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How to bypass the automatic installation of Windows Home and select the Pro version when installing from a USB flash drive

When installing the Windows 11 or Windows 10 operating system from a flash drive on some computers and laptops, an unpleasant situation arises: there is no choice of the system version to install, and Windows Home is automatically installed instead. This is especially true for users who purchased a device with a pre-installed licensed version of Windows of a certain edition. In this article, we'll look at why this happens and how you can work around this problem by selecting the correct version of Windows.

Why is there a problem with automatic installation of Windows Home?

When you perform a clean installation of Windows 11 or Windows 10 in UEFI mode on devices that come pre-installed with a licensed version of Windows, the installer automatically checks for the manufacturer's product key stored in the BIOS (UEFI). If such a key is detected, then the corresponding edition of Windows is installed, usually Windows Home, since it is most often preinstalled on most devices.

How to choose Windows 11 or Windows 10 Pro version during installation

Although installing Windows Home automatically has its benefits, if you need to install a different edition of the system, such as Windows 11 Pro or Windows 10 Pro, you can do so by following these simple steps:

  • Create the ei.cfg file:
  • Open Notepad (or another text editor) on any computer.
  • Enter the following text:
  • Save the file as "ei.cfg". When saving, be sure to specify the file type as "All Files" to avoid adding the .txt extension. Use UTF-8 encoding.
  • Add the ei.cfg file to the flash drive:
  • Copy the ei.cfg file to the "sources" folder on a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 11 or Windows 10.

Now, when you boot your computer from this flash drive, a standard system edition selection window will appear and you can select the desired version of Windows to install.

Also, if you want to install Windows 11 or Windows 10 Pro automatically, you can use the following contents for the ei.cfg file:


This will allow you to install Windows 11 or Windows 10 Pro without the system version selection window appearing.

By following these simple steps, you can select the correct version of Windows 11 or Windows 10 when installing from a flash drive and avoid the automatic installation of Windows Home.

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