If you're still using the release candidate (or RC) version of Windows 7, you need to make plans to move away, as the expiration date is fast approaching.
Three dates RC users need to be aware of:
February 15, 2010
- Users start receiving an expiration notification in the task bar once a day
- Users will see a Notification Wizard once after four hours and then one time every hour
- The OS will continue to operate as normal
March 1, 2010
- Task bar expiration notifications continue
- The OS will restart every two hours (note that any open documents won't be saved before the restart)
- Between reboot the OS will continue to operate as normal
June 1, 2010
- Windows 7 RC effectively expires at this point
- The OS boots to a black desktop.
- Users are shown a Windows Activation screen informing users that the OS is not genuine
- The OS will restart every two hours.
Plan ahead to avoid hassles and possible data loss. Your options basically boil down to two: upgrade to Windows 7 or downgrade the system to an earlier OS.