the cversion.ini file. Double-click to open it in Notepad or your text editor of choice. You will find two numbers contained within the file and you will need change these from “8508” over to “7100” and then save the file.
There are no promises with this. Honestly, it's a hack and your experiences may vary wildly depending on your Windows installation, software installed, and countless other variables. While it should work with earlier beta versions of Windows 8, it's probably best to only try it from the Release Preview. Honestly though, it can't hurt to give it a shot.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.