Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Convert Windows 7 ISO/Disk to another version and/or OEM

You have a laptop that had Windows preinstalled and still has a sticker on it with the Product key for that OEM installation. You want to install it again on a new SSD (for example).

You need an OEM version of Windows 7 Home/Professional/Ultimate/... but you have only an ISO/Disk from other Windows 7 version and/or not OEM.

The following procedure can be used for any Windows 7 to Windows 7 conversion be it Ultimate,Professional,HomePremium,HomeBasic,Starter and Retail or OEM. I am not sure about the x86 vs x64, that's why I just took care that the Windows 7 kit I started from is for the same architecture as I needed.


On Ubuntu: (FAILED ! - just adapted ImgBurn's parameters given here: http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?/topic/11194-how-to-create-a-windows-vista-7-8-installation-disc-bootable-using-imgburn/, but DVD did not boot, so I expect it has to do with the hexadecimal notation needed in k3b. As the process of building a DVD is quite lengthy, I did not try tweaking the parameters and burn again.)

Windows 7 installation DVDs are UDF and the very intuitive ISO Master under Ubuntu (as per ver. 16.04) does not support it. Therefore we need to use more cumbersome (personal opinion, of course :-) k3b (install it from Ubuntu software).
Steps:
- extract the files out of the Windows 7 iso using archive manager. If you have the dvd, copy them from the Windows dvd to a directory.
- modify the sources/ei.cfg as needed. For example, for a Windows 7 Professional OEM retail, my ei.cfg looked like this:

[EditionID]
Professional
[Channel]
OEM
[VL]
0
Other options for your particular case can be seen here: http://www.askvg.com/how-to-choose-desired-windows-7-edition-version-during-setup/


- repack the file in a iso using k3b. Very important is to have the boot options right. Here is how mine looked:


- create the iso (or burn cd) and get to the Windows installation



On Windows:

- use 7zip to extract the files from the Windows iso
- modify the sources/ei.cfg as needed. For example, for a Windows 7 Professional OEM retail, my ei.cfg looked like this:

[EditionID]
Professional
[Channel]
OEM
[VL]
0
Other options for your particular case can be seen here: http://www.askvg.com/how-to-choose-desired-windows-7-edition-version-during-setup/

- repack the file as an iso (or directly burn it on disk) using ImgBurn (free!). As for the boot options, here they are, explained much better:
http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?/topic/11194-how-to-create-a-windows-vista-7-8-installation-disc-bootable-using-imgburn/
-  create the iso (or burn cd directly) and get to the Windows installation


Final notes:
- in my case, I had to do the Windows activation over the phone, no operator, just entering a lot of numbers and getting back a bunch. As the COE label on the laptop was genuine, everything went smooth.
I don't know however how many times one can do this reactivation... I suppose it is limited.

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