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

Many people are curious to know how to install a desired Windows 7 Edition while installing Windows 7. Actually Windows 7 setup doesn't allow to choose any particular edition by default.

Windows 7 comes in various editions like Ultimate, Professional, Home Premium, Home Basic and Starter. Now there might be many cases when you would like to choose the edition during setup for example, you have Windows 7 Professional key but you downloaded wrong Windows 7 Edition. So now you want to choose Professional edition during setup.

Another case might be, you ordered Windows 7 Edition but don't want to wait till you get the installation media. So you want to install Windows 7 now with the correct edition which you have ordered.

Or you want to test various Windows 7 editions but don't want to download all editions separately. Wouldn't it be great if you download a single Windows 7 ISO and can install any desired edition from it?

So how to force Windows 7 setup to allow us to choose desired edition during installation? Answer is very simple! By modifying "ei.cfg" file present in Windows 7 setup.


"ei.cfg" file is present in "Sources" directory of Windows 7 setup disc which tells the setup which edition should be installed in system.

If you open the file in Notepad, it looks similar to following:



Edition ID tells Windows setup which edition should be installed.

Channel can be either OEM or Retail.

VL represents Volume License and it can be either 1 (for True) or 0 (for False).

So the simple solution is, delete "ei.cfg" file from setup and it'll ask you to choose the desired Windows 7 version at the time of installation as shown in following screenshot:


Another solution is to modify the "ei.cfg" file and change the [EditionID] to your desired one. You can use any of following valid "Edition IDs":


So if you want to install Windows 7 Professional, simply change [EditionID] to Professional and your custom "ei.cfg" file will look as following:



Now the question is, how to delete or modify "ei.cfg" file in Windows 7 setup?

You can extract the content of Windows 7 setup ISO file using 7-Zip and then delete or modify "ei.cfg" file according to your requirements. Its useful if you are going to do an upgrade because you can run setup.exe file directly from the extracted folder and install Windows 7.

If you have a USB drive, you can use our "A Bootable USB" tool which allows you to create bootable USB drive for installing Windows 7.


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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7

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  • I downloaded win 7 ultimate iso fie from torrenz . then i wanna find the key of this iso file please help.......................

  • @kiran , I'm sorry to say but this is not a website where you can find product keys of different Windows versions. VG dosen't provide this kind of information to any reader.

  • @kiran, simply download windows 7 loader and use it.. it will automatically generate key and install it

  • i have a quick question about this, i have done all the steps correctly and successfully modified the ISO to install any version of windows, my question is, will my product key that i used to install windows 7 professional still work if i upgrade to ultimate... thanks and i hope to get help a.s.a.p

  • VG

    ^^ No. The key will work for Professional version only.

  • but can we also chose from 32bit or 64 bit or its like if u have a 32 bit iso it will only list 32bit editions of the various versions?

  • VG

    ^^ 32-bit and 64-bit ISOs are different. But there are many unofficial ISOs available on Internet which come with both 32-bit as well as 64-bit editions combined.

  • Have you got any links on how to download the different versions of Windows 8?

    Thanks in advance

  • reverting back from Professional to Home Premium 64 bit and system does fully upload as the a user was only set up in Professional not Home Premium, what is the solution?

  • VG,

    Do you know of a similar file to modify in Vista to achieve this same objective?

  • VG

    ^^ Cant remember. Have you checked for the same file in Vista setup?

  • FINALLY.....a very detailed post and I was able to install windows 7 starter easily, thank you!

  • First of all, Sorry for my very poor english,
    Very nice Post and good explanation,

    But, I have a question, can we modify also type of Licence, from Retail to Volume ?!

    If we modify in "ei.cfg" file, the value of [VL] from '0' to '1' , can this change the licence from Retail to Volume ?


  • Thanks Vishal.Nice & very helpful article.Good Job !!!

  • If u have windows 7 it will work but what about windows xp can I change anything in that pls help I need this info soon

  • VG

    ^^ Windows XP doesnt come with such feature.

  • is this method work in all windows editions eg: 7,8,8.1 and if any one wants to activate win 7 any edition just download removewat2.2.6 which removes the windows activation files and lets to access to genuine win7 and if u want to restore activation files just click restore wat in the remove wat software. thanks

  • Please tell me the process of iso file installation using dvd . thakyou

  • VG

    ^^ Just burn the ISO to a DVD using a disc burning software or Windows built-in feature.

  • VG Bhai......... pls provide product key of window 7 ultimate sp1 32 bit , i want to make window 7 sp1 ultimate 32 bit with acitvate iso... i am tired of running window loader after reinstalling wndows... if you can provide the working product key.,, i will integrate using rt7lite..

  • VG

    ^^ Sorry but I cant help in this matter. You should purchase a genuine license key legally.

  • Hello, so i have the windows 7 Ultimate ISO and i would like to install the windows 7 starter for netbook. I followed the steps and the ei.cfg file was removed from the iso. When i boot from usb and try to install, i dont get the prompt to choose windows 7 starter, it goes straight to accept the terms and conditions for windows ultimate. what can i do? thank you.

  • VG

    ^^ If your Windows ISO is not allowing to choose editions, you can try to download official Windows 7 ISO using following article:

  • Hey, once I follow these steps from ultimate to home prem could I activate the home prem with a windows 7 home prem key?

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. You'll need the correct edition product key to activate that Windows edition.

  • Hi VG, I have Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit and would like to change to the 64bit version. Can I activate the 64bit using the 32bit's key? Thanks lots! :)

  • VG

    ^^ The key should work for both editions.

  • This is absolutely incredible! such a lifesaver for those of us with LEGAL OEM versions who lost their install media. Can't download from Microsoft anymore and all other mirrors are down. This is the only solution. Thanks!

  • where do i find i key ? i have downloaded official version of windows 7

  • hi vishal,
    if i remove ei.cfg file its shows all the editions of windows

    but i want to display only 2 editions
    how can i do that?

  • VG

    ^^ Then you'll need to remove those editions from the ISO itself using 3rd party software.

  • If you have a PC with an OEM product key on it set EditionID to the proper Windows 7 version, set Channel to OEM and set VL to 0.

    This will install a perfectly legal operating system that passes activation. As a long-time service tech I've done it hundreds of times..

    Keep Windows 7 as long as you can. It's the last decent Microsoft OS, in my opinion.

  • Hi VG.

    My ei.cfg is a bit different.
    I clean install my PC almost yearly. (Did twice this month, whew!)
    The next time I need to do it, I wanted to include the Compaq branding, but none of the factory installed software.
    So, I downloaded an iso that has:
    all x86 and x64 HP OEM Editions but Enterprise
    all x86 and x64 Compaq OEM Editions but Enterprise
    From videos I saw, it was intended that I select my desired version. (for me, Compaq Win7 Home Premium x64) Is this why I am missing EditionID from ei.cfg?
    Also, does burning the iso to a disc make it work like a normal installation disc?

  • VG

    ^^ If the file doesn't exist then you'll get choices to install desired edition. Also if you direct burn ISO file to DVD, it'll be bootable and will allow you to install Windows.

  • Can you please explain how I can combine Windows 7 Pro x64 Retail and Windows 7 Pro x 64 OEM on the same DVD. I have seen AIO articles on how to combine WIM files but I have not been able to combine the OEM with Retail editions when specified through the ei.cfg

  • VG

    ^^ Dont enter product key at Windows 10 installation time and it'll allow to select editions.

  • So why did millions of people spend an extra $100-$400 just to get the different
    versions of Windows 7??

  • I have my ei.cfg file set up exactly like the you show but i still get the box to select which OS I want to install. how do I get do I get it to go diectly to installing Professional without me having to select it.

  • Hi there i have a home premium disc and i need home basic but im not sure where to find the home basic iso on the disc or any iso for that matter please i need help asap as i have important work that has to be done tonight

  • why then people spend money to change the edition? whats the diffrence between using this method on a home premium to get ultimate and buying utimate ?

  • VG

    ^^ You can only select the desired edition but you'll need a genuine license key to install and activate that edition.

  • thank u so much for the reply,
    so youre saying that we are buying the license but the OS is the same ( home premium to get ultimate and buying utimate ) ?

  • VG

    ^^ The ISO file contains setup of all editions. Its the license key which decides which edition should be installed or you can manually install desired edition using this trick. But you'll need genuine license key of that edition to activate. All editions are different in features.

  • thank u so so so much VG !! this was my first time here in askvg blog and wont be the last very helpful posts, thanks again !!

  • VG

    ^^ Glad to help you and thanks. :)

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