The differences in Windows 7 Professional VL Build?

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by gt2554, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. gt2554

    gt2554 MDL Novice

    Apr 3, 2010
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    Hello everyone at MDL. I am a new member, having just joined today. I would first like to say that this is a wonderful site and I am in awe of what the members here have accomplished and the valuable information collected here.
    :worthy:

    Through Technet I have installed Windows 7 Pro VL Build and tried to understand what is different about it. I had some trouble searching for answers on this topic so I would like to share what I have learned so far. I even tried to get information from the borg itself about this matter but in the end I have had to test it for myself.

    Windows 7 Pro VL build can activate with a Retail or MAK key. The MAK key for Windows 7 Enterprise also works on Windows 7 Pro VL Build. During installation it does not ask for a product key and afterwards it automatically looks for a KMS server for activation. I would guess that these are the reasons why the VL build exist. I believe but have not tested that the MAK key would also work on the retail build of 7 Pro.

    One last thing I have discovered is the Windows Vista Enterprise MAK can also activate Windows Vista Business editions.
     
  2. Dolorous Edd

    Dolorous Edd MDL Expert

    Aug 31, 2009
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    I think the pro VL build is just a slightly less expensive option for companies, I have not tried to see if my MAK key will work, if I use my MAK I may as well use it on enterprise. Don't want to waste one of my 500 activations playing with pro when I can use it on enterprise. I just need more computers to play with.
     
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  3. Phazor

    Phazor MDL Expert

    Sep 1, 2009
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    Rest assured, it does.

    The reason why it does is because there simply are no 'Retail' or 'OEM' or 'Volume' builds in a technical sense; thats all sort of artificially done via the ei.cfg and the ProductKey.

    More precisely: What it starts out as is determined solely by the ei.cfg and the PKey in the install.wim, and what it 'becomes' is determined soley by the PKey you enter after installation.


    Examples:

    • Take a Professional 'Retail' image and remove the ei.cfg from it. Result: All-Editions image which is neither Retail nor OEM nor Volume.

    • Take a Professional 'Retail' image, install it and enter a Retail PKey. Result: Professional Retail Edition that activates via MS activation server.

    • Take a Professional 'Retail' image, install it and enter a OEM:SLP PKey. Result: Professional OEM:SLP Edition that activates via SLIC21/Certificate.

    • Take a Professional 'Retail' image, install it and enter a GVLK. Result: Professional Volume Edition that activates via KMS.

    The same goes for so-called Professional 'Volume' and 'OEM' Editions as well since it is merely the text in the ei.cfg that 'makes' an image Retail or OEM or Volume.


    And yes, the same is also valid for all other Editions, (ST, HB, HP, UL), except that they lack the Volume Activation capability.

    Enterprise is the only one that really differs as it can be activated by VL only. Also removing the ei.cfg is pointless in this case since ENT images do not contain any other editions.
     
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  4. gt2554

    gt2554 MDL Novice

    Apr 3, 2010
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    #4 gt2554, Apr 5, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
    (OP)
    I think there is reason for the Volume Build of Professional. First I know it exist because I am using it right now, activated by my MAK. It will also accept a MAK or retail key BUT I think it was especially made for KMS activation in large corporate and enterprise environments. Otherwise it would have no purpose. A google search on "Windows 7 Pro VL Build" will show that clear information does not exist and that was the reason I created this thread. I became frustrated because even Microsoft themselves (Technet) told me incorrect information about this Pro VL Build and internet searches were inconclusive. I thought "I guess I will have to sort this one out myself." I came here and joined this forum to share what I learned, so others who want to know will not have to go through the frustration that I did. The main difference I see is that it does NOT ask for a key during installation and it (by default) looks for a KMS server for local activation. I don't think this is true of the other regular Windows 7 Editions and not something that is achieved by removal of the ei.cfg

    Please, only if you have the Windows 7 Professional VL Build, and have installed and activated it, share your experience in this thread.
     
  5. Phazor

    Phazor MDL Expert

    Sep 1, 2009
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    You dont understand.

    The ei.cfg is not whats counts here, it merely serves to auto-install whatever edition you specify in it.

    It has no influence whatsoever on the Operating Systems contained in the install.wim, which is why it can be removed without messing anything up.

    Microsoft uses this file merely to 'Edition-Lock' the images so that users cannot install an edition they have no ProductKey for. (Which has often been the case with Vista.)



    What really counts is the ProductKey that has been inserted into the install.wim. This is the thing that makes all the difference.

    Hence:

    Take a Professional image, any one, and insert a GVLK or MAK with DISM. Install this image and you will find that the Volume Licensing subsystem is active. (KMS)

    Now take the same Professional image and this time insert a Retail PKey with DISM. Install this image and you will find that now the Retail Licensing subsystem is active instead.

    Now take the same image again and this time insert a OEM:SLP PKey with DISM. Install this image and you will find that now the OEM:SLP Licensing subsystem is active instead.

    Why? Because it is always and only the ProductKey that determines which activation method the OS ultimately responds to.


    And the same goes for already installed systems as well.

    Hence:

    Install a Professional 'Retail' and enter a GVLK or MAK. Result: The Retail Licensing subsystem is being turned off and the Volume Licensing subsystem comes online instead.

    Now replace the GVLK or MAK with a OEM:SLP Key. Result: The Volume Licensing subsystem is being turned off again and the OEM:SLP Licensing subsystem comes online instead.

    You get the idea.


    And that is the whole magic behind this. Because there are no different 'builds'. Its all done via the ProductKey and the ProductKey alone...
     
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  6. Phazor

    Phazor MDL Expert

    Sep 1, 2009
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    #6 Phazor, Apr 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
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  7. MasterDisaster

    MasterDisaster MDL Expert

    Aug 29, 2009
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    The Channel determines which MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS should be installed.
     
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  8. Phazor

    Phazor MDL Expert

    Sep 1, 2009
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    Exactly right.

    The image contains the EULAs of all scenarios (Default, OEM and EVAL located under Windows\System32\en-US\Licenses\) and whatever the ei.cfg specifies is being displayed.

    If nothing is specified (ei.cfg removed) then the default EULA is being used.
     
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  9. MasterDisaster

    MasterDisaster MDL Expert

    Aug 29, 2009
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    I believe the Volume ISO has EULAID:Win7_RM.0_PRO_VL_en-us, becuase this is not available in the Retail ISO
     
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  10. Phazor

    Phazor MDL Expert

    Sep 1, 2009
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    Thats very likely because Enterprise images have EULAID:Win7_RM.0_E_VL_en-us
     
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  11. Phazor

    Phazor MDL Expert

    Sep 1, 2009
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    Now you got it. :)

    (Sorry that i forgot about the EULA.)
     
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  12. gt2554

    gt2554 MDL Novice

    Apr 3, 2010
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    Thanks everyone for helping to get this sorted out.
     
  13. bane

    bane MDL Novice

    Feb 20, 2010
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    This thread seems to be finished already... but may I ask another thing here?

    Is it possible to install Ultimate Edition of 7 with Professional VL DVD ?

    I burned Professional VL DVD with ei.cfg removed and used it for installation.

    But I've never asked what edition to install, and Professional was installed.

    Are other modifications required than removing ei.cfg in case of using VL copy of Professional
    to get "universal installation media (except Enterprise)"??
    Or Profession VL copy didn't contain Ultimate/Home Premium/Home Edition so it is just impossible??
     
  14. Dolorous Edd

    Dolorous Edd MDL Expert

    Aug 31, 2009
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    It will only install the Pro VL build.
     
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  15. bane

    bane MDL Novice

    Feb 20, 2010
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    Thank you for your reply.
    May be the Pro VL installer is hard-coded only to install the Pro VL ... so ... what ei.cfg says has no effect.
    Hmm... I'll keep using Pro until I get a Retail DVD. (successfully activated with SLIC 2.1 mod all with this site's help! Thanks!)
     
  16. Smorgan

    Smorgan Glitcher

    Mar 25, 2010
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    Ok I got a quick question say I have a couple copies of Windows 7 pro keys can they also be used to get it to do Windows 7 ultimate if I tinker with the ei.cfg file?
    I know how to tinker with it back when windows 7 was in alpha stages and beta stages cause I stumbled across it while taking a looking at the source folder. I know that you can tinker with it but my main question is once tinkered with will the keys I have work with later eidtions???? Also how do I put the ISO back together again cause I keep getting problems with install.wim...Many thanks if you can help...

    Thanks...
     
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  17. gt2554

    gt2554 MDL Novice

    Apr 3, 2010
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    Sorry...amazing as it may be, the Windows 7 Professional key will only activate, you know...Windows 7 Professional edition...32-bit or 64-bit.

    The .iso can be changed to install a different edition or the ei.cfg can be removed to allow a choice of edition during the install.

     
  18. Smorgan

    Smorgan Glitcher

    Mar 25, 2010
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    Well that just sux...
    Yea I know I'm allowed to have my stupid questions every now and then lol...
    Well I guess I have no reason to use a Enterprise edition of Windows 7 mmm maybe if I use that kms emulator that will do the trick... hmm...
     
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  19. gt2554

    gt2554 MDL Novice

    Apr 3, 2010
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    Oh that wasn't a stupid question, I was just being a smartass. Anyway I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that's the way it works. You know...since you understand how to tinker with iso to install different editions, I bet this (http://forums.mydigitallife.net/thr...Windows-7-forever-without-applying-any-cracks) would be very helpful to you. You know for the purpose of learning about the different editions of Windows 7 only.