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Generic windows install disks


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#1 madman6510

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:39 PM

Where can I get "generic" windows install disks? I need untouched, legal disks without licences attached so I can reinstall Windows on other computers that do have their own licences.

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#2 keyboardNinja

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:31 PM

There is no such thing as a "generic" Windows 7 install disk. My disk is just the same as the next guy's. The product key is not tied to the disk it came with. If you have valid product key, you can use any installation disk that is the same edition as the product key(Ultimate, Pro, Home Premium, etc.). It doesn't matter.

The only problem is, if you buy a disk from Microsoft, you'll be paying for another product key. The disk itself has no value. The product key is the only valuable part.
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#3 Casey_boy

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 12:04 PM

So just to expand on keyboardNinja's post:

If you have a Windows 7 disc, you can use that to install Windows 7 on the other computers (just make sure you choose the right edition for the license). Once installed, you will then need to activate the OS with the other computers' licenses.

Note: All installation discs are the same. For example, a Windows 7 Home Premium disc can install Windows 7 Ultimate - you just wont be able to activate it with the Home Premium license.

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#4 keyboardNinja

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 01:37 PM

Note: All installation discs are the same. For example, a Windows 7 Home Premium disc can install Windows 7 Ultimate - you just wont be able to activate it with the Home Premium license.

This not entirely true.

To be crystal clear:

While every Windows 7 installation disk has the necessary things to install every edition of Windows 7, the ei.cfg file dictates which edition is installed. The legality of deleting the ei.cfg file will continue to be disputed, but I did it myself for my disk. It makes things easier as you don't have to use the edition specific disk for the product key you have. It essentially gives you an all-version disk. If you don't delete the ei.cfg file and install Windows 7 with an unmodified disk, you will end up with the version that the disk was made for (i.e. if it was a Pro disk, putting in an Ultimate product key will not make it Ultimate). You might be able to do a Windows Anytime Upgrade with the proper product key, but I doubt the feasibility of that.

But like I said before, the disk itself has no value. It's the product key that matters. Which is why I don't think it is against the rules to delete the ei.cfg file. Yeah, you can install whatever version you want if you delete that file, but it does you no good without a product key. You haven't cracked anything.

I hope that my posts in this topic do not violate the rules of BC. I was simply trying to clarify something that still has a little grey area. I do not personally believe that deleting this file to gain a full-version disk is illegal (as described above), but this topic may be locked or deleted due to the controversy of the issue (although I don't believe it should be locked or deleted, as it is simply informative).

Cheers. :huh:

Edited by keyboardNinja, 13 February 2010 - 01:40 PM.

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#5 Casey_boy

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 03:36 PM

Yes you're right! It must have been Vista for which you could do this. I stand corrected :huh:

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#6 madman6510

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 06:22 PM

Thanks for the responses.

For anyone who wants to know in the future: just opening the disk image up with Magic ISO or something and deleting the ei.cfg file won't work, you'll get an error when you try to install it. But, when I used a removal program, it worked fine.

Link: http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/11/01/c...emoval-utility/

#7 keyboardNinja

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 06:50 PM

Heh, I just mounted the ISO, copied the files to an arbitrary location, deleted the ei.cfg file, then used IMG Burn to burn the files to a DVD (make sure you read IMG Burn's tutorials on how to do this, because if you don't, it will not boot). Works fine.

But whatever. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. It's all the same. :huh:
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#8 Romeo29

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 09:35 PM

Deleting ei.cfg is futile if you do not have license key for that edition. This is the reason Microsoft puts this file, so if you buy Professional edition key, you are given DVD with ei.cfg modified for Professional edition and so on.

There are dumb people who would buy Home edition and choose Ultimate edition on setup, when license key wont work they would complain to Microsoft.

#9 madman6510

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 09:58 PM

There are dumb people who would buy Home edition and choose Ultimate edition on setup, when license key wont work they would complain to Microsoft.


And then there are people like us, who need a disk that gives us choice because we're around multiple computers with multiple licence keys for different editions. And then the dumb people break things forcing us to reinstall Windows :huh:

#10 keyboardNinja

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:23 PM

There are dumb people who would buy Home edition and choose Ultimate edition on setup, when license key wont work they would complain to Microsoft.


And then there are people like us, who need a disk that gives us choice because we're around multiple computers with multiple licence keys for different editions. And then the dumb people break things forcing us to reinstall Windows :huh:

Yep! Yep! Been there! :huh:
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