So I had a copy of a Windows 7 Home Premium install disk, but wanted to install Windows 7 Ultimate. How? On Windows Vista install disks, one could install any and every version from the DVD without an issue. Either tell it which version you wanted, or put in your serial number, and setup would determine from the serial number which version should be installed. Pretty easy, huh? So I did some scouring to see if Windows 7 was the same way.
Windows 7 does indeed have all versions on the install disk! But it did appear that the install type WAS hard-coded to the disk – and I really couldn’t do an upgrade from Ultimate Vista to Home Premium Windows 7 – nor did I want to even if it WOULD save me several days waiting for a new disk to get here… So there MUST BE a way that I could do this on a Sunday morning before breakfast LOL. So, how to get at those other versions of Windows 7. It turns out there is a small file, ei.cfg, that handles determining which version is going to be installed whenever a disk is used for Windows 7 installation. So all that is needed is to REMOVE the ei.cfg file and that will end up bringing up all the choices when one goes to install!
After wrestling around with a few of my burning and ISO programs – and deciding I really didn’t want to remaster the base image and all that hassle, I ran across this novel little app to remove just the ei.cfg file without completely disrupting the base ISO image. I have put the file here for posterity’s sake. Hopefully, I won’t need to use it again – but it’s way annoying when someone runs across these items and a file is referenced that can never be found. So if you’ve come here for this little bit of help on creating a Win 7 install disk, download the eicfg_removal_utility.zip. There are 4 files in there – it’s straight forward. Just run the executable and it will ask which ISO you want to modify – and it appears to work on the 64 bit and 32 bit ISO images – though I have only truly tested the 32 bit version after modification at this point. AS ALWAYS, SCAN THE FILE with a good antivirus. It was clean when it went up, but verify before usage!
After removing the ei.cfg file from the Windows 7 install image, you will be able to install any version of Windows 7! I actually made two ISO images – the 32 bit Windows 7 and the 64 bit Windows 7 to carry around for installs.
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