[Fix] Can’t Select Windows 10 Pro Edition During Clean Installation

Today we are going to address another annoying problem which many users are facing while installing the recently released Windows 10 November update (Build 10586 version 1511).

A few hours back, we told you how to get the November update in Windows 10 if its not showing up on Windows Update:

[Fix] Windows 10 November Update (Threshold 2) Not Showing on Your Computer

Now lets talk about clean installation of Windows 10. Many people like me prefer to perform clean install of new Windows versions so that we can get a fresh Windows install and user experience without any glitched and leftover files, etc.

But many people are reporting an issue where they can't select which Windows 10 edition they want to install during clean installation. Windows 10 setup automatically installs Windows 10 core (or Home) edition in their computer without giving any choice to choose between Home or Pro editions.

Select_Windows_10_Home_Pro_Edition_Installation_Screen.png

It didn't happen with Windows 10 RTM build 10240 clean installation time. But now when a user is trying to clean install Windows 10 version 1511, he is unable to select edition type at the time of installation.

PROBLEM REASON:

Actually Windows 10 setup automatically detects the edition type of previously installed Windows version in your computer and then it installs the corresponding edition of Windows 10. For example, if you had Windows 7 Home or Windows 8/8.1 core edition installed in your computer previously, Windows 10 setup will automatically install Windows 10 core (Home) edition in your computer.

One more thing! If your computer originally came with core or home edition of Windows 7/8/8.1 and you forcefully upgraded it to Windows 10 Pro edition when Windows 10 RTM released and now you try to clean install Windows 10 version 1511, it'll still install Windows 10 core (Home) edition as it'll detect the product key stored in BIOS which is obviously associated with core or home edition of previous Windows version.

PROBLEM SOLUTION:

The solution would be forcing Windows 10 setup to provide selection screen so that we can choose between Core (Home) or Pro editions of Windows 10 or forcing Windows 10 to automatically install Pro edition in our computer.

NOTE: Please keep in mind if you have product key of core or Home edition of Windows 7/8/8.1 and you previously activated Windows 10 core edition in your computer and now you try to install Pro edition of Windows 10, it'll not activate after installation as your computer's hardware ID is associated with Windows 10 core (Home) edition.

We can force Windows 10 setup to install our desired edition of Windows 10 by adding a new file "ei.cfg" in Windows 10 setup ISO image. This file tells Windows setup about which edition of Windows should be installed in the computer.

If you remember long time back when Windows 7 was released, we told you about a similar thing. Windows 7 setup was also automatically installing applicable edition in computers and was not giving any choice to select desired Windows 7 edition. The solution was deleting "ei.cfg" file from Windows 7 setup ISO file:

How to Choose Desired Windows 7 Edition / Version During Setup?

Now we are going to use the same "ei.cfg" file to force Windows 10 setup to install Pro edition instead of core (or Home) edition in our computer.

Windows 10 setup ISO doesn't contain "ei.cfg" file so we'll need to create the file manually and set its content to install Pro edition. Check out following steps to install Pro edition of Windows 10 in your computer:

STEP 1:

First of all we'll need to extract the content of Windows 10 setup ISO file. You can extract it using 7-Zip. It'll take some time in extracting the whole ISO file.

STEP 2:

Now open Notepad and copy/paste following piece of code in Notepad:

[EditionID]
Professional
[Channel]
Retail

Create_EI_CFG_File_Windows_10.png

You can also totally skip the [EditionID] part in the "ei.cfg" file so that Windows 10 setup asks you to choose desired edition at the time of clean installation:

[Channel]
Retail

Now save the file with the name "ei.cfg" (use the double-quotes "" while saving the file otherwise Notepad will create a text file with the name ei.cfg.txt).

STEP 3:

Now copy the "ei.cfg" file and paste it into Sources folder of Windows 10 setup folder which you got after extracting ISO file using 7-Zip.

Copy_EI_CFG_File_Windows_10_ISO.png

STEP 4:

Now you can create bootable USB drive or burn the files to a DVD and install Windows 10 Pro edition without any problem.

How to Create Bootable USB Drive of Windows Setup without Using Any Software?





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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 10


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Comments

  • Thanks - this is the information I was looking for

  • I had this excact issue during a clean install. However if you have a 10 Pro product key you are saved.
    After Windows 10 is installed and you see a Home edition. Apply a change product key procedure with your Windows 10 Pro product key. Windows then surged the web and installs al 10 Pro extras. When completed a full Windows 10 Pro edition is on you PC.

  • Hello There!

    I just have installed Windows 10 Pro on MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014) without adding ei.cfg file. I have realized that Windows X.iso downloaded using Media Creation Tool is PIDKEY dependent.

    Probably, you are getting Core/Home edition if you do not input the key during installation.

    Thanks & Regards!

  • If Core/Home edition gets installed then it can be upgraded to pro without changing the product key. Just click "Go to the store" in settings>activation. No purchase is required as it will 'not' show the price and simply show 'upgrade' button (provided you had already own win 10 pro digital entitlement)

  • +1 Very nice. This works well on my Windows 10 AIO Setup USB :-)

    Thank you very much!

  • Hey, can i use my windows 10 single language iso files to choose to regular windows 10 (home and pro)? Or do i need to download the regular windows 10 version?

  • Thanks for this article!
    I have tested but it's not working with just a ei.cfg.
    We need to have another pid.txt file which supplies product during setup.

    [PID]
    Value=XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

    Windows 10 Pro Generic Key : VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

    Things works when both file (ei.cfg and pid.txt) are present.

  • Thank you so much; I have been installing a lot of Windows 10 these past few months and this method to make either installer a universal installer saves wasting a bunch of flash drives. Appreciate your article!

  • I had accidentally installed Windows 10 Pro instead of of Windows 10 Home during a clean-install after having updated from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 10.
    The original suggestion does not work, but ztkteh works with the disadvantage that all programs and apps get deleted and only the personal files are kept untouched when klicking on "setup" directly on the USB stick. I will now check if I boot with the USB stick (by pressing SHIFT when clicking on restart).

  • I tried to boot with the USB stick and really could choose the Windows version and even that I do not want my programs and apps to be deleted, but then the dialog asked me to plug out the USB stick, restart Windows again in the normal way and then to install from the USB, which leads me back to my first post.

  • Thank you. Struggled trying to clean install 10586 Pro on a laptop. This solved it.

  • Thanks a lot! Yet another example of how "simplicity" ALWAYS complicates things. There's nothing I hate more than exaggerated attempts at simplifying technology.

  • Hi,

    I really appreciate this quick tutorial you've posted. I just don't know much you made my day. I wish I can buy you coffee or maybe lunch. I'm located here in Dubai but I am a Filipino. Thanks so much for the help.

  • Hi,

    It took me 5 days to eleminate the get rid of the pre installed W10 Home edition and manage to successfully install W10 Pro. However, only the before mentioned PID.txt with my original (pro) serial in it was necessary to have an activated Pro version.

  • I upgraded from Windows 8.1 Home Edition to the free Windows 10 when it came available. Now my computer will not install updates. It did not install the Windows 10 upgrade last November. Is that why it will not install updates now? I am afraid to try any of the above solutions for fear of really messing my computer up. Is there a easy way to make the November update install? Or do I need to take it to a computer tech?

  • VG

    ^^ You can directly download November update ISO file and upgrade existing Windows 10 using it. Or you can use Media Creation Tool:

    http://www.askvg.com/download-windows-10-offline-iso-files-and-create-installation-media/
    http://www.askvg.com/tip-get-direct-download-links-of-windows-10-iso-from-microsoft/

  • There is an easier way, when you are installing windows during a clean install, Click that you dont have a product key, then it gives you the option to chose which Windows you want to install. Then add the product key after installing Windows.

  • thanks! thanks!
    I bought the 8.1 pro version (but my laptop came with v8.1 home)
    Microsoft make me loose my time and I am VERY upset
    Can't even change my product key for my PRO one
    have a error message that I cant change my key because of home edition was
    installed :(

  • This method DOES NOT WORK ANYMORE ( JULY 13 2016) I did't get that screen to choose which version do I want to install.

  • [June 20 2016]tin is right .The above doesn't work for me too.I copied the text and saved it exactly with the quotes in the sources folder.I have also tried by adding pid.txt.It too doesn't work.Hope you will provide a solution soon...

  • This worked very well, Thank you for this it has saved my bacon.

    Cheers

  • I just had to go through this; I created the bootable USB media, and chose just to create the PID.txt file under the Sources directory, using my Win 7 Pro key in the format that zkteh mentions above. That one change was enough to get it to install as the Win 10 Pro version, instead of reading the Win 8.1 standard key that is in the BIOS and installing the Home edition instead.

  • [07-28-2016] It's perfect !! Thanks a lot, never seen this bug, and the "ei.cfg" file is THE solution !! Thx

  • Thanks for this. It worked perfectly on 7-27-16.
    After upgrading online from Win 7 Pro to Win 10 Pro I found I could not use the UEFI firmware that my motherboard supported, so I wanted to reinstall from scratch after cleaning the hard drive with diskpart and converting the drive from MBR to GPT.
    I was not confident that the Pro version of Win 10 would be installed to the blank hard disk, since the same Win10 ISO is used to install both Home and Pro.
    Before converting the hard drive, I obtained the product key for my (activated) Win 10 Pro installation using Nirsoft's free ProduKey utility. This key was different from the Win 7 Pro product key. (Note that the Nirsoft utility reports a product ID in addition to the product key. I used the XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX product key value.)
    I used Rufus to create a bootable USB stick (NTFS) from the downloaded 64-bit Win 10 ISO file, then added the ei.cfg and pid.txt files described above to the Sources folder. For the PID value in pid.txt I used the Windows 10 Pro product key.
    I then booted from the Rufus USB drive, which required pressing F8 repeatedly during boot for my Asus motherboard to show boot device options. Selected "Repair" rather than "Install" from the Win 10 options, navigated to the command prompt, ran diskpart, selected and cleaned the hard drive, converted it to GPT, rebooted to the Rufus USB stick, and installed Windows to my now-blank hard drive.
    During the installation, I was never prompted to choose installation of Home or Pro, and I was never prompted for a product key. The install ended a bit strangely in that there was no message indicating that it had completed. The computer just booted into Windows.
    It was the Pro version, and it had been activated. Hurray!

  • Gracias!! funciona de maravilla inclusive con Aniversary Udapte

    al fin alguien publica algo importante sobre windows 10

    XD

  • I LOVE YOU. really.

  • Thank you man, this was the info I was looking for!!

  • I used the windows 10 Pro default key that I found on the internet and this gets you through the upgrade process on a system already running home, then after it upgraded to PRO I replaced that key with an old Win7 Pro key from a machine that had bit the dust and it activated in a couple of seconds. Seems to me this is much easier and less work then making all sorts of media and manipulating files. And you can use all the previous PRO keys that you've been collecting from old computers.

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