I’ve seen the popups for the past few weeks and ignored them. Tomorrow is D-Day – the Release Candidate (RC) for Windows 7 will expire and it’ll go into shutdown mode every  two hours.

Here’s the problem with someone like myself who is often on the road or way to busy to deal with things like this since my laptop is my main computer: when am I going to carve out a day to reformat my computer? Yes, I know I can technically do an upgrade by changing a file in the ISO (well documented if you do a Bing or Google search), but really at this point I should do a clean, full install. The problem with that is the time it takes to get everything reinstalled and configured the way I like it. I’ve got very real deliverables over the next few weeks and taking a day to reconfigure my laptop really isn’t an option. I’ve done it so much over the years and I can do it in 4 – 8 hours depending, but it’s a lot of hurry up and wait. I’ve got nearly 300GB of stuff on here. The OS install is the easy part and dealing with drivers isn’t so bad, either.

My hope was that the new laptop I ordered in early February would be here by now and I could deal with this one in time, but now my back is to the wall. I have no choice. Today I went to my local Micro Center and bought a 2TB external drive (my current drive is a 512GB SSD, a good portion of which is filled up). I’m currently backing up all of my files, and I will probably attempt the upgrade from RC to RTM because I just can’t afford to take a day right now. Backing everything up is something I needed to do in anticipation of my new laptop anyway. Unfortunately it’s a long process and I’m only part of the way there.

As much as this is going to be a painful day or so converting to RTM, I have to say this: I’ve been running the Windows 7 RC since last June with very few hiccups. Most hiccups were early on, and driver related. If you had told me even 3 or 4 years ago I’d be running a non-final operating system as my main OS for 8 months, I would have laughed at you. I was the guy who went kicking and screaming from Windows 2000 Professional to XP. Win7’s RC has just been rock solid, so I’ve had no real reason until now to have to change. I’ve used plenty of beta products over the years that were not ready for prime time and left me frustrated.

Back to hurry up and wait …