Microsoft acknowledges problem with Windows 7 student upgrades

By on October 23, 2009, 3:35 PM
Many users are reporting pesky issues with installing the downloadable $30 student upgrade copy of Windows 7. It would seem that instead of receiving a standard ISO image, they are handed an executable (Win7-P-Retail-en-us-x64.exe) and two other files ( and This is obviously not intended, and Microsoft is looking into the situation. Redmond is also offering a refund for those affected, according to Engadget.

In the meantime, it's easy enough to create an ISO image with the provided files. DownloadSquad offers a straightforward five-step process to making an ISO that will set you on your way to installing Windows 7. Also worth noting is that Microsoft has just released a tool that will make a bootable USB flash drive or DVD out of the Windows 7 ISO -- a nice addition for less experienced users, especially owners of netbooks, which generally don't have an optical drive.

User Comments: 28

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guyver1 said:

yup i spent 2 hours on the phone in total yesterday morning to MS as well as a 'nice' email to Digital River who are the actual culprits in this fiasco.

MS guy was really great actually even tho he couldnt actually do anything to help me.

I found the oscdimg guide on the windows7forums and sorted my problem.

although other issues included:

Digital River website putting a 10 download limit on the download manager software, which would have been fine had it not registered the whole 10 on the first click. I was on linux at the time as i'd wiped my XP hdd ready for the big day. So i was a bit pissed at not being able to download it again (i ended up having to copy it to my pen drive, stick said pen drive into my server box, RDP from linux into the server box and download the files)

I then had to reinstall win7 RC so i could then unbox the box files, then install the oscdimg file into system32 and create the ISO image and burn to DVD.

all in all a pretty shit morning but once the ISO was burnt, installation was about 25 minutes or so, flawless and everything is smooth as hell post install

guyver1 said:

plus Digital river are refunding all the students who pre-ordered because of the **** up so i got it for free

spikester48661 spikester48661 said:

windows 95-windows 7 all got flaws and problems its part of M$.

treeski treeski said:

@guyver1: You get a refund + you get to keep the copy? Where do I go to find out more about this?

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I had the same issue with there being an error on extraction. Was f-ing stupid of them not to just give us an iso file. But I did the oscdimg thing and all is well, running it now.

Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Turns out our community had taken notice way before us, here's some discussion and instructions about the W7 student download issues:

Badfinger said:

M$ looking like total morons with all these issues at release that should be found in beta testing?

Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@Badfinger, this is a distribution issue not about the OS itself. That said, like SNGX pointed out they could have done way better by simply using a proven method like the ISO, which they used for the earlier betas and RC build.

guyver1 said:

yeah this is not an MS isue, this is solely a Digital River screw up.

You should get an email from digital river outlining their apology and telling you you will get a full refund.

Yes you get your copy FREE along with the backup DVD if ordered of the long term download option.

Guest said:

Who is "Redmond" and how are they offering a refund? I can't find anything on getting a refund besides big tech news placing reporting that Microsoft is "offering" one. Everyone is griping, and I've found so few people being contacted with legitimate refunds.

tengeta tengeta said:

Is there ever going to be a reliable OS at release again? Even most new Linux distros get rushed and have release bugs nowadays.

guyver1 said:

Guest said:

Who is "Redmond" and how are they offering a refund? I can't find anything on getting a refund besides big tech news placing reporting that Microsoft is "offering" one. Everyone is griping, and I've found so few people being contacted with legitimate refunds.

Redmond, Washington - Home of Microsoft.

So Redmond is just another name for MS.

Follow this thread to see myself and Deeham get refunds - [link]

The refund email came from this address -

a full copy of the email is posted in the forum thread above.

I do not know the 'criteria' Digital River have set for giving out refunds, you will have to contact them yourselves to see if you can get answers from them.

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

@guyver1: While every other tech company under the sun is in California, Microsoft is in Washington state -- Redmond, Washington. Precisely though, Redmond is just another (common) way to refer to Microsoft.

guyver1 said:

ah my bad. I just did a quick google on Redmond and it came back with California :P

Tmagic650 Tmagic650, TS Ambassador, said:

I was able to download and install the Digital River Student $30 version of Windows 7 Professional x64 properly, but I spent the better part of 6 hours trying to make a .ISO Windows 7 install disc from the files in the "expandedSetup" folder...

Here are the basic instructions:

Windows 7 Student Offer DVD

I used this, with the 3 install files located on the desktop and an elevated Command Prompt loaded under Administrator (Vista & Windows 7):

oscdimg -u2 -b"C:\Documents and Settings\user\Desktop\expandedSetup\boot\" -h "C:\Documents and Settings\user\Desktop\expandedSetup" C:\Win7.iso

Where "user" is the computer log in name

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I never got an email about a refund.

It was a bit of a hassle to get a usable dvd, much more so than if they would have given us a simple iso. But I don't think its a big enough deal for me to deserve a refund. I understand that for people that aren't comfortable with jumping through hoops wanting and deserving a refund though. I'm already getting it for $30, thats good enough for me.

Guest said:

I think I have the answer to the Digital River Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Student download fiasco:

I downloaded the 90 day eval copy of Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit. I then installed this and got the machine up and running, then I executed the installer file which was on an additional hardrive attached to my PC from within the installed Eval copy of windows 7 and it launched and I did a custom install. The installation is progressing now. This is it!!!!!!!!!!!

Tmagic650 Tmagic650, TS Ambassador, said:

I successfully installed the Student Windows 7 Pro x64 inside a Windows 7 RC x64 installation, choosing "custom" clean installation. My Windows 7 RC files were saved on the C drive as Windows.old. After moving my important data to the new Windows 7 Pro install, I deleted the Windows.old folder. It was quite large. The C drive is a 450GB single partition drive. I am still running a dual boot Windows 7, Vista. Vista is installed on a 250GB single partition drive. I will ditch Vista altogether, when I get my wife's laptop repaired. She will have Windows 7 Pro x64 on her laptop

ron5334 said:

i've gotten the download links and will be trying this weekend to do the install. the usb tool will be very handy since i dont have a dvd burner drive.

*ponders* wonder what else i can install with that tool....

Guest said:

I'm a uk student and recently downloaded the 64 bit windows 7 professional. But now it won't work and I need to get a refund and get the 32 bit. Anyone got any ideas how to go about this?

Tmagic650 Tmagic650, TS Ambassador, said:

Go to the place where you got the Windows 7 download from...

guyver1 said:

I'm a uk student and recently downloaded the 64 bit windows 7 professional. But now it won't work and I need to get a refund and get the 32 bit. Anyone got any ideas how to go about this?

what do you mean it 'wont work'

do you not have a 64 bit CPU? co that's the only way it 'wont work', anything else can be resolved via the forums here or MS tech support

aceofspaids222 said:

I got the upgrade but, you can't upgrade to 7 Pro from Vista Home Premium. I have to backup my files and do a fresh install. It would be nice if MS would have said this before hand.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I think you CAN upgrade from VHP to 7Pro, IF they are the same bit (32-32, 64-64). 32 to 64 or 64 to 32 won't upgrade. Is this what happened to you, or were you unable to upgrade keeping the same bit?

Edit: I just witnessed a VHP 64bit not be allowed to upgrade to 7 Pro 64bit.

ron5334 said:


i just tested out the usb tool from Microsoft by installing the Win7 64bit RC1 on my secondary partition. the tool worked well and can be used with most ISO files. i plan to keep a copy for installing other OS's as i find them and want to test.

Guest said:

ok, so i start d/l the student version of windows 7, and at some stage (as i left the d/l overnight) the progress has changed to -11000/22300K..... how on earth did it become a negative d/l.... meanwhile, checking my dl status, i have successfully d/l 2GB overnight, and into nothing????!!!

anyone else had this trouble???


Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Here is the hilariously complicated Windows 7 Upgrade chart. According to this, you cannot upgrade from a Home version to Professional. You must upgrade to Ultimate or another Home edition. It's totally an artificial limitation and I don't think I understand the reasoning, but... that's the way it is.


gruesomeA said:

I can get this from MSDN Academic Alliance through my school for free. If there are any other students out there, check with your school.

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