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Windows 7: Try Windows 7 FREE for 90 days!!!

23 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Try Windows 7 FREE for 90 days!!!

Saving up for Windows 7 but can't wait any longer? Well you don't have to!

Microsoft has made available a 90 day trial version of Windows 7 Enterprise in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions and with a simple hack you can use it to install any of version of Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate) so that you can purchase that version without having to format and start again.

The trial is just under 3GB and may take several hours to download depending on your internet connection. You can pause and resume it but I suggest leaving it over night.

Getting the Trial

1. Head to Download 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 Enterprise Trial

2. After selecting either 32 or 64-bit and your language it will take you to a questionnaire page. Enter your name and choose either Vista or Windows 7 RC as your current OS. For occupation pick either IT Manager or Developer. For "What is your purpose for downloading Windows 7" tick atleast 4 of them. Enter a valid e-mail address. Click continue.

3. You may get a security warning about an invalid certificate, allow it and it will load the Java based download manager. Pick a location to save it the ISO.

4. When done you have two options: 1. Burn it to DVD and install as is and it will install Windows 7 Enterprise which there is no way to activate (legally) using a retail copy of Windows 7, so a clean install will be needed if you choose to go with Windows 7. 2. Follow the next section to extract the ISO and hack it so that you can install any version of Windows 7.

Edtion Hack

With a simple trick you can enable a hidden menu that allow you to install any edition of Windows 7 from any Windows 7 installation media. This works on all editions of Windows 7 including Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. If you have a 32-bit Windows 7 install DVD/ISO you can install any 32-bit edition from it. The same is true for 64-bit installation media.

The secret is the ei.cfg file located in the Sources directory on the installation DVD/ISO. If this file exists, the setup program reads the file to identify what edition of Windows 7 to install. If the file is deleted a new menu appears that allows you to select any edition of Windows 7 to install.

The key is deleting the ei.cfg file from the install DVD/ISO. You have two choices.

Option 1:

Copy the entire contents of a Windows 7 install ISO with WinRAR to a folder on your computer such as D:\win7install\. Then navigate to the Sources folder and delete ei.cfg. Finally, copy all files and folders in D:\win7install\ to a 4GB USB flash drive formatted with FAT32. Then just boot to the USB flash drive instead of the original install DVD. More details can be found on: How to install Windows 7 from a USB Flash Drive.

Option 2:

The second option is more time consuming and requires third-party tools. Use a program like IsoBuster or other ISO editing tool to edit the ISO and delete ei.cfg from the Sources folder and save your changes. Finally, burn the modified ISO.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Oct 2009   #2

XP, Seven, 2008R2

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by WiCKED View Post
you can purchase that version without having to format and start again.
afaik the trial version is time-bombed, and in that case you would still have to reinstall a final version in order to use/activate it past the 90-day period.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2010   #3

what about all my programs?

When I loaded up the trial Win 7, where I never actually saw the menu to select my version after the hack. Did I lose all my programs and settings? How can I revert back to Vista again?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Mar 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

More info would be helpful, but did you install Windows 7 as an upgrade over Vista? If so, do you still have a Windows.old folder on your C drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2010   #5


YES, I do have windows.old on my drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2010   #6

evert to Vista?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
More info would be helpful, but did you install Windows 7 as an upgrade over Vista? If so, do you still have a Windows.old folder on your C drive?
Yes it is there and I did do an upgrade over Vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP


How to restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder

From what I have read, the 90 day Enterprise trial is time-bombed, plus it uses a different type of activation (volume licensing) so isn't changeable to retail even with a workaround.

You might do better to use the 30-day activation time-out rearm on the version you intend to buy so you can insert the key when you finally buy the license.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

My recommendation would be to install this 90 day trial version in a virtual partition. That's how I dealt with Windows 7 Beta and RT and it gave me no trouble that way. I used virtual Box.
The beauty is you delete 2 files and you got rid of it. Or you reinstall (directly from the .iso) in 30 minutes if something is wrong. Plus you can switch back and forth between the host (was Vista) and the virtual partition with 1 click. You can even run them together. E.g. run the webradio on the host whilst you are working in the virtual partition. Or take a snip over the virtual partition window from the host, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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