"Unlock" the other editions
To simplify the OS deployment media (DVD / ISO) - from now on refered to as the image. Microsoft has made a single image from which any edition of Windows 7 can be installed. The only difference is that there is a small text file that determines which version is available on that particular image.
The file is called ei.cfg and it is located in the \sources folder of the image file. If this file is deleted or renamed then the installation will prompt you to choose the edition of Windows.
The easiest way of doing this is to create a bootable USB installation drive.
If however you still want to have an ISO file so you can use it for VM's or burning physical media you, will have crack open the ISO and then recreate an bootable iso, it actually easier than it sounds.
OPTION 1 - Create bootable USB installation drive
Download the Windows 7 USB / DVD Download Tool http://images2.store.microsoft.com/prod/clustera/framework/w7udt/1.0/en-us/Windows7-USB-DVD-tool.exe
- Insert your 4GB or bigger USB flash drive
- Start the Windows 7 USB / DVD Download Tool
- Choose your original ISO
- Select USB device as your destination
The USB drive will now be boot-able and you can install form there.
- To make it multi edition you need to delete the ei.cfg file from the sources folder.
That's it, very simple and easy.
OPTION 2 - Create multi edition installation ISO
This happens in two parts. I am using two freeware applications to perform this.
- 7Zip available from http://downloads.sourceforge.net/sevenzip/7z920.msi
- IMGBurn available from http://www.imgburn.com/index.php?act=download
These two apps are very useful and I use them all the time, so take the time to check them out if you aren't already using them.
Part I extract the ISO
Once 7Zip is installed you can right click your ISO file and select extract.
This will now extract the entire folder structure.
Delete the ei.cfg file from the Sources folder
Part II create a bootable ISO
Open ImgBurn and from the menu screen select Create image file from files/folders
- Browse to the source folder where you extracted and edited the original ISO.
- Select the Advanced tab on the right
- Select the Bootable disk tab on the right
- Check the make image bootable box
- For the boot image browse to the \boot folder (in the extracted iso folder) and select etfsboot.com as the boot image.
- Add "Microsoft Corporation" in Developer ID
- Change Sectors to load from 4 to 8 (4 if you for some reason want to do a Vista ISO)
- Click the big Folder to ISO image on the bottom left and follow the prompts.
Your new ISO will now be bootable and multi edition.
This in no way causes any licensing issues since the version of Windows that you can end up using is dependent on the Key that you provide. You can of course not enter a key and pick a version , but then you will have to at some point provide a valid key.