Microsoft is reminding people running the Microsoft Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) to install the released version of Windows 7 to avoid data loss.
The ‘beta’ version of Windows 7, Windows 7 RC, is due to expire on 1 March 2010. Once the deadline is reached, the PC will experience bi-hourly shutdowns.
The shutdowns continue for three months through to 1 June 2010, when the PC’s wallpaper will disappear and a message: “This copy of Windows is not genuine” will display in the lower right corner above the taskbar.
Data will not be saved during the shutdowns and Microsoft is pushing users to install Windows 7 before the automatic shutdowns begin.
“As test software, Windows 7 Release Candidate had a limited life and has now reached its scheduled expiry date,” the company said on its company blog.
Microsoft does not allow in-place upgrades from the RC to a paid copy. Users must back up data and conduct a clean installation, a ‘custom install’, which erases the contents of the hard drive before it installs the operating system. Data and application must then be restored and reinstalled.
For more information on the expiration of the Windows 7 Release Candidate, visit Microsoft’s support pages.