How to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from Release Preview and keep your programs

Ok, I have a little old Lenovo S-10 Netbook with 2GB RAM, and an upgraded 320GB hard drive (I’m not much for the iPad-phoria), and I’ve been happily running Windows 8 Release Preview on it, with very little trouble. It’s not as snappy as Windows XP, but very decent, and since it is a more modern OS, does carry its advantages in terms of connecting to WiFi.

Although the Metro look drives me crazy, since I’m not on a phone or tablet, I’m perfectly happy with Classic Shell returning the good old desktop functionality to me.

I haven’t had any crashes, and I’m able to run newer apps that don’t like XP.

Also, for those who wonder why I don’t get an Android tablet to match my phone, I have the same reservations as I do on the iPad. I don’t just use my netbook to surf the web. I actually use it for portability and run some of the same Windows apps I do on my larger laptop, such as Ableton Live, Gorilla 5 (film production software), Celtx and Final Draft, and lately, OneNote.

The netbook is great for portability, and since it runs the same apps and my regular desktop, I’ve found that I use my netbook most of all, and leave my notebook for editing video, composing more complex songs (requiring more processor intensive plugins), and developing software.

At any rate, when I downloaded the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, it told me I could only upgrade personal files, or nothing.

I found an article on the net explaining how to work around this, but ONLY if you had a DVD or media. If you downloaded the Microsoft Upgrade Assistant like me, you can’t extract the contents and run the file — it tells you to run the original downloaded file.

So, that prevented one from modifying the CVERSION.INI file as is suggested online (change version 8505.00 to 7100.00).

So, my workaround was to clear out my Temporary folder under:


[Obviously, any files being used won’t be deleted.]

Then. I started up the Microsoft Upgrade Assistant, and it created a  new folder with the current date-time stamp. I opened that up and found a folder inside called WebSetupExpanded, and when I opened that up, I found the CVERSION.INI file that needed to be modified. I changed the versions to 7100.00 in the file while it analyzed my system, and when I chose to upgrade, I now had the option to upgrade programs as well.

And there you are, I hope that helps you. I’d have to have to reinstall all my software all over again… takes too long, and is quite unnecessary.

Val Gameiro
Writer, Director, Filmmaker and Technologist
Austin, Texas