Tweak Allows Installing Any Win7 Version from One DVD

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News Posted: Sun, Aug 23 2009 6:33 PM
Let's be clear, this is a way to try, not indefinitely use different versions of Windows 7 from one DVD or .ISO image. A small tweak will allow users tech-savvy enough to get a taste of all the versions of Windows 7.

Now, why do you need a little technical expertise? You need to remove a file from the DVD or from the .ISO image. As Windows Secrets notes, all you have to do is delete the ei.cfg file.

To make things easier for you, the ei.cfg file is in the sources subdirectory (WS didn't indicate its location).

It's simple enough: if you have an .ISO file use an appropriate .ISO imaging program to delete the file from it, then save the image and burn it. If you have the DVD you can use the same program to rip the DVD to an .ISO image, then delete the file, and reburn it.

Once deleted, you'll get a menu of choices, as shown above. You can select any version of Windows 7 to install, and thus try out any version, to see if you really, really want to buy that version.

Also, while the standard trial period is 30 days, just as with Windows Vista, you can extend that through the use of Microsoft's Software License Manager (slmgr), which ships with the OS.

If you install Windows 7 sans activation key, you have 30 days to try the software. Using slmgr, you can "rearm" and restart the clock. If you right-click on the Computer icon, and choose Properties, under Windows Activation, you'll see the number of days left in your trial period.

To restart the clock,
  • Click Start, All Programs, Accessories. Right-click Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator. If necessary, enter your administrator password.
  • Type "slmgr -rearm" and press the Enter key.
  • Restart Windows 7.
You can rearm a total of three times. Wait until the end of each period and you get a total of 120 days of use. Want to try another version? You can do a clean install.

Which version are you readers going to install?
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This is kinda annoying. The Vista DVDs had all versions on it just like the 7 disks. The only difference is that they put one line of code in saying this is a Home Premium disk meaning I have to do this or find different install media if say I am reinstalling windows on a friends dell with his totally legit product key and we have different versions of 7.

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n0nsense replied on Mon, Aug 24 2009 8:11 AM

You can avoid all this ISO editing by using USB as installation media.

It takes less time and makes less noise.

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replied on Mon, Aug 24 2009 8:40 AM

Wow, that is a really cool trick. Certainly worth trying!



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Kiristo replied on Mon, Aug 24 2009 9:07 AM

This should truly have all versions (32x and 64x) to be impressive. I have such a disc for Vista and it is supremely handy.

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josh replied on Mon, Aug 24 2009 10:15 AM

Both 32 and 64 bit versions are included on each disc.

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realneil replied on Mon, Aug 24 2009 11:28 AM

It's an interesting hack, but not worth the time it takes to do it.

I'll just buy the version I want and install it.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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mhenriday replied on Tue, Aug 25 2009 4:22 PM

Congratulations on your avatar, signature RT !...


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Yeah I have 7 install on a USB stick for my netbook, but it installs so much faster that I used it for my girlfriends and another friends rig.

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AVarghese replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 7:50 PM

Just watch this video..

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digitaldd replied on Tue, Jan 17 2012 9:45 AM

3 years late to the party..


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