Install Windows 8.1 without a Product Key (Skip Key Input)

windows 8 logo iconSo you’ve got a Windows 8.1 ISO, but it is not letting you start the installation before inputting the product key? This is because Windows setup finds out which version to install from the Product Key and hence product key is needed before proceeding with the installation. But what if you want to install and trial Windows 8.1 before purchasing? You can easily force the setup to skip the Product Key check and proceed with the installation.

Skip Product Key Input in Windows 8.1 Setup

To achieve our objective, we need to edit the ei.cfg (edition configuration) file present inside the /sources folder of the ISO image. All we need to do is to provide the version details inside this file so that Windows Setup is not needed to ask for a product key to install the appropriate version relevant to that product key.

  1. If you are going to install Windows 8.1 using a USB drive, transfer the installation files to the USB and then proceed to step 2. On the other hand if you need to create a DVD, open the ISO using a utility such as MagicISO so that the structure is not affected.
  2. Browse to the /sources folder.
  3. Look for the ei.cfg file and open it in a text editor such as Notepad or Notepad++ (preferred). If the file doesn’t already exist, create a new text document and rename it as ei.cfg
  4. Now amend the file depending on the version which is included in your particular copy and the version which you want to install. For Professional edition which will be the best bet for most of the users, paste the following context into the ei.cfg file. Make sure that anything that already exists in the file should be cleared first.
  5. Save the file and run the Windows 8.1 setup again. The setup will not ask for the Product Key anymore.
This is not a hack or anything illegal. The configuration above is supported by Windows installer and is well documented by Microsoft and can also be used on some other versions of Windows as well.


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  • Worked the first time. Thanks for the tutorial. A small recommendation to other people trying this: download an ISO editor as it makes editing files so much more easy

  • Works perfectly as of now! Though sadly you have to search for EditionID yourself so here you go –
    Basic Windows: Core
    Basic Windows (Single language): CoreSingleLanguage
    Basic Windows with Bing: ConnectedCore
    Basic Windows with Bing (Single language): CoreConnectedSingleLanguage
    Windows Pro: Professional
    Windows Pro with MediaCenter: ProfessionalWMC

  • So here is a question or more… So,if I download the windows 8 installation on a USB stick and do all this steps with that text thing will it work?Because on my HDD I don’t have a windows because it’s new

  • Wow, I thought I need a product key first before proceeding to installation. My installation disk always asks me a key first before we proceed. Maybe I need to try this method soon when I upgrade my installation. Thanks

  • Hi, I’ve saved the file as ei.cfg but when I try to copy to sources it says there’s not enough space in the sources

    • Yes you can, actually. I do not have time right now to go into depth about the second part of the question, but it is possible.

    • DVD is a read only storage and won’t allow you to make edits. You should do this before burning the ISO to the DVD.

    i done this after doing bootable to pendrive and replace the old .cfg file to new ei.cfg as you told from source folder.

  • If you created ei.cfg, and are having problems it may be because the article has a typo. Try [Edition ID] instead of [EditionID]. Worked fine after that.

  • Hi everybody. There’s a lot of messages here, too many for me to go through, but I hope this bit of info can help….

    It’s really really important that whenevr you make files such as this EI.CFG file, you understand just what’s going on…..

    For ‘many’ users (i see this often at work), the computer the EI.CFG file is created on, isn’t setup to show FILE EXTENSIONS (i don’t mean that as shouting, I just need it emphasised). To make it make sense, the user must understand what a file extension is before they start creating and renaming these txt files….

    A file extension, is a very simple idea that dates back a couple of decades now. It makes it easy for a computer to know what to do with a file when you double-click on it, so a JPG file opens as a picture, a TXT file opens as a text document, a BMP is another type of picture, you get the idea?, the thing is, this is easy BUT microsoft decided in their infinate widom (i use the term loosly!) that users don’t need to ‘see’ file extensions, so on many versions and setups of Windows, those essential 3 letters are hidden….the files icon will still show it’s a JPG or a TXT file, but Windows will hide the JPG and TXT extension….and here’s where it gets silly…..

    Once you start making up your own ‘special’ files like the EI.CFG thing, Windows gets confused sometimes, and here’s an example of what can happen….

    Create TXT file as mentioned on here, paste the text into it as instructed.
    Save the file as EI.CFG
    Windows thinks HEY, THIS IS A TEXT FILE !!!….
    and it automatically hides the .TXT file extension.
    So you see your file as EI.CFG
    But Windows sees it as EI.CFG.TXT and it hides the TXT bit from you.
    So you think it’s all wonderful and happy….and the installer thinks URRGHH, I can’t see a file named…
    EI.CFG, I can only see a file named EI.CFG.TXT, and it gets ignored 🙁 and then it still asks for a licence number.

    Windows XP was great for getting past all of this nonsense and control, but all newer versions of Windows got more protective and silly.

    I can’t explain how to make Windows really show you all of the file extensions as it SHOULD do (if microsft would stop treating users like children!), but it’s all a bit too much to type out here now, sorry.

    I hope that all makes sense to somebody? 🙂

    • Makes total sense. I make a an ei.cfg because none exists anywhere on the usb drive.

      The file I created is a cfg file and definitely, positively isn’t a txt file or a cfg.tx (which would be txt) file.

    • the easiest way to create an ei.cfg file is by searching for any *.cfg files on your computer and make a copy of any file into the USB drive you’re booting from and rename it to ei.cfg then right click on it to open with any text program editor such as wordpad or notepad …etc clear all its content then copy the following

      [Edition ID]
      then save …hope that would help

  • Doesn’t work for me either, it comes up with “The product key entered does not mach any of the Windows images available for installation. Enter a different product key.”

    Downloaded the ISO from Microsoft’s official website…

  • I made the ei.cfg and copied what you put in. But it doesn’t work, I just get the product key part..

    • Are you sure that the file is ei.cfg and not ei.cfg.txt or something else? A proper ei.cfg would not open in any editor when you double-click on it.

    • What error does it show when you try to add a new file? I hope you’re not doing it after writing it to a DVD or when the ISO is mounted as read-only.

    • What error does it show when you try to add a new file? I hope you’re not doing it after writing it to a DVD or when the ISO is mounted as read-only.

  • Hi there, I’m using a copy off a8.1 in 64bit . I dont know the key of it …how i shall overcome to the validation process..

    • Hey Sam, you will need to purchase a license key to activate Windows. You can use some KMS programs to activate and rearm Windows, but I’d rather not talk piracy here. You should purchase a key!

      • Just type Windows 8.1 phone activation textuploader on Google . You will see a lot of nice results. I woudn’t give money for a key 🙂

  • I cant seem to be able to edit the .ios file. Please can someone link me a place where i can download the “cracked”/”edited” Windows 8 installer please? <3

    • Do you plan to install Windows using a DVD or will you be using a USB drive? If it is USB, then you can simply make a bootable USB and then create the ei.cfg file. If you’ll be using the DVD then you can use a tool such as MagicISO or WinISO to edit the ISO first and then create a bootable DVD.
      Please understand that this is not a crack and you will still be needed to activate Windows after completing the installation. Otherwise, some Windows features might not work.

    • Make sure that the Windows edition in the ISO was the Pro version. Else edit the file with the version of the ISO.

    • Ah, Walter. This should work for everybody because it is only skipping the product key part at the time of setup. You will still be needed to activate Windows later to enjoy the full functionality. So, I have no reason for it to not work for you. Any error message that it shows?

  • I’m trying ti install Windows 8.1 would like to know how the ei.cfg file should be edited.
    If someone could just upload the format that that would be awsome, as I am not clear on that. Thanks in advance.

    • It is a simple text file. Avoid using any word processing programs and consider using editors such as Notepad or Notepad ++. Place text exactly how it is mentioned in the article 🙂

      • I used notepad ++ created the file and tried to install and I got an error message that the production key doesn’t match the version of the installation

      • Hey Narender I’m installing windows 8.1 not the pro version on a Dell lattitude 10. Show me the exact file format and that will help.
        I think that each format should be posted. Been going through the comments and it’s clear that everyone is having the same problem. Post me the format for 8.1 version if you may. Not the pro version

      • I know for certain that this format works for Windows 8.1apro.

        But it does not for 8.1 post exactly how it should be edited for 8.1 and ill get it done, thanks.

        • You would replace Professional with Core if you are installing the basic version of Windows 8.1. Sorry about the delayed reply, though. I had some errands which didn’t allow me to check the comments here 🙂

  • please help me. a pop up shows and says:
    The computer started using the windows installation media. remove the installation media and restart your computer so that windows starts normally. then, insert the installation media and restart the upgrade. (do not select “custom (advanced)” to perform an upgrade. “Custom (Advanced)” installs a new copy of windows and deletes your programs and settings.)
    what to do? help me please :'(

    • It’s hard to guess from the message, but I’ll try to. So are you trying to upgrade from an earlier version of Windows but have booted via the installation media? If so, that won’t work. If you boot via the installation media, you can only perform a clean install. To upgrade, you need to boot into Windows normally and insert the installation media (or mount the ISO) and then run setup. On the next screens, you choose upgrade and you’re good to go 🙂

  • hats off you saved my time and money have been searching various blogs for product keys but any of the keys didnt work.
    God bless you !!!

    • You actually still need to activate Windows to access the full features. It just skips the requirement during setup 🙂

  • For people having multiple Windows 8.1 editions in one ISO, do it like this:

    Enterprise / Professional / Core

    *Notes: 1) Put *space* before and after the forward slashes.
    Example: Enterprise*space*/*space*Professional*space*/*space*Core.

    2) Make sure to rename the file as ei.cfg not .txt in notepad and select the file type to “All” not “Text Documents”.

    3) Paste the file to the *sources* folder of your Windows 8.1 boot disk or USB drive

  • worked, thanks.

    i downloaded win 8.1 pro into my usb flash from microsoft febsite, created this file, and when i retried the installation it skipped the key part.

  • I did the same thing to install my windows 8.1 version of windows by leaving edition Id space blank but its again and again telling setup has failed to validate the product key so please do the need full

  • Works fine, thanks. People having problems are probably changing the file name but not the extension

    • Patched? This is an officially supported method, not a hack or something. It should always work.

  • Whenever I try to run the setup it says Setup Has Failed To Determine Supported Install Choices. I downloaded WIn 8.1 pro and used the code.

  • For those getting the key entered does not match. A simple way to fix that and make it more universal is to leave the space after Edition ID blank.


      • You don’t fill it blank but write there a seriaL key and then save the fiLe to usb now boot and install that windows again and when it will ask you for a seriaL key enter the serial key which you enterted in the blank space. Get a simple serial key from net for windows 8.1 pro or other edition

    • [Edition ID]


      …………………… or ……………….

      [Edition ID]


    • Your version of Windows is probably not the Pro one. Please edit the file to match the Windows version of your ISO.

  • I have all editions of windows 8.1 in ISO. So how to create ie.cfg file for that? By the way I want to install pro edition.

      • you are wrong Niels. I made this kind of EI.CFG file and I can select either the Core/Home or Pro edition of Win8.1 during setup with a Win8.1 ISO image I downloaded directly from MS that had both Home & Pro editions on there:


        Just do not include the [EditionID] section and any “edition ID” on there in the EI.CFG file and store that file in the \Sources\ folder and either burn the modified Win8.1 image to DVD or create a bootable USB installation media using the RUFUS usb tool.

    • Here if you get the selection first select the os in which you hve done configurations for product key escape If not let me i will be giving you a direct link for pre activated windows 8.1 pro ohk?

  • I’m trying to skip the product key step but it always say setup failed to validate the key , I’ve downloaded windows 8.1 ISO single language English from Microsoft official website but unable to skip this step.

  • I HAVE TRIED THIS BUT A POP-UP WINDOW COMES SAYING THAT THE PRODUCT KEY YOU ENTERED DOES NOT MATCH ANY OF THEWINDOWS IMAGES AVAILABLE FOR ISTALLATION. ENTER A DIFFERENT PRODUCT KEY….please help me solve this..i dont have any windows installed on my laptop.previous got corrupted.please help..

    • Did the laptop come with Windows pre-installed? Where did you download Windows from? And what edition it is?

      • No.. .laptop was dos.. My friend downloaded windows from somewhere. It was 8.1.. Actually My problem with product key Skipping is solved with this tutorial of yours but now a new problem comes in front of me. is of partition type.. My disk was partitioned according to windows is not installing.. I have very important data in my disk drives.. But i cant copy it because windows is not loading.. So please help me solve this problem so that i can save my data and iNstall wIndows..

        • You can use Command Prompt to copy over data from one drive to the other. Doing some basic search on the directory listing and copy commands will be enough for you.
          You can also try using the Load Drivers (or something similar) option on the Disk Partitions page of the Windows Setup. That will open a basic explorer which can be used to browse around and do the required tasks. No progress bar is shown there (and the Window will freeze till the task finishes) and hence you just need to patiently wait till the copy process finishes.
          You can also try one of Ubuntu Live images which can be booted from USB or a DVD and can be used to access and manage file system.

          Now all depends on the way you’d wanna do the backup. For me, Command Prompt is the easiest when I know where the data is saved.

  • Hey! At first it just asked for the key when i tried this, i found out it has to be a .cfg file, so i made it one. Now it just says the key is not correct for the product orso. I tried pretty much every editionid there is out there for windows 8.1, none of them worked. I figured out that maybe i have selected the wrong edition while installing it to my usb stick. Do you think that could be the problem here? Though i already formated the usb stick and starting to install it all over again. Great guide anyways!

  • i did the step and the the place that the product key should be inputted does not appear but the problem is there is a massage says that “Something Happened setup has failed to validate the product key.” what should i do?

    • Are you running the setup from a USB or DVD? Or are you launching it from within Windows? Do you have any idea what variant of Windows does your ISO contain?

  • guys anyone who needs a product key go find a software called kms pico trust me it will automatically activates it.

  • I have purchased sony vaio laptop 1 year ago now I am updating the updates of windows 8 after installing updates it asks for product key while purchasing the laptop the windows is preinstalled please help

    • You need to purchase the key. There are certainly some illegal ways, but won’t talk about them over here.

    • u can use kms if u want but look out there are some virusses and real good ones a mate of mine got a virus in his boot sector LMAO

  • i have lenovo pc i dosn’t install window 8.1 because i dont have product key where search product key in dvd please tell me the file name

  • hie, i followed the above steps but got an error “setup could not validate product key”. if i delete the ei.cfg file the error does not apper but we come back to “enter product key”. what can i do?

  • Worked like a friggin charm! I couldn’t place the file in the .iso image so I copied and pasted all of the files of the image into a folder on my desktop and then created the file and ran setup from that same folder. I used the free Daemon Tools Lite imaging software to accomplish this, which allowed me to mount the image and see all files on the .iso file. Like the good sir Narender Singh said in the comments above, make sure when you save the file that you are indeed saving it as a .cfg file not a .cfg.txt. To accomplish this (for Windows 8.1) open ‘File Explorer’ and click options at the top left on the menu bar (you might have to hit a little arrow to see this menu) then select ‘File Options’. Click on the ‘View’ tab and uncheck the box next to ‘Hide extensions for known file types’ then press ‘Apply’ at the bottom. Now go back to your original ei.cfg file you created and see if it shows up as ‘ei.cfg’ or ‘ei.cfg.txt’. If it shows up as the second one, right click the file and click ‘rename’ and delete the ‘.txt’. portion. Now run setup again and it should actually work.

  • anyone know how to adapt it for windows home?


    This config doesn’t seem to work

    • That seems like the right config. Probably your ISO image does not include the HOME edition and hence it doesn’t pick it up. You should check what all editions your ISO comes bundled with.

    • Seems I was wrong and I apologize for that. Windows 7 was going on in my head. So in Windows 8, the basic edition should be called CORE instead of Home. Do try that out.

  • I get an error that says there is a problem verifying product key. I know you say we are suppose to put in our version. But you don’t tell us what it should look like. For instance I’m going to use home. How is it suppose to be written? you could have given us a list to help.

  • while saving the ei.cfg file make sure that you save it in any file format rather then .txt. Otherwise it will not work.

    • You cannot write new files to a disk. You should either choose USB installation or edit the ISO to include the ei.cfg file and then burn it to DVD.

        • Are you sure you saved the file as cfg file and not a text file? Check the file properties again.

          • i am having the same problem.

            how to change the text file to cfg file?

            i renamed the text file as suggested above but upon looking at properties it is still a text file. 🙁

  • I use this method but err came “the product. Key interest does not match any of the widows image available for installation. Enter a different product key

  • While i am going to install window 8.1 in the instalation it asking the product key and after entering the product key the massege coming that your window licence term arangement is not valid so you have to reinstall the setup so plese slove my problem imediately
    it,s window ( WindowsBlue-ClientwithApps-32bit-English-X1899604) window 8.1 provide me key also

    • From the official documentation – {Edition ID} must be a valid Windows edition ID, for example, “Enterprise”. To obtain the current EditionID, use the Dism /Get-ImageInfo command or the Dism /Get-CurrentEdition command.

      • Also, you can leave the EDITIONID blank for Windows to prompt which edition you want to install.

        • I have a dell tablet with product key embedded on motherboard and i dont have product key with me how can i do clean installation of Windows 8.1… Tel me a way where it automatically takes the prudct key and it was preshipped with genuine windows copy of 8.1… Reply

          • So what actually happened to it? If 8.1 is still there, you can just reset it to the original state.
            I’m not entirely sure, but I believe in your case you need to do nothing besides simply processing with Windows installation using a freshly downloaded ISO (as long as it is the same edition as the one that came pre-installed). The key will be picked up from motherboard automatically.

  • I have a lenovo b40-45 laptop, it has UEFI bios, i am trying to install win 8.1 but its not installing. How can i get a UEFI compatible Win 8.1

  • I have successfully installed Windows 8.1 Professional using this method. However when I check “This PC’s” properties, it shows Windows is not activated. How do I activate it to use it permanently? I don’t have any Activator that works and activates it.

    • Sorry, but you need to find something out yourself. Can’t help you with activating here 😛

      • Dude, come on. This OS will work only for 30 days if I don’t activate it. And every Activator that I have tried doesn’t work. Just give me a link or something for an Activator that works.

        • Because that’s something known as Software Piracy, I can’t help you here. But… just emailed you separately. Check your mailbox, spam too 😛

  • Thanks man… It works like a charm! I properly installed pro eom version and fully activated. No serial key ask.

  • Hi

    I was using windows 8 pro with WMC
    I apdated my windows to windows 8.1 in windows 8 store as an update
    Now I m facing problems with my computer. It finished installing and the screen went black and I can just move the mouse on blank sreen. I try all the tectic but nothing works. I can only press CTRL+ALD+DELETE to go to task manager and right click open file location on any itern on task manager to open my document. I try restating it many times and reserting but not working. Please help me to fix the problem

    • Can you check if explorer.exe is is listed as a running process in task manager or not?

    • It is just for skipping the input during installation. You will still be needed to activate windows post installations. Maybe use a KMS?

  • I can’t find ei.cfg file.
    The only files in .cfg format I have are – mscormmc, setupplatform, setup.
    Also, can I edit the .cfg on the CD that I burned the ISO to?

    • If it doesn’t exist, just as mentioned in the post, you need to create it. Unless it is a rewritable CD, Files written to it cannot be altered.

      • i have tried modifying the ei.cfg file but it does not work for me
        the setup gives me the same error “Setup has failed to validate the product key”
        is there any other way to deal with this?
        i’m trying to install it via local hard drive
        please help asap

        • Try pasting this ei.cfg file in the sources folder. If it still doesn’t work, it should be something else such as the currently installed version of Windows interfering. Try doing a clean install via USB.

  • Narender thanks for heads up!

    Do following to find out the Editions available in your ISO file:
    1. mount the ISO file (let’s say in D:\ drive)
    2. Run “dism /get-imageinfo /imagefile:d:\Sources\install.wim” to see available editions
    3. Run “dism /get-imageinfo /imagefile:d:\Sources\install.wim /index:1” to get detailed info about the image at first index

  • hi guys,i got a laptop with preinstalled windows 8.1 edition embedded and I would like to know if I have the key which version is recommended for a clean install? this version embedded is a OEM or RETAIL ,VL ,FFP? Thanks

    • Pre-installed version need to be OEM, but that product key will only work for the embedded edition. It will not work for others.

      • Hi Narender Singh, so the laptop didn’t came with any OEM DVD,i just find myself the key ,the reason why I asked is do I need to buy other OEM VERSION and simple I use that key or I use the key which is coming with new one? OEM from Microsoft is embedded or not? so is just embedded because is having multiple key and is istalled In many laptop.sorry but i’m bit confuse.thanks in advance!

  • For those of you having issues, make sure after you create the ei.cfg file you click the drop down box and select “All Files” not .txt file. It worked for me. Thanks OP

  • Hey man, I’m trying to install Windows 8.1 Enterprise, should I still use:

    or would I have to put Enterprise instead of Professional?

    • You gotta use Enterprise in place of Professional there. You may also change the channel to OEM, depending on your ISO.

  • yo Guys clearly you arent following Narenders instructions properly. I’ve finished six laptops with this info of him.

    so my advice to you guys is have some patience dont rush through it. It works.

  • Guys clearly you arent following Narenders instructions properly. I’ve finished six laptops with this info of him.

    so my advice to you guys is have some patience dont rush through it. It works.

    • The fault isn’t really theirs. Hehe in the article, I went with the PRO version of Windows. If for some reason the ISO only contains a specific version which isn’t pro, it just won’t work.
      However, yep. Many just failed to edit the file properly and hence the issues.
      Thank you for stopping for a while and leaving the feedback 🙂 Always feels good when I hear that my content helped.

  • Hey,
    I used the media creator from microsoft (you only get the choice between pro or regular windows 8.1) and the ei.cfg file is non exsisting 🙁 Should i just create it?

  • Thanks. I was installing from a w8.1 pro x64 iso, followed up instructions, and I got to install without the key:-)

  • I tried above post as it is posted.. but after doing that it does not showing for entering the product key option but there occurred a problem

    “Something happened….Setup has failed to validate the product key”.

    fix this problem!

  • Hi Narender

    quick question my hard drive broke i replaced it with a new one its a toshiba. will this fresh install work for me too?

  • Sorry for questions if you’re tired from me but how to convert an iso to bootable usb windows? I have risk that my iso wanna be bootable after putting this file by magiciso tell me plz which of your articles could help me for that! Thanks for supporting me!

  • I will try to clean install windows
    I was updating to windows 8.1 pro from windows 8.1 single language without booting from dvd

    • Yep there. To add features, you need to purchase/add a different version/upgrade license key to Windows 8.1 directly using the option “Add features to Windows” and then entering a new license key.
      To upgrade via ISO, you need to do a clean install only. Do backup your important data before deleting and installing a new copy of Windows.

  • hello
    I have written all information at ei.cfg file. But when I retry it, they tell me that “This key doesn’t work with this edition of Windows. Try a different key.”

    • That’s strange. Where did you get the ISO from? Sounds like it is made to only install a specific version which you need to find out.
      Also, are you doing a fresh install or updating from within Windows?

      • I downloaded the iso from windows media maker (I have downloaded from microsoft website and I shoose to download windows 8.1 pro. Can you give me another option?

  • MagicISO doesn’t work for me because it’s trial 🙂 tell me another way to put ei.cfg into my iso file
    thx when responding positively 🙂 🙂

    • For an AIO edition, the installation depends mostly on the product code. So, you’d be needed to enter it there and setup will install Windows relevant to that product code, unless the setup has been modified to list the various versions included on the disk.

      • For an AIO edition, the installation depends mostly on the product code. So, you’d be needed to enter it there and setup will install Windows relevant to that product code, unless the setup has been modified to list the various versions included on the disk.

        unless the setup has been modified to list the various versions included on the disk.

        how to I do this?

  • Please tell me y my 8.1 version keep on prompting “windows licence expiring, update it from the settings”

    It says ACTIVATE it online. why ?/? dont want it.

    I want to get rid of it, pls help me to stop it.

  • Hello Narender!

    Many thanks for providing such a good guide!

    However, I try to (re)install an OEM Version of Windows 8.1 (Core I guess?), but I keep getting the message after successfull installing Windows, to type in a Product Key (my Keyboard doesn*t work + Touchpad too; it*s an Tablet-PC)! I*ve already handled .cfg files like this one, but I*m asking, just in case, if this is all correct?


    Thanks in advance!

    • Seems good. As you manage to install it, don’t you get the option to enter the key at a later time? As this method only skips the key input during the setup, Windows should still prompt you for a product key.
      On the other hand, I’m not sure if OEM versions can be installed as a trial. If that is not possible, probably you are required to enter a key there. No on screen keyboard for you? :/

    • Alright!

      I just solved 2 problems at once! Seems that I had to change [VL] 0 to 1! It skipped the message after the
      installation + my unrecognized Keyboard + Touchpanel, so I landed right away on the usual setup-process (Choose Color, name and stuff)!



      • I’m not sure as to why marking it as a Volume Licensing copy skips the product key input. It sometimes gets too confusing. Anyways, good to know that it just works out. Enjoy!

    • You can try looking at torrents. However, if the setup does load fine, it shouldn’t cause any problems later on except if it was downloaded using a Windows 8 enterprise key.

  • Dear Narendra
    I read your Trick and decided to try once. but this trick not working for me! first of all I download successfully Window pro 8.1 version from official site of Microsoft then I install directly but asking key. then I check ei.cfg file in window setup I not fund. I make ei.cfg file manually by your trick and copping into window source file but again asking key then I replace Retail to Oem and trying again but key option not skipping.
    please help me soon yr.


    • Strange as that method already requires you to enter the Product Key before the download of ISO starts so why don’t you use the same key again? Anyways, are you sure that ei.cfg is created as a configuration file and not a txt file (check in file properties)? By default, Windows hides extensions and renaming known files will not change their extension.

    • Jeff, are you certain that the file has cfgas its extension? Because if you rename it when the file extensions are not set to visible, it will create a file of the name ei.cfg.txt which is not what we want. You can check file properties if it appears as a cfg file or a text document. If that doesn’t help, maybe the reason is something else and I might not have any idea about that 🙂

  • Hi, I already installed windows 8.1 and skipped the step which is asking for key..Now i am getting pop ups to activate wndows. Please help me in getting rid of this pop ups.


    • You may either choose to purchase a new Windows 8.1 license key, or else you can use some KMS service to activate your copy of Windows. Don’t ask me about KMS now as I won’t be helping you with that.

  • Hello,
    after i choose to install windows 8.1 Pro from that menu, i get a message saying
    “Window cannot find the microsoft software license terms………..”
    Why is that?

  • So is this a trial version? I understand skipping the product key portion of it, but is it going to as for the key at a later time??

    • Yes you will be needed to enter a key or else use some AutoKMS type of things or anything you want to. You’re just skipping the product key requirement during the setup. Rest all remaining the same.

  • Does it work for OEM windows 8, single language x64? Channel mentioned in the copy is “volume” and VL is 1. would it be okay to edit the cfg file?

  • What do you type in the edition id for the standard edition of windows 8.1? Just Standard? And do i change it from retail to OEM if i have a OEM product key that i want to use later?

    • Hey Tobias
      The standard is the core version of Win 8.1. So EditionID will be Core there.
      I believe you can still use OEM keys in the retail version, but because re-installing Windows is a huge task, better to change it to OEM. Yep that’s the correct value 🙂

  • hey i got this msg –

    windows could not collect information for [OSImage] since the specified image file [install.wim] dose not exist.

    plz help me.

      • For those who are still having trouble you can just follow what I did and it might help!
        Step 1: download windows 8.1
        Step 2: pass it to a USB using (Rufus) program
        Step 3: once passed to USB open USB then open folder titled sources
        Step 4: in folder sources right click on screen and scroll to new then click text document
        Step 5: Open text document and paste these words below:

        Step 6: then save document as ei.cfg.txt
        Step 7: Once saved locate the file in sources folder and rename the file removing the .txt part like this:
        Before: ei.cfg.txt
        After: ei.cfg
        Step 8: click enter and then it will no longer show as a txt file then restart computer and setup windows bypassing key! Simple as that! Hope this helps someone it sure helped me!