The original Windows 7 Beta (Build 7000) expired on the 2nd of July 2009 (well, the expiry messages said “3 days”, “2 days” and “1 days” to go). Yes, they really did say “1 days” !
What they meant was that the OS would start shutting down every 2 hours after that date. This would go on for a month and finally go unauthorised or unactivated in August 2009.
Luckily I already had the RC1 version (Build 7100) which goes until March 2010. I installed it onto the other 250 GB partition and had easy access to my data from the 7000 partition.
I am very impressed with Win 7 (never a crash).
The only small problem I had was getting a driver for my old Realtek PCI Ethernet Adapter (the one with the co-ax cable – you remember them ?). Anyway, a Google Search said that Win 7 will work with the driver from Win 2000 – and it did. After installing it, Win 7 found the internet within a few seconds. Wow !