ei.cfg Removal Utility (Windows 7 Universal CD) – Repair Tool of the Week

One of the biggest frustrations when installing Windows XP was making sure you had the correct CD for your license key. Windows Vista fixed this problem by having a universal CD that contained all versions (all 32bit versions or all 64bit versions, not both) and simply installed the version that the key matched.

Now that Windows 7 is out, Microsoft have reverted back to needing a separate disk for each version which is annoying for us computer technicians. However, the only difference between each DVD is a small 51 byte configuration file called ei.cfg which tells the installer what version disc it is. If you were to turn your DVD into an ISO, remove this ei.cfg file and write it back to a DVD, that DVD would become a Universal DVD.

ei.cfg Removal Utility will make this easy for you. Just create an ISO with your legitimate Windows 7 DVD, run this tool, choose the ISO and let it run. Once it has finished, just write the ISO back to a DVD again and you would only need to carry one 32bit version and one 64bit version to support any Windows 7 install onsite.

Of course, your client would still need to provide you with a working key for the Windows 7 install to work.



Downloads:

Download from the Coders Site – 4.64kb

More Information

Special thanks to our forum member AtYourService for recommending this one.



Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
More articles by me...
Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

Comments (21)

  • Ivan says:

    This will come very handy. thank you!!!

  • D MooRe says:

    Does anyone know if there is a similar fix for Windows XP. The article mentions that it’s a pain in XP but doesn’t say there is a fix for it

  • Jim says:

    Nope…no fix for XP. It’s a completely different beast altogether.

  • Jim says:

    It should be noted that this tool doesn’t actually “remove” anything from the ISO. It merely alters the UDF file table so that ei.cfg is ignored….

  • Steve says:

    thank you for advice. it’s better to have CD versions with license keys

  • Michael says:

    I’m loving this will be very useful indeed. I can remember this problem with xp and carrying all those different versions just in case. MCE of XP was the worst for me.

    Thank you very much for this and as someone mentioned before would be great to have something like this for XP but I know the install disk are very different. Thing is I dont trust those all in ones.

  • Ummm, the end of the article doesn’t quite make sense. You’re talking about creating a single install disk for both versions, right? Shouldn’t it say “and you would only need to carry one disk to support any Windows 7 install onsite.”?

  • Jim says:

    Nope..the article is correct Rodney. You are confusing “Editions” and “Versions”.

    There are 5 Editions of the OS on each DVD…Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate.

    At the same time there are two distinct Versions of each Edition…32bit and 64bit.

    The 32bit and 64bit Versions do not exist on the sane DVD….so 1-DVD for 32bit Editions and 1-DVD for 64bit Editions.

  • pdok says:

    Don’t forget you can use the edited ISO to make a new USB stick installer with the Microsoft USB tool.
    Great article and this will come in handy.

  • AC says:

    I’m still in the process of figuring out the right way to activate without it kicking you to the phone method. With Vista, regardless of whether or not you insert the key during the boot disc part of the install, you can change the key under “System” once inside Windows and have the key activate online instantly. If you try to go straight to activation, it will want you to call it in… activation over the phone is soooooo boring.

  • Calvin says:

    Tried creating this with an Enterprise ISO. The app said removing ei.cfg was successful, but I wasn’t able to activate my installation with a Windows 7 PRO retail key.

  • John says:

    So, I have already burned the WIndows 7 Recovery DVD, both 64 bit and 32 bit. Are they what this ei.cfg removal tool makes or are they something different yet again?

    I can do the iso thing described above but hesitate to if I’ve already got what I need with the “Recovery DVDs” I have.

  • AC says:

    Calvin: Enterprise is a special critter, it likely doesn’t go with this tutorial. It is the exact same as Ultimate, except it is volume/enterprise licensing except for OEM/retail(which is what Ultimate is). Only a Pro installation will take a Pro key.

    I actually have a “single” super disc for Windows 7. I splurged on some double-sided DVD’s for Christmas. ^_^ I have 3 discs to install anything. Win7 x86/x64 on one, WinVista x86/x64 on another, and my nLite-updated XP Home/Pro images on another.

  • techgenius says:

    does’t work. I tried converting my Windows 7 Professional disk into a Ultimate one with this tool but removing the ei.cfg makes no difference, I can’t choose what version to install.

  • hannibal000 says:

    does anyone know for sure by removing ei.cfg file that i could use my OA key from my Acer desktop pc or even changing the channel from retail to OEM

    or will any work either retail or oem???

    thanks

  • Lee says:

    Removing the ei.cfg does work but one will need your original disk Windows 7 disk to do it
    1: boot your original after it gets to the install screen.
    2: Remove the original disk and then place in your Hybrid re manufactured disk.

    3: making sure you have the correct key that you have purchased, load your choice of the OS.

    4: Windows will go through all the steps and create your new OS. You can still do the anytime upgrade.
    but sometimes it is best to do a clean install.

    I don’t think it is Illegal to make a change like this, one is just creating an “UP-Grade” Disk.

  • yea pleasing stuff

  • Mart says:

    Works a treat on the “digital download” ISO files that are legitimately available on the net. No need for “your original DVD”.

    Remember though, that you can’t use a Starter key, for example, to activate Ultimate. What this patch does is let you install any version of 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 (except Enterprise) using two DVDs plus the CORRECT retail/VLK/OEM key. Two discs instead of ten.

    Disc should be legal as you’re not modifying or deleting any Microsoft files, only the UDF directory structure.

  • nathanvill says:

    can I install a Windows 32 bit out from a 64 bit DVD or ISO with a 64 bit license key?

  • Adnan says:

    Where can I download the vista universal CD iso?

  • trinidad says:

    will this work on oem reinstalls?