Add Packages from other Windows Editions // Convert your Edition into any other.

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by KNARZ, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. KNARZ

    KNARZ MDL Addicted

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    #1 KNARZ, Oct 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    FOR THE MOMENT: I'm ONLY searching for willing testers (1-3) (if we had contact earlier, than you will be preferred) contact me over PM.


    I'm currently working on a project/Tutorial that allows you to EXTRACT/CREATE & ADD Windows Packages from other Editions into anyother. In result of this it will be possible to switch/change/convert any Windows SKU into any other Edition.


    What does this mean?
    You can add nearly any kind of feature/package from an Edition to another. As well as you can convert your Vista/7/8/8.1 OS into any SKU you want. The basement has to be of course the same. So I'm not talking about Converting Vista Business into 8.1 Core or something similar. It means that you're able to convert your HomePremium to Business/Enterprise or even if you want into EvalEnterprise or anything you can think of.

    What is possible?
    Adding Features/Packages: As an example you're able to add WMC to your Enterprise edition.
    (but there are restrictions/limitations! --> "Kernel-Licensing")
    And of course other features like NFSClient from Enterprise can be integrated into PRO/CORE and so on.

    Is it possible to create some kind of personalized Windows?
    Yes, completely... and this was my initial goal.
    You can even create some kind of Ultimate/Master Edition which contains all kinds of SKU for Win 8.1 -->Pro, ProVL, Enterprise, SingleLanguage, CoreCountySpecific into a single wim image and so on. - All possible, but there are also some down-sides as some packages conflictings with each other ... so you have to pay attention on some MINOR parts/Packages.

    Why is this Usefull?
    Since Win8 e.g. you can't officially convert your Eval-Enterprise into regular Enterprise edition. Now with my Methode/Tutorial your're able to. The Issues with SingleLanguage and CountrySpecific editions will be gone as only the important part has to be extracted from some source (can be your online CSL/CCS System or some mounted Image/ISO). Afterwards the specific data can be integrated into any other Edition. This means you don't have to edit some Chines or Russion CSL Iso, you only extract some minor data (about 5mb) and add them to some other target Edition you have. E.g. Convert Enterprise to CoreSingleLanguage with all Enterprise features <--> BUT THIS DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN USE THEM OR EVEN ARE ALLOWD TO!.. (relates to the same part/issue with Enterprise and WMC. Also it can be usefull if you want to do some (dev-)tests on a machine with changing/switching SKUs. You don't have to run through a whole setup-process or have to reinstall all your (dev/debug-)applications. (e.g. upgrade from Pro to Enterprise) You can also just do some experimental work... Sidenote: It pretty funny if Windows doesn't know which version/sku it is and also can't gather the Information in any way. (it crashes all the time but after ca. 20min the system stabilize)

    What are the benefits?
    Hard to explain... there are several. As mentioned you can import 'Features' from other Editions to your own/running OS. Also for maintanance you only have to deal with 1 Image instead of e.g. for AIO Install.wims where you have to add Updates and so on to every Image (more work and overhead). There will be some more I guess ;)

    Can 'I' import Windows Media Center into Enterprise?
    Hm... Yes, but WMC is restricted by (I "knuckle down" with Smorgan's term) "Kernel-Licensing".
    WMC will check on each start if you're allowed to run WMC. And with Enterprise SKU installed it's prohibet.
    The responsible value is:
    Code:
    MediaCenter-EnabledSku 0/1
    You officially can only achiev the value 1 if you install ProfessionalWMC Key/SKU.

    What will be used to add/remove Packages?
    This part was very important to me as broken down the ONLY tool that will be 'really' used is unmodified DISM.exe
    For some prevention and to avoid any conflicts you should/have to remove packages before you add others. Therefore you should use install_tweak_wim.exe to unhide hidden/system packages. As you want to remove some of them as they can cause conflicts with the resulting SKU.

    Does this work online or only offline?
    It depends. There are some minor issues I figured out so far, so till now I would recommend to convert offline. But it also worked pretty good in online mode.

    Tested/Supported
    My converting tests doesn't have to be usefull, I was just testing with the editions I have on my system.. In conclusion all tests were successfull so far, as therefore I think I/It will become also successfull in converting/adding CSL or CCS Editions/SKUs.
    PRO->PROVL(lol, very easy)
    Pro->Core
    ProVL->Enterprise
    Enterprise->ProVL
    Ahh.. and why does everbody say you can't install Retail Key on PROVL? anyone tested it? It works... PROVL Contains the Retail SKUs.

    Is this Frankenbuild?
    Not from my POV. - But you're welcome to argue.

    Why do I think it's not Frankenbuild!
    I'm only using dism. The Packages are just tight up together again and reapplied.
    If you look in within install.wim files the sessions*.xml files you can see that most packages are originaly applied to most images and become unstaged or something similar. Microsoft does from my POV exactly what I do. Removing Packages and appling them. Not more not less. - The sessions files are on every image different. Thoose are kind of unclean created wims from microsoft...they can also be declared as log files. It's pretty interessting to skim through.

    Does it effect the activation?
    If you have an activated system you will lose it. (if you convert the SKU, add packages, will not effect the activation)
    If your system is not activated you should be able to activate your customized version just fine with your genuie key as you have installed the matching SKU/Channel to your Key/Edition.

    Is this Hacktivation?
    Nope... it's not affecting the Activation process at all.

    What was my impulse?
    Also with my first 'Hack' (Bypass Modern UI - native way to login directly to Desktop) I didn't like the Microsoft statement that "it's not possible to directly login to Desktop". They are just restricting it, that's all. Also many people ask for WMC in Enterprise. I'm aware of the 'Kernel-Licensing' part but I'm still hoping that someone has some nice Idea to hack this kernel-protected registry entry. Maybe with a rootkit, driver or on-the fly hack (maybe something like the WinRT Jailbreak). Than this would open all doors und we would be able to unlock all Windows Features in any edition. So far enterprise is the most unrestricted edition but with editable Kernel-Licensing part we could easily unlock some Windows Server features like RAID5 and so on.

    --> Kernel-Licensing:
    Code:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ProductOptions\ProductPolicy
    Where to get the resources/packages from?
    If you want to add a enterprise feature you extract them from a mounted wim or your local (if you're running enterprise) system.

    How do I know what I need to extract?
    I'm currently working on some lists. As with joined testers we can create something like a small database/list for each converting case. - It's not that much... most of the time less than 10 packages. And most of them can also be ignored.

    Known Issues?
    Adding a package a second time can result in no changes, as it's indexed within the COMPONENTS hive. But the actual changes won't be made again to the image.
    There is much testing to be done.

    What is not possible?
    Unfortunatly changing the content of the Packages.
    This relates me to my other thread where I ask for some DISM Help/Debug/Modding - Apply packages without certificat. - Could be a weak check.

    http://forums.mydigitallife.net/thr...-DISM-exe-bypass-Signature-check-(update-cat)


    BIG DOWN SIDE?
    I won't will provide any Windows Resources. Only some kind of guidance.

    Credits
    SuperBubble, 100


    So, what do you think?
    I know thi is much of Q&A for only preparing.. but I think this will become pretty usefull. ATM I'm only interessted in some testers. It would be also pretty helpfull if you're good in writing... so that someone else/you can do some stuff of the documentation.


    (I'm german.. If I described something badly wrong or you have usefull corrections - you're welcome to correct the parts while writing me a PM.)
     
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  2. Mr Jinje

    Mr Jinje MDL Expert

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  3. murphy78

    murphy78 MDL DISM Enthusiast

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    Hmm... You could try making a reg add runonce to modify the protected reg key.
    Example:
    make a script that has the exact reg mod.
    call that script regmod.cmd or something.
    then do a reg add runonce to run regmod.cmd

    The effect would be to elevate the permissions since it's run by the system and not the user.
     
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  4. KNARZ

    KNARZ MDL Addicted

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    #4 KNARZ, Oct 26, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
    (OP)
    ...you have no idea what kernel protected means for this key. try to change and you will see it will be restored instantly. there is no chance for simple editing, ;)
     
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  5. murphy78

    murphy78 MDL DISM Enthusiast

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    I see. Well then, why are you bothering with an online conversion effort if you cannot modify the files post-install?
     
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  6. KNARZ

    KNARZ MDL Addicted

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    Sry I don't get the/your point. Didn't want to be rude...
     
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  7. murphy78

    murphy78 MDL DISM Enthusiast

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    Why are you trying to make a version converter if you can't modify some of the files?
     
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  8. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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    FYI, woot332 has made a small switcher to convert Enterprise eval to non-eval for Windows 8.

    :cool:
     
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  9. KNARZ

    KNARZ MDL Addicted

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    #9 KNARZ, Oct 26, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
    (OP)
    So... may I missed some Info... If you convert your edition the ProductPolicies will be updated to the final/last SKU you want. If you type in your ProductKey than you get your regular Windows Edition and therefore your updated ProductPolicies. It's flexible to the SKU. It's not a/the fixed Value from your initial Edition, but some features like WMC have a license entry and are declared as restricted. There are possibilities to even 'break' the protected system but than you lose some regular funcationalities like applying updates that contain xrm-ms files. They will fail (that's all I know so far).

    @Tito ... this converter only switches the EditionID registry. I read that you can reinstall your windows over your old/eval edition but this is a complete reinstall. This is way different as you only switching 1 Packages and adding about 2-3 important ones.
     
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  10. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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    #10 Tito, Oct 26, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
    @KNARZ

    I'm not talking about UpDown8; wait for my PM.

    :D
     
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  11. Please-8

    Please-8 MDL Junior Member

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    Also interesting: Adding "Group policy editor" to Windows 8 / 8.1 Core.
     
  12. empireum

    empireum MDL Junior Member

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    :laie: :D :espresso:
     
  13. KNARZ

    KNARZ MDL Addicted

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    #13 KNARZ, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
    (OP)
    Should be possible. But it will be also prohibet by the "Kernel-Licensing".
     
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  14. KNARZ

    KNARZ MDL Addicted

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    #14 KNARZ, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
    (OP)
    Hm... this relates to another issue. The resources are included but the packages seems to be unstaged. Now we have to figure out how to (re)-stage it again.
     
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  15. Mr Jinje

    Mr Jinje MDL Expert

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    I'm awaiting a Windows 8.1 Domain Controller.
     
  16. KNARZ

    KNARZ MDL Addicted

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    Hehe. won't go that deep ;)

    I took a deeper look and found some interessting information in "Component Based Servicing\Packages" there is a Subkey for each superior Package (offline loaded Reg-Hive) called "Owners" . While runtime this Subkey does not exisit and also with alle permissions it's hidden for me (so far). I don't understand how this is possible as I also can create while runtime this subkey with the same name. :g: :g:

    Unconfirmed guessings:
    Every superior Package has a entry Owner for which Windows-Edition the Packages get applied (CoreEdition, ProfessionalEdition,ProfessionalWMCEdition) If a entry is not found (CoreEdition) for the Package, than it won't be applied as it's not bound as the Package is not realted to the Edition (Core). Now the Idea is to insert the Edition (Core) into the Owners Subkey and than reapply (entering ProductKey (again)) the SKU to get the features / Package alive.

    My interpretation of "CurrentState" for each superior Package is 40 = unstaged, 70 = staged.
     
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  17. KNARZ

    KNARZ MDL Addicted

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    #17 KNARZ, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
    (OP)
    I think there are to ways for adding gpedit.msc and so on to core edition.. One easy (with overhead - files you already have) and one pretty difficult (no files, just some kind of complex script)

    But anyway... this relates to the point that my compares aren't good enough to fully qualify / convert any SKU into another. Therefore I need some testers!
    My compares are based on physical non-existing files, not disabled features. This also excludes so far (easy way) to enable them instead of reappying them as a seperat redundant package (not tested yet).
    ATM my recommendation would be anyway Enterprise as a basement and than adding the license informations from PRO/VL/CORE.
     
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  18. MrMagic

    MrMagic MDL Guru

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    Have you got a link to that switcher app ? I searched through his activity but couldn't find it
     
  19. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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    Sorry; its confidential upon his request.

    :popcorn:
     
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  20. KNARZ

    KNARZ MDL Addicted

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    not public. but i could give you a package - but only x86 atm.
     
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