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How To Fix the Can’t Unpack Windows 7 Student Upgrade Error

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Yesterday we showed you how to turn the files you downloaded from Windows 7 Student discount upgrade bootable on a flash drive or DVD to help users get past several upgrade errors but there are still issues plaguing many students.

The biggest issue is affecting users who want to upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows Vista to a 64-bit version of Windows 7. In many cases these users can’t even unpack the setup files to make a bootable disc.

The Problems:

While Microsoft is working on a solution to the following error messages;

“We are unable to create or save new files in the folder in which this application was downloaded”

“The version of this file is not compatible with the version of Windows you’re running. Check your computer’s system information to see whether you need an x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the program, and then contact the software publisher”

The Solutions:

There are few quick solutions that you can try to fix the error that shows up after the “Unpacking the Box” message.

The first solution would be to use a different computer, preferably one running Vista 64-bit, to do the unpacking and then follow the steps to make your installation bootable.

If you don’t have access to anther computer though, you may still be able to unpack your Windows 7 setup files pretty easily thanks to Sir Vikin in the Microsoft Answers Forums.

Pre Step-  Create a folder in the following directory-  C:usersyourname - example for me is “C:UsersSir_Vikinwin 7″

now follow the rest-

STEP 1-  Download the DLMWin7.exe  application but do NOT run it yet.
Step 2- Right click the DLMWin7.exe – select Unblock
Step 3- Under the compatibility tab select the bottom box-”Run this program as an administrator” Click “Ok” to close
Step 4- Right click the DLMWin7.exe file and select run as administrator
Step 5 – Download the files to the folder you created  example- “C:UsersSir_Vikinwin 7″
Step 6- Run it, it should unbox completely!

In the above example, “DLMWin7.exe” refers to the file you downloaded from Digital River, If you purchased Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, for example, your file would be named, “DLMWin7Pro64US.exe”.

We will continue to monitor the situation and if more solutions are found update you accordingly. If you still have problems using the Digital River upgrade files after trying these steps leave a note in the comments and we’ll try to help you out.

Josh Smith is a longtime mobile tech user, currently using a Droid as his primary smartphone. Josh is also an editor at Notebooks.com where he reviews notebooks and other mobile tech. Follow Josh on Twitter @Josh_Smith or email him Josh@Notebooks.com.

55 Comments

  1. Peter

    October 23, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Im not noticing an “unblock” option in the right click menu for the downloaded file. Also, I’m assuming this means you have to re-download the installation software if you failed to run it as an administrator the first time around. (I tried running the downloaded file “Win7-P-Retail-en-us-x64.exe” as an administrator with no luck.

    • Greg

      October 24, 2009 at 12:37 am

      For that step it looks like the OP forgot to add the step of right-clicking the .exe file and going to Properties first. You’ll find ‘unblock’ at the bottom of the first page. Then click on the ‘Compatibility’ tab to run as admin. Now you can proceed to Step 4.

    • mattusctrojan

      October 26, 2009 at 7:58 pm

      I followed the following steps to upgrade from 32 bit Vista to 64 bit Digital River Windows 7 download.

      1. Installed 64 bit beta version of Windows 7 from cd. Luckily I had burned an iso of the beta version of 64 bit windows 7 a few months ago which I still had on disc.

      2. Downloaded Windows 7 64 bit professional upgrade from Digital River to desktop. right click, view properties, make sure read only isn’t checked, selected “run as administrator”.

      3. At this point Setup 1, Setup 2, and Windows 7 file are downloaded to desktop. Right click on all of them, make sure read only is not checked. Right click on windows 7 file on desktop, navigate to page with compatibility mode, select run in “Windows XP Service Pack 2 compatibility mode” and check “run as administrator”. Now unpack will be successful. (Prior to this I would always get an error when trying to unpack). Any file with the option select windows xp service pack 2 compatibility mode.

      4. After unpack is successful, go to folder, right click on folder and uncheck read only, select ok. Now run Windows 7 setup as administrator. Select custom install and it will work.

      Prior to this success I had download the file 7 times over 3 days, burned iso, ran in vista compatibility mode, xp service pack 3 comp mode, as admin, etc. The method above was the only way I could get it to work.

  2. Peter

    October 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Im not noticing an “unblock” option in the right click menu for the downloaded file. Also, I’m assuming this means you have to re-download the installation software if you failed to run it as an administrator the first time around. (I tried running the downloaded file “Win7-P-Retail-en-us-x64.exe” as an administrator with no luck.

    • Greg

      October 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm

      For that step it looks like the OP forgot to add the step of right-clicking the .exe file and going to Properties first. You’ll find ‘unblock’ at the bottom of the first page. Then click on the ‘Compatibility’ tab to run as admin. Now you can proceed to Step 4.

    • mattusctrojan

      October 26, 2009 at 12:58 pm

      I followed the following steps to upgrade from 32 bit Vista to 64 bit Digital River Windows 7 download.

      1. Installed 64 bit beta version of Windows 7 from cd. Luckily I had burned an iso of the beta version of 64 bit windows 7 a few months ago which I still had on disc.

      2. Downloaded Windows 7 64 bit professional upgrade from Digital River to desktop. right click, view properties, make sure read only isn’t checked, selected “run as administrator”.

      3. At this point Setup 1, Setup 2, and Windows 7 file are downloaded to desktop. Right click on all of them, make sure read only is not checked. Right click on windows 7 file on desktop, navigate to page with compatibility mode, select run in “Windows XP Service Pack 2 compatibility mode” and check “run as administrator”. Now unpack will be successful. (Prior to this I would always get an error when trying to unpack). Any file with the option select windows xp service pack 2 compatibility mode.

      4. After unpack is successful, go to folder, right click on folder and uncheck read only, select ok. Now run Windows 7 setup as administrator. Select custom install and it will work.

      Prior to this success I had download the file 7 times over 3 days, burned iso, ran in vista compatibility mode, xp service pack 3 comp mode, as admin, etc. The method above was the only way I could get it to work.

  3. Ben

    October 23, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Here is a petition to try to get some force behind Digital River doing the right thing:

    http://www.petitiononline.com/ISOftw/petition.html

  4. Ben

    October 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Here is a petition to try to get some force behind Digital River doing the right thing:

    http://www.petitiononline.com/ISOftw/petition.html

  5. Nikki

    October 23, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Those alternate options for if you don’t have access to a 64bit OS seem pretty useful if you’re using Vista, but most of those don’t exist in XP. What then?

    • Greg

      October 24, 2009 at 1:49 am

      You cannot upgrade or clean install with a Windows 7 Upgrade download or DVD from XP. You need to buy a full version of the OS.

      • Pete

        October 26, 2009 at 3:59 am

        Wrong. You can upgrade or clean install with Win 7 Upgrade. You do NOT need to buy a full version. Google is your friend.

  6. Nikki

    October 23, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Those alternate options for if you don’t have access to a 64bit OS seem pretty useful if you’re using Vista, but most of those don’t exist in XP. What then?

    • Greg

      October 23, 2009 at 6:49 pm

      You cannot upgrade or clean install with a Windows 7 Upgrade download or DVD from XP. You need to buy a full version of the OS.

      • Pete

        October 25, 2009 at 8:59 pm

        Wrong. You can upgrade or clean install with Win 7 Upgrade. You do NOT need to buy a full version. Google is your friend.

  7. Yih Yng Ng

    October 24, 2009 at 1:26 am

    I tried exactly that but it still refused to unbox.

  8. Yih Yng Ng

    October 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I tried exactly that but it still refused to unbox.

  9. Matt C.

    October 24, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Performed all the steps (had to enable UAC and restart to get “Run as Administrator” option), still got the error popup. Thanks for the effort though, trying other options, but my disk is in the mail anyway.

  10. Matt C.

    October 23, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Performed all the steps (had to enable UAC and restart to get “Run as Administrator” option), still got the error popup. Thanks for the effort though, trying other options, but my disk is in the mail anyway.

  11. Greg

    October 24, 2009 at 1:50 am

    This works, however you won’t be able to use the license key for the upgrade with a NEW install, and a NEW install is required to perform a 64 bit upgrade over the 32 bit legacy OS. Basically, MS screwed us again!

    • Troy

      October 24, 2009 at 9:44 am

      I had no problem burning a DVD on Vista 32 then installing Win7 x64 over that.

      Well, first I tried a clean install of Win7 but the license key wouldn’t work. I reinstalled Vista, re-activated it (which may have not been necessary???), and the Win7 install worked fine after that.

  12. Greg

    October 23, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    This works, however you won’t be able to use the license key for the upgrade with a NEW install, and a NEW install is required to perform a 64 bit upgrade over the 32 bit legacy OS. Basically, MS screwed us again!

    • Troy

      October 24, 2009 at 2:44 am

      I had no problem burning a DVD on Vista 32 then installing Win7 x64 over that.

      Well, first I tried a clean install of Win7 but the license key wouldn’t work. I reinstalled Vista, re-activated it (which may have not been necessary???), and the Win7 install worked fine after that.

  13. rick

    October 24, 2009 at 6:14 am

    there is no unblock under properties?

    • Troy

      October 24, 2009 at 9:45 am

      if there is no unblock button then you don’t have to worry about it.

  14. rick

    October 23, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    there is no unblock under properties?

    • Troy

      October 24, 2009 at 2:45 am

      if there is no unblock button then you don’t have to worry about it.

  15. Greg

    October 24, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Well, I did the above steps in the article and it didn’t work. Pretty bummed.

  16. Greg

    October 24, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Well, I did the above steps in the article and it didn’t work. Pretty bummed.

  17. Alex

    October 24, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Even after following the steps, it still wont unbox completely

  18. Alex

    October 24, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Even after following the steps, it still wont unbox completely

  19. LEo

    October 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Tried all the steps and when i do run and at the end I still get the error when unpacking. I am running Windows 7 RTM and no luck. What a rip off I hope the hell M$ does something to correct this soon.

    Leo

  20. LEo

    October 24, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Tried all the steps and when i do run and at the end I still get the error when unpacking. I am running Windows 7 RTM and no luck. What a rip off I hope the hell M$ does something to correct this soon.

    Leo

  21. steve

    October 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I’m a student with the x64 bit upgrade version of win7. I currently run xp. I was told from numerous sources that we can do a clean install w/ the upgrade version of win7, only reason that I bought it. Otherwise I would never have gone through and would have just stuck w/ xp until the end of time.

    I’m running into the same problems as “unable to unpack due to right permissions”. It seems weird, I’ve even unchecked the entire folders to NOT be read-only.

  22. steve

    October 24, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I’m a student with the x64 bit upgrade version of win7. I currently run xp. I was told from numerous sources that we can do a clean install w/ the upgrade version of win7, only reason that I bought it. Otherwise I would never have gone through and would have just stuck w/ xp until the end of time.

    I’m running into the same problems as “unable to unpack due to right permissions”. It seems weird, I’ve even unchecked the entire folders to NOT be read-only.

  23. Alex

    October 24, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Hey everyone. If you are buying the $29 Win7 CD from Digital River, you CANNOT unpack a x64 CD in an x32 OS (ie. Windows XP x32). When you purchase from Digital River, they say that you MUST buy the BACKUP CD (extra $13) and install from the backup cd you get in the mail.

    • Troy

      October 25, 2009 at 6:05 pm

      I DL’d, unpacked, mastered, and burned the Pro x64 image on 32-bit Vista Ultimate.

      The only difficulty I encountered was having my license key rejected because I was trying to install on a virgin drive.

      Installing Vista on this drive, then running the installer worked fine for me. Apparently you can wipe the Vista partition in the Win7 installer, or just skip the license screen in the installer to avoid the problem I encountered.

  24. Alex

    October 24, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Hey everyone. If you are buying the $29 Win7 CD from Digital River, you CANNOT unpack a x64 CD in an x32 OS (ie. Windows XP x32). When you purchase from Digital River, they say that you MUST buy the BACKUP CD (extra $13) and install from the backup cd you get in the mail.

    • Troy

      October 25, 2009 at 11:05 am

      I DL’d, unpacked, mastered, and burned the Pro x64 image on 32-bit Vista Ultimate.

      The only difficulty I encountered was having my license key rejected because I was trying to install on a virgin drive.

      Installing Vista on this drive, then running the installer worked fine for me. Apparently you can wipe the Vista partition in the Win7 installer, or just skip the license screen in the installer to avoid the problem I encountered.

  25. cadiz

    October 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    You can’t fix this microsoft has to do this its the microsoft screw the user patch last minute addon. As with all microsoft’s os.

  26. cadiz

    October 26, 2009 at 11:26 am

    You can’t fix this microsoft has to do this its the microsoft screw the user patch last minute addon. As with all microsoft’s os.

  27. rick

    October 26, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    It works if you make a ISO. Use a free ISO burner program no need to buy one.

  28. rick

    October 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    It works if you make a ISO. Use a free ISO burner program no need to buy one.

  29. carito

    October 27, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Hi,

    I have tried to do as explained on this post but I cant even get the expandedsetup from the digital river student download I got. I have the setup1.box and setup2.box but the other bit is called Win7-p-retail-en-us-x86. I wanted to do a clean install from windows vista home premium 32 bit as it is a new computer and have no files I need to keep.

    As soon as I try to open the Win7-p-retail-en-us-x86 by either double clicking on it, right click and open or right click and open as administrator I get the error box “We are unable to create or save new files in the folder in which this application was downloaded. Please check the folder properties to make sure that you have security permission on the folder to write files and that the folder is not read-only” with an OK at the end. I click on OK and thats it, no set expandedsetup anywhere (I have used the search facility to see if it was saved anywhere on the computer but it was not.

    Since cant get the expandedsetup folder, I cant do any of the other steps. I have downloaded the win 7 download from digital river about 3 times and still having some problem. I am so frustrated by all this!! Can any help/have any ideas???

    thank you so much!

  30. carito

    October 27, 2009 at 3:24 am

    Hi,

    I have tried to do as explained on this post but I cant even get the expandedsetup from the digital river student download I got. I have the setup1.box and setup2.box but the other bit is called Win7-p-retail-en-us-x86. I wanted to do a clean install from windows vista home premium 32 bit as it is a new computer and have no files I need to keep.

    As soon as I try to open the Win7-p-retail-en-us-x86 by either double clicking on it, right click and open or right click and open as administrator I get the error box “We are unable to create or save new files in the folder in which this application was downloaded. Please check the folder properties to make sure that you have security permission on the folder to write files and that the folder is not read-only” with an OK at the end. I click on OK and thats it, no set expandedsetup anywhere (I have used the search facility to see if it was saved anywhere on the computer but it was not.

    Since cant get the expandedsetup folder, I cant do any of the other steps. I have downloaded the win 7 download from digital river about 3 times and still having some problem. I am so frustrated by all this!! Can any help/have any ideas???

    thank you so much!

  31. Jim

    October 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Problems:

    First, Unpacking box’s on 32bit vista os (common error message). I would like to think I have all the files needed even though I get the error?

    After creating my ISO I have started a clean install, only to find the next error, unpacking files(error: missing files or corrupt). How about a step by step clean install guide? and, how many files should there be? Would it be easier to just order the disc from digital river for the extra 13 bucks?

  32. Jim

    October 29, 2009 at 5:39 am

    Problems:

    First, Unpacking box’s on 32bit vista os (common error message). I would like to think I have all the files needed even though I get the error?

    After creating my ISO I have started a clean install, only to find the next error, unpacking files(error: missing files or corrupt). How about a step by step clean install guide? and, how many files should there be? Would it be easier to just order the disc from digital river for the extra 13 bucks?

  33. Rick

    October 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I think Microsoft needs to act on this! Either give a refund or send a coupon for retail version, they have some really pissed off customers.

  34. Rick

    October 29, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I think Microsoft needs to act on this! Either give a refund or send a coupon for retail version, they have some really pissed off customers.

  35. ryan edwards

    November 4, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Nope total fail

  36. ryan edwards

    November 4, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Nope total fail

  37. John

    November 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I had the same problem. Can’t unpack.

    once again proof we should switch to Apple. So disappointed with MS again.

  38. John

    November 12, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I had the same problem. Can’t unpack.

    once again proof we should switch to Apple. So disappointed with MS again.

  39. computerkeepsfreezing

    January 3, 2010 at 6:25 am

    i tried the steps on this page.but still not working.

    Rose
    computer keeps freezing

  40. A.R.Ebhendra

    May 9, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    I'm using Windows7 32 bit and wanted to upgrade to the Windows7 64 bit edition. I was able to unpack and burn the image, but when I open the disc, “The version of this file is not compatible with the version of Windows you’re running. Check your computer’s system information to see whether you need an x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the program, and then contact the software publisher” error is showing up. Any Solutions to this bug yet??

  41. howtofixmycomputer

    November 17, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Woah this blog is magnificent i really like studying your posts. Stay up the good work! You know, lots of persons are looking round for this information, you could help them greatly.

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