Jul 23, 2009
My Digital Life Editorial Team

How to Select Any Edition or Version (SKU) of Windows 7 to Install From Single Edition DVD Disc Media or ISO

It’s possible the Windows 7 ISO or DVD disc media that end-user possessed may be restricted to install a single edition or version of Windows 7 only. For example, a Windows 7 Professional media may not prompt option to select which edition of Windows 7 to install, and instead will install Windows 7 Professional edition. Likewise for Windows 7 Ultimate DVD ISO image or disc which may not have edition selection screen.

However, all DVD of Windows 7 does contains and able to install all and any version of Windows 7, from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional to Ultimate edition. Actually, the ability to select the version or edition of Windows 7 during setup installation, or which edition that the setup will automatically install, lies with a small configuration file named ei.cfg on the Windows 7 DVD, disc media or ISO image.

Select an Edition of Windows 7 to Install During Setup

The content of the ei.cfg file, inside the “sources” folder of the DVD looks like below:

[EditionID] Ultimate
[Channel] Retail
[VL] 0

When ei.cfg does not exist, Windows 7 setup process will display a screen during Install Windows wizard to ask user to select the operating system (edition) to install. The selection of OS includes Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate. Thus, in order to be able to install any editions or install another different edition of Windows 7 without having to download ISO image or order a new DVD of Windows 7 with all SKUs enabled (allSKU version), use the following hack to delete or modify ei.cfg file.

  1. Download and install an disc image utility such as PowerISO or UltraISO to open the ISO image of Windows 7 DVD. If you own a physical DVD disc media, the similar tool allows you to rip the DVD to ISO or other image format too.

    Another alternative for user with Windows 7 DVD ISO image downloaded via torrent or from Internet is to extract all contents of the ISO image by using extraction tool such as WinRAR or 7-zip, or mount the ISO and copy contents to a folder.

  2. Browse to /sources/ folder.
  3. Locate ei.cfg file.
  4. Depending on preference, it’s possible to modify/edit or simply delete ei.cfg file, as explained below.

    Choice 1: Delete ei.cfg

    When ei.cfg is deleted, Windows 7 setup wizard will give user an option to select and choose which version (SKU) of operating system user wants to install during installation.

    Select Windows 7 OS Edition to Install

    Choice 2: Edit and Modify ei.cfg

    By modifying the EditionID section of ei.cfg by replacing Ultimate (or other edition specified there) with another edition, user can preset another edition SKU of Windows 7 that user want setup to install automatically. The Edition ID available for installation are as follow:

    • Ultimate
    • Professional
    • HomePremium
    • HomeBasic
    • Starter

    Save the ei.cfg after editing.

  5. For user who wants to in-place upgrade to Windows 7, it’s possible to run setup.exe from extracted DVD contents now. The modified ISO can also be burned to a DVD disc or saved to a new ISO image.

Tip: Editing of ei.cfg can now be automated by Windows 7 ISO Image Edition Switcher, and deletion of ei.cfg with ei.cfg Removal Utility.

  • zapbuzz

    best way to ensure a dvd is bootable is to use a 3rd party utility like “RT Se7en Lite” to build the iso from the extracted modified files because the boot files need to be at a specific boot location of the dvd to be booted by a pc at startup

  • Rohit

    Plz help me i have a windows 7 ultimate x86/x64 both in one disc and i don’t find any ei.cfg file in this dvd so what can i do now to install other versions ? Plz help me i want to install windows 7 home so plz anybody reply quick or give me instruction on my email id : rohitaggarwal2829@gmail.com

  • higtu

    Thank you friend its running 🙂

  • LazyD

    I have done this in the past and it worked fine, however…

    I downloaded a new legit image from MS about a week or so ago (Sept 2011), removed the ei.cfg file from the image (with poweriso, same as I did the time before), burned the disc and booted it, no choice of version screen! Just went straight into the Professional version install.

    Have MS changed something recently? I know I did it right because I checked the iso that I modified again, and unlike the original, it doesn’t have ei.cfg. I also created it again, removing the ei.cfg again and mounted that image to a vm and again it did not ask me which version I should install.

    Anyone know what’s going on?

    • I think that you should use Windows 7 ISO Image Edition Switcher Or ei.cfg Removal Utility.

    • ComputerLover

      If your PC can boot using a USB drive, get one that is about 4GB and copy everything, then go in to the usb drive, open “sources” then delete ei.cfg

      • Metoo

        Indeed, if you’re going to install from USB anyway why bother with the removal tool? Even with an ISO you need to burn to DVD there’s programs like WinISO that lets you edit the content, though I don’t think that’s normally free, I just happen to have gotten it via a giveaway at some point.

  • FatRough

    choose your version 32 / 64 bit of your OS here:
    http://www.rt7lite.com/downloads.html

  • FatRough

    darkRD: You can download, install and launch "RT Se7en Lite" utility to generate the bootable iso of your files, or burn it with bootable sector directly.

    You can also use ISObuster to extract the boot of an original Win DVD or ISO.

  • darkRd

    hello,

    I extracted contents of iso file to a folder and then deleted ei.cf file and burn file to a dvd

    new dvd is not bootable. What must we do to make it bootable?

    • Koman90

      The Microsoft supported way to make a bootable CD is to download the window AIK ad use the oscdimg.exe command line (DOS) utility to make a CD. however it's easier to use RT7lite.

      • Better To Use Windows 7 bootable USB/DVD maker
        download it at microsoft Site

    • Triggerhoppy

      Once extracted from ISO, you must save as ISO and ensure that it’s bootable. If not, you must add the boot file. Copy from CD etc, and add into ISO

  • Daniell

    My iso windows 7 image doesnot has the file ei.cfg. Plz tell me how can i apply this trick to change the edition.

    • WiTrust Support Team

      If your Windows 7 installation does not have the ei.cfg file, that means you can choose which edition you want to install during Windows 7 setup.

      If you want to specify a Windows 7 edition on the setup, just copy the following code and paste it into the Notepad:

      [EditionID]
      Ultimate
      [Channel]
      Retail
      [VL]
      0

      To choose another editions, change the [EditionID] from Ultimate to any edition you like:

      Ultimate
      Professional
      HomePremium
      HomeBasic
      Starter

      Save the file as ei.cfg. Drop the file into "Sources" folder in your Windows 7 installation folder.

      Then burn your installation into your DVD.

  • TC

    HANKS.. TRYING IT NOW

  • bm5k

    Does this work for all Versions of Windows? Like XP and Vista?

  • Akash Deep

    I have Windows 7 Enterprise but when delete or change it there no changes

  • cladmonitor

    This works for KN and N versions. It will not work for Enterprise because it is a MAK version (meaning Multiple Activation Key) which is a different subset of files the OS needs for activation and WGA verification, similar reason why the Enterprise Version does have a way to extract the CDKey after its been activated.

  • suraj

    i have windows 7 ultimate but it is not contain the ei.cfg file

    pls help me

  • bob

    what is the product key

  • DIGANTA

    Why this not works on Enterprise

  • r2d2

    great! Perfect for me

  • Rasydan

    hey, thanks man..
    now i got all win 7 edition in 1 dvd..
    it just simple but really make me excited..

  • Markkyboy

    Hi, i can say that removing the EI.CFG file worked for me.

    I got my hands on a Dell Windows 7 disc.

    I took the contents from the disc, creating an ISO.

    Mounted the ISO and sought the EI.CFG file.

    This can be edited or completely removed.

    Please remember that the disc contents were only made editable from my copied ISO not the original disc.

    Then transferrred it to a USB pen drive (8gb) and have made countless installations with the option given of the five different flavours of Win7 from the one disc.

    Regards

    Markkyboy

  • abhi_12ka4

    i have done both deleted & edit ei.cfg but i didn't works error install.wim is missing plz help

  • Pingback: Rant: Microsoft Telephone Activation « LaslowNET()

  • Pingback: Windows 7 ISO x86 and x64 Official Direct Download Links (Ultimate, Professional and Home Premium) » My Digital Life()

  • Latif

    I am Saudian and i try this way through Ultra.iso program and it works with me Now I have Win 7 setup DVD with all win 7 Versions it really very good stuff Try it.

  • Tim R.

    I downgraded from Windows 7 Ultimate 7600 to Home Premium OEM, it worked just fine. I just changed the registry setting as described above, and ran the upgrade. Thanks for the information.

  • SKUproblem

    I was able to install Win7 Ultimate, but the product key was a problem…

    it kept saying that my product key doesn't match the SKU (for Ultimate)

  • Amal

    Hi,

    Are you sure with this. I just tried it with a Win 7 pro dvd. But I still could not get the version list to select the version I want. However I have found a inf file called product that has the following text

    [BuildInfo]

    staged=ENTERPRISE

    I will modify this filew and delete the text enterprise and try. Deleting ei,cfg did not work for me.

  • MouskyMan

    ultimate edition holds all of the editions. the edition cazn only go down a level and not up. So if you use professional eiditon, you cannot move to ultimate, so thats why their different.

  • blade

    does this work still, coz im thinking of buying windows 7 home premium and using this "hack" to install windows 7 ultimate

  • s240b

    Thats Great, it working 100%, i applied it in XP, VISTA, Win7, Win2003Serv & Win2008Serv

    Thanks

  • John

    I gace deleted that file and also used the config tool from your site, to adjust my ISO but I am not getting prompted to install any other version than pro!! any help

  • I deleted ei.cfg file using UltraISO, it asks for version but gave error while installing. "Corrupt files or file missing". Haven't tried editing ei.cfg yet…

  • SM

    I like what you tell. It could be also cost cutting factor for Microsoft. But if it is true what you tell, how come the download sizes of different windows images are so different? Not only slightly but hundreds of Megabytes.

  • Jooseppi

    can you make N edition as well?

  • Petar

    Yap its working all right on Windows7 64bit.Bath doesn't work on Windows 7 Enterprise ISO.

    I have used original ISO from MSDN and remove it with Eicfg_remover utility .Thanks.This makes much easier to install Windows7.Thumb up!

  • Gavin

    Help, I installed ultimate by this, and my professional product key is not working

  • tt

    I have Windows 7 RC 7100 64-bit installed. On the RTM DVD I hacked the CVERSION.ini to allow for upgrading from build 7000. However after selecting upgrade I get an error that I cannot upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit or 64-bit to 32-bit…I'm trying to go 64-bit RC to 64-bit RTM. Anyone having a similar issue or know a work around?

  • Pingback: Windows 7 64-Bit (x64) Direct Download Links » My Digital Life()

  • Pingback: Windows 7 32-Bit (x86) Direct Download Links » My Digital Life()

  • Pingback: Windows 7 32-Bit (x86) Direct Download Links » My Digital Life()

  • dave

    Those 2 options don't work with the retail and oem final version. Just get a error message at the start

  • simon

    'Please do not re-copy useless information from other websites'

    Please don't write stuff like this just because u can't get something to work.U've obviously got no idea what ur doing.Some other people might not try it because of this.Works every time with me for rtm and rc.

  • rover3500

    I don't know why people can't get it to work when they delete the ei.cfg.I've done it many times with a few different iso's,rc and rtm,and it just comes up with choice at beginning of install.They obviously don't save it right or something.It's wierd that it works every time with me…

  • Pingback: Windows 7 Usage Guides, How-To Hacks, Tips and Tricks (Complete List) » Tip and Trick()

  • Pingback: Windows 7 ISO Downloads and Product Keys Live in MSDN TechNet » My Digital Life()

  • Pingback: Windows 7 Ultimate E RTM (x86 and x64) Official Microsoft DVD ISO Images Leaked Download » My Digital Life()

  • Fail

    This does not work with the real RTM or with RC. On both, if you delete the cfg file, you will receive an error and be unable to install Windows 7.

    Please do not re-copy useless information from other websites.

  • RM

    I think this is the error message I got

    Windows could not collect information for [OSImage] since the specified image file [install.wim] does not exist

    By the way, the original ISO, worked and installed perfectly.

  • RM

    I used this method, opened up my ISO and deleted the ei.cfg file in magic iso, then I saved the ISO via save as function to my desktop and reburned. The DVD did load correctly but gave me some weird error about IMAGE and WIM, something along those lines and would not go any further, it then brought me back to the "INSTALL" button and same error, etc.

    Any ideas??

  • LOOONEY2NS

    Worked perfectly. Thank you!

  • dodo

    Enterprise is seriously not included on the RTM iso? Damn.

  • João

    I got an erron! When i am trying to install i got an erron in instal.win i think.

  • Pingback: Changes to the Windows 7 install process - istartedsomething()

  • Pingback: Download 32-bit & 64-bit Windows 7 RTM Build 7600.16385 Original Untouched MSDN/TechNet Leaked Retail DVD ISO » My Digital Life()

  • Pingback: Download 32-bit & 64-bit Windows 7 RTM Build 7600.16385 Original Untouched MSDN/TechNet Leaked Retail DVD ISO » My Digital Life()

  • Rick

    nokey, it wasn't like that for the official betas I used. No key and still no choice, it installed Ultimate. I don't know if that changed post RC to be like what you're talking about (like Vista is).

  • nokey

    umm….. if you dont put in a cd key when it asks it will prompt you for what version you want. been like that since vista

  • forrest

    nice trick. but what about cd key? would professional cd work with ultimate?

    • scorliss

      No. You will get a sku error upon activation.