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?
There are 2 ways! 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 are going to do a clean install, you can open the ISO file using our exclusive freeware "ISO Toolkit" and then delete or modify "ei.cfg" file and save the ISO. Now you can burn the ISO file to DVD and install your desired Windows 7 edition.
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.
UPDATE: You can also use a free tool "ei.cfg Removal Utility" to delete "ei.cfg" file so that you can choose the desired version at the time of installation.
OR you can use another free tool "Windows 7 ISO Image Edition Switcher" to modify "ei.cfg" file so that you can convert a specific Windows 7 edition setup ISO file (e.g. Windows 7 Ultimate) to another one (e.g. Windows 7 Professional).
Thanks to "cskamper" & "Manan" for suggesting these 2 apps.