Install Any Edition of Windows 7 From Any Windows 7 DVD

Published in Windows 7 How-To by Steve Sinchak with 156,755 views

Do you have a license for Windows 7 Ultimate but only have the Windows 7 Home Premium install media? Do you want to try a different edition of Windows 7 for 30 days without having to buy it first? With a simple trick you can enable a hidden menu that allow you to install any edition of Windows 7 from any Windows 7 installation media. This works on all editions of Windows 7 including Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. If you have a 32-bit Windows 7 install DVD you can install any 32-bit edition from it. The same is true for 64-bit installation media.

The secret is the ei.cfg file located in the Sources directory on the installation DVD. If this file exists, the setup program reads the file to identify what edition of Windows 7 to install.  If the file is deleted a new menu appears that allows you to select any edition of Windows 7 to install.

The key is deleting the ei.cfg file from the install DVD.  You have two choices:

Option 1:

Copy the entire contents of a Windows 7 install DVD to a folder on your computer such as D:\win7install\. Then navigate to the Sources folder and delete ei.cfg. Finally, copy all files and folders in D:\win7install\ to a 4GB USB flash drive formatted with FAT32. Then just boot to the USB flash drive instead of the original install DVD.  More details can be found on my How to install Windows 7 from a USB Flash Drive article.

Option 2:

The second option is more time consuming and requires third-party tools. Use a program like IsoBuster or other ISO editing tool to create and ISO image of your physical install DVD.  Then, use the same program to edit the ISO and delete ei.cfg from the Sources folder and save your changes. Finally, burn the modified ISO.

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Comments

wow great job dude, thank you.
Posted by Frankr on 4 years ago

Nice finding!
Posted by ManiKanta on 4 years ago

From ANY dvd ?...NOT SO FAST.If you explore the RC you'll find that there are "installer" files for the various editions(except enterprise),but if you explore the Enterprise 90 day trial,which is supposed to be the full blown RTM version,I find that it lacks "installer" files for any other edition other than Enterprise.I can make a disk that includes those other version installers,to come up with a 7600 Ultimate Edition,but being the newbie that I am,I KNOW that it's going to take more than that.It would be too easy.The "installer" files vary a little in size but all are under 600kb,opened in notepad I see some differences but don't know what to edit.Then there's that "boot.wim",both are 137 mb,but opened side by side I can see that there are differences,even though I can make out very little of it because it's in "SPACE"(computer)language.I'd feel certain that this file would also play a part in which version you can install.Maybe it won't,but also,ther is a .txt file in RC called "product.ini" that contains a list of keys,and at the bottom,it list's
"[Build Info]staged=Starter,Home Basic,Professional,Ultimate,etc..."and the Enterprise only list's itself,which I could edit to include the others,BUT,I'm smart enough to realize that it HAS to be more involved than that.
So,I'm running the RC on 3 machines,Enterprise on 1,got them all imaged to another partition,and all that,have read various (many) articles about "REARM" and all that,BUT there is a day coming when my "QUARTER" is going to "run out".My question is this:How can I turn my 7600 RTM Enterprise disk into an Ultimate disk OR hack the different type of activation required for VLK Enterprise ?After installing/activating Enterprise,I did change the key to a VLK that I found in product.ini,now it no longer counts down from 90 days as far as I know,but says 30 days to activation.Perhaps I can perpetually toggle between the default key (retrieved w/Belarc) and the on
Posted by Allen on 4 years ago

I have XP Pro and when I started the install of Windows 7, that is the tour, compatibility and easy transfer some 7 files ran and then a NO DRIVER FOUND. Please insert disk in drive H. No help. What is the problem? Dell support wanted $225 to help me install. Then they said for 1 (one) time $65. I declined. A credit memo has been received??? They do not want the software back. I have botb 32 and 64 bit verrsions. My processor is a Duo Core 6400 2.13Ghz. Any one have any sugestions? I do have the original Vista disks but did not install Vista.
ken
Posted by Ken Volz on 4 years ago

Don't think this works if your source DVD is Home Premium. I tried this and got the menu which allowed me to select any version, but during the install it could not copy the files. Tried both Ultimate and Pro and would only copy files whem I finally selcted Home Premium.
Posted by Bob on 4 years ago

Didn't Work for my Win 7 x64 Professional msdnaa iso.
Posted by GV on 4 years ago

Bob,
Thanks for the response, Merry Christmas to you and Family.

Dell finally told me how to install Windows7 on XP PRP windows 7 Professional. I was not in the mood to have any one do anything. They sent me a UPS shipping ticket to return the Software.
Some people do not understand what NO means. I will get it later for a cheaper price
ken
Posted by Ken on 4 years ago

Option 3:

Use eicfg removal tool. http://code.kliu.org/misc/win7utils/
Posted by Eddie ZA on 4 years ago

Does it also work with OEM Versions?
Posted by James Boldman on 4 years ago

James, no it doesn't. I just tried with the OEM Enterprise disks, both x86 and x64, same results on both of them. They go straight into the install for the enterprise edition, no hidden menu appears allowing you to select a version. I'm upset that I wasted my time setting this all up for nothing.
Posted by CRC on 4 years ago

WORKS GREAT FOR ME,PUT INTO FOLDER,REMOVE FILE, THEN USE NERO TO BURN AS AN ISO
Posted by LANCE on 4 years ago

Is it also possible in Windows Vista???
Posted by Ricardo on 3 years ago

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