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Students Reporting Problems With $29 Windows 7

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 77 comments

The upgrade installer isn't playing nice for students.

Are you a student in need of Windows 7? Then you might want to look at DigitalRiver's offer for Windows 7 Home Premium for students.

Valid students can still grab a download upgrade copy of Windows 7 for just $29.99 – a pretty stellar deal if you ask us. All you need is to be part of an eligible college or university. Find out more here.

Unfortunately, some users who have purchased that upgrade are reporting problems when unpacking the files and trying to install on a 32-bit machine. So far there seems to be a mix of both successes and failures, depending on how many hoops the user is willing to jump through to jimmy that upgrade into his or her Vista install.

Engadget received a tip that Microsoft is now offering refunds to those who are having trouble in getting this product to work, but of course those who managed to snag Windows 7 for less than $30 likely won't be giving up so easily.

In any case, Microsoft has a support thread going where the company is trying to sort everyone out.

Did you grab the $29.99 deal? If so, have you been having any problems?

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    jasperjones , October 23, 2009 9:57 PM
    It is just silly that Digital River doesn't let you download an iso. Especially since you can use Microsoft products to create an iso from the executable that you download.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2009 9:49 PM
    can't they do a clean install with this
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2009 9:49 PM
    can't they do a clean install with this
  • Display all 77 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    dustinsroberts83 , October 23, 2009 9:56 PM
    No problems here. Installed just fine.
  • -9 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , October 23, 2009 9:56 PM
    youwouldthinkcan't they do a clean install with this

  • 10 Hide
    jasperjones , October 23, 2009 9:57 PM
    It is just silly that Digital River doesn't let you download an iso. Especially since you can use Microsoft products to create an iso from the executable that you download.
  • 8 Hide
    neodude007 , October 23, 2009 9:58 PM
    I am pretty sure on MS's site they say you can do a clean install, so I don't even understand how this is an "upgrade" disk...
  • 5 Hide
    mactruck , October 23, 2009 10:01 PM
    I had no problems at all with this deal, but I also installed it over a working OS. The deal was very specific about it being an upgrade only without a physical disc shipped to you. I downloaded it at work (1.4Mbps on our fat pipe), extracted the files to a USB stick, and once I got home I double-clicked Setup.exe to get started.

    I was able to do a semi-clean install, moving all my stuff to a Windows.old folder to blow away later, so you aren't forced to do an in-place upgrade with all the potential problems that brings. My Win7 beta was running really slow so I ended up doing a clean XP install first with a re-format then immediately installing Windows7 over the top of that.

    If you absolutely must have a bootable DVD to use, you can either download the Windows Automated Install Kit to make your own custom DVD or you can follow the shortcut directions at this link:

    After all the comments this week claiming how much smarter Tom's Hardware readers are than the average Joe, a few work-arounds shouldn't be any problem, right?
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2009 10:10 PM
    I've had some issues but after doing some research this:

    looks like its going to solve the issues, though I havent tired it yet to make sure.
  • 7 Hide
    CoryInJapan , October 23, 2009 10:26 PM
    This is why I never have and or will upgrade..Clean install only for the win.

    Upgrade makes no sense because most likely you'll carry on the baggage from the previous install to this upgrade install.
  • 3 Hide
    cookoy , October 23, 2009 10:33 PM
    story is very vague. not much specifics.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2009 10:35 PM
    I had problems yesterday because they don't let you download an iso. I couldn't do a straight upgrade because I was moving form Vista(32) to Win7(64) so I needed to to a clean install which the downloaded file did not support. After following the instructions it extracted into a folder which I then tried to burn to a DVD. This doesnt work for trying to make a bootable disc even though it has boot folders and files.

    To fix this I went to and followed the instructions to use the command promt to convert the files into an iso that would produce a bootable DVD.

    They made it a pain when they could have made it easy by providing an iso from the start. I wasted time doing unnecessary problem solving before I came to this fix. I could have just spent the extra $13 and waited for a physical copy, but then again I thought I was getting an iso like the RC version of Win7.
  • 3 Hide
    decipherfreak , October 23, 2009 11:19 PM
    Worked fine for me. I did a clean install onto the unused partition of my hard drive so now I have both XP and 7
  • 2 Hide
    billin30 , October 23, 2009 11:19 PM
    The problem is people trying to open the file they downloaded on a 32 bit operating system. I have xp 32 trying to upgrade to windows 7 pro 64. Couldnt open it on my xp, but I had a RC windows 7 installed as well, so I just opened and installed from that. Worked just fine. You just have to have a 64 bit os to open the files from. Not saying that is acceptable, but I worked around it and have windows 7 goin now.
  • 1 Hide
    fausto , October 24, 2009 12:19 AM
    i got the deal and i am having trouble with it....but just so happens that i built a windows 7 retail 64 bit machine for family and so i took my digital river download and unpacked it on that other machine. go figure!
    so if you know someone with 64 bit machine just take your download to them and unpack there...then you can ISO and install!
  • -3 Hide
    fausto , October 24, 2009 12:22 AM
    but it's been over 24 hour and nothing but silence from microsoft. they should have fixed this in an hour or less!
  • -1 Hide
    wildwell , October 24, 2009 12:35 AM
    Uh oh, it's not a good sign seeing problems the day after launch. I'm sure a lot of casual computer users will always have problems with a new OS though, regardless of how good the software is; but I expect most of Tom's members will be able to work around this issue.
  • 2 Hide
    henrystrawn , October 24, 2009 12:41 AM
    my wife downloaded and istalled 32 bit on a Accer AOA150 yesterday. She downloaded the installer to the netbook, did a fresh install from XP. It went smooth as silk, much to my amazement. I didn't think you could to a complete install on the same partition and drive. Blew me away.
  • -3 Hide
    surfer1337dude , October 24, 2009 12:41 AM
    What a rip off, I can get win7 ult. upgrade (32 or 64 bit) for 8 bucks XD....and im going too :) 
  • -3 Hide
    surfer1337dude , October 24, 2009 12:43 AM
    PS: the copy im getting is a disc not a d/l
  • -4 Hide
    xaira , October 24, 2009 1:14 AM
    ive never upgraded an os, i use apps like rain, too much room for incompatibility
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