If your life is anything like mine, you find yourself in dozens of situations a year (no matter how much you resist) where a relative or friend breaks their Windows install beyond repair and asks you to “take a look at it.” Even if you are just a standard computer user, capable of performing your own windows install and find yourself in a situation where you don’t have the disc to match the SKU (Pro, Ultimate, Home, Etc) of your license – these tips are going to soothe your pain.
- There are really only 2 different versions of Windows discs, 32-bit and 64-bit
- The difference between a 32-bit Home Premium disc and 32-bit Ultimate disc is the text contained within 1 file
- This file can be edited to make the disc install any SKU
- or this file can be deleted and force the installer to prompt for what SKU you are installing
Note: This does not change the fact that you need to have a valid license and product key for the SKU of windows you are installing. Microsoft needs more money, pay for your Windows. $100-$130 for an OEM version of Home Premium or Professional (malware free!) that controls every function on your machine and is paying for itself every time your computer is powered on is a bargain compared to most software today.
Make your own “universal” Windows 7 disc
- Copy Files from the disc to your computer for editing
- Browse to sources/ei.cfg
- Delete the ei.cfg file
- Burn contents of disc to a new DVD, remember to check/set the “Bootable disc” option in your burning software.
Easy! It is well worth having 2 of these, one 32-bit and another 64-bit, in my computer toolbox at all times. When it is faster to reinstall than fixing the problem, put the disc in and boot, find their product key – and make sure to set automatic updates and a virus scan for them this time.
Then pray that they don’t call you for another year or 2.