Windows 7 install discs are edition-specific — if you've got a valid license key, you still need the right disc for installation. The ei.cfg Removal Utility, however, lets you create a new, universal installation ISO for Windows 7.
Although your Windows installation disc may say "Home Premium Edition," it still contains the other versions (such as Pro or Ultimate) on the disc — it just has a very small file called ei.cfg that tells the disc what version to install. The ei.cfg Removal Utility creates a new ISO of your install disc that ignores this file, thus letting you choose what edition you want when you start the installer.
While this tool is especially useful for computer technicians who have to install Windows a lot, it's also nice to have for those of us that tend to lose discs often—especially in this day and age of emailed product keys. Now, if you need to reinstall Windows but can't find your disc, you can just borrow a friend's—even if it's an edition that's different than yours. You just need let the installer know which edition matches your product key (Note: Your disc still needs to be the same kernel as your key (i.e. 32 or 64-bit).
The ei.cfg Removal Utility is a free download, Windows only, and requires a Windows 7 install disc to use win7utils - Windows 7 ISO Disc Image Utilities
Thought id pass it on as this has been very usefull after snapping my ultimate disc!!
Note: copying the disc, altering it or patching files are all almost certainly in contravention of your license terms, which are fairly comprehensive.
not copying just borrowing off a friend, probs still illegal to hack the disc but still helpfull i think
Slipstreaming is allowed. I see this as bending the rules, you cant install something you don't have a licence for.
tommccann (15th January 2010)
I'd guess many people have volume licensing deals so they can just download the proper ISO from the MS web site.
While this probably does break the MS licensing conditions I would hope that if it ever went to court it would be thrown out as unreasonable but I'm not a lawyer ...
Why MS can't just let the installer run, ask for the product key and then say "that's a home premium key" or "that's a starter key" and continue. It has to be easier than faffing about like this!
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