A couple of days ago I purchased a Lenovo Yoga – S740-14IIL (14″, Full HD, Intel Core i7-1065G7, 16GB, 1000GB, SSD).
Very nice configuration I must say and the laptop looks good, but it shipped with Windows 10 Home edition and I wanted to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
I dont like doing “Upgrades” of Windows versions, I prefer to install them fresh. By doing this I also get rid of all the stuff which is pre-installed by the hardware providers which by the way is usually is not useful.
In the past, reinstalling a computer was very easy, simply download the media creation tool that you prepared before in another computer with the Windows 7 or 10 image, plug it into the new computer, boot it up, follow the instructions and that it.
Unfortunately since a while Microsoft and hardware providers decided to make things a bit more difficult in these cases, and they started to include the license of the device in the BIOS. This way, when Windows needs to be re-installed, the screens where you would usually select the Windows edition, and enter the Windows License key, wont show anymore.
How to fix the problem?
1 – Create a Windows Media Installation USB drive. You do this by downloading the Windows media creation tool from Microsoft here. Dont worry, you wont be able to select a specific version of Windows like it was in the past, now all versions are included.
2 – Once the USB has been prepared, you need to add 2 files into the “\Sources” folder of the USB drive. If you like just download the two files from this zip file I uploaded here. Otherwise follow the below steps to create them:
2.1 – The first file would need to be called: “ei.cfg” and you need to add the following 4 lines of content in it (you can use Notepad)
2.2 – The second file needs to be called: “PID.txt” and you need to add the following 2 lines of content in it:
3 – Make sure you saved both files and with the right extensions, the first one should be .CFG and the second one .txt.
Note that the above license is a generic Windows 10 Pro license, its used to tell the installer you want to install a Windows 10 Pro and then you would still need to activate your version with your own key.
4 – Plug the USB drive to the computer you want to reinstall and follow the on-screen instructions. While you will not be prompted for a Windows version to install, the default will now be Windows 10 Pro.
Windows 10 decides which version (Home or Pro) to install in the following order:
1. Finding a product key in the PID.txt file
2. Finding a product key in UEFI/BIOS
3. The user manually enters a product key when asked for one
4. No product key is found or entered – then the user is asked for Home or Pro
I would have appreciated if Microsoft would give you the option on the interface to specify another key different from the one included with the computer or a checkbox called “Dont use the digital license included with this computer”. This would have definitely made things easier.
Now you should be able to have your Windows 10 Pro installed. I recommend you to have a look at ninite.com which allows you to select the most common free software that one usually installs on a computer and download it at once.