Students Reporting Problems With $29 Windows 7

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?

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • can't they do a clean install with this
  • dustinsroberts83
    No problems here. Installed just fine.
  • mlopinto2k1
    youwouldthinkcan't they do a clean install with thisLOL
  • jasperjones
    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.
  • neodude007
    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...
  • mactruck
    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?
  • 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.
  • CoryInJapan
    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.
  • cruiseoveride
    Are you a student in need of Windows 7?

    I think anyone who answers "Yes" to that question is likely got bigger problems in life.
  • cookoy
    story is very vague. not much specifics.