Windows Setup Edition Configuration and Product ID Files (EI.cfg and PID.txt)

you can optionally use Edition configuration (EI.cfg) and Product ID (PID.txt) files to specify the Windows product key and the Windows edition during Windows installation:

  • Edition configuration (IE.cfg) lets you specify values for edition ID, the channel, and the volume license.
  • Product ID (PID.txt) lets you specify a product key.

You can use these files to automate the product-key entry page in Windows Setup instead of using an answer file. If you use an EI.cfg file to differentiate volume license media, but you do not include a PID.txt file, the user receives a prompt for a product key to continue Windows Setup.

You can reuse the product key in the product ID file for multiple installations. The product key in the product ID file is only used to install Windows. This key is not used to activate Windows. For more information, see Work with Product Keys and Activation.

Using EI.cfg and PID.txt

  1. Create these configuration files in a text editor such as Notepad.

  2. Save the files into the \Sources folder on the installation media. Windows Setup will use these files automatically during installation.

  3. Run Windows Setup. Setup uses these files during the Windows PE configuration pass as soon as it is launched.

Note

An answer file takes precedence over these files. If you use an answer file during installation, Windows Setup ignores the EI.cfg and PID.txt files.

EI.cfg Format

The EI.cfg file specifies the values for the edition ID, the channel, and the volume license.

The EI.cfg file has the following format:

[EditionID]
{Edition ID}
[Channel]
{Channel Type}
[VL]
{Volume License}
  • {Edition ID} must be a valid Windows Edition ID, for example, Enterprise. To get the current EditionID:

  • {Channel Type} must be either "OEM" or "Retail"

  • {Volume License} must be either 1, if this is a volume license, or 0, if this is not a volume license.

Here's an example of a EI.cfg file for an OEM-channel Enterprise edition image that's not volume licensed:

[EditionID]
Enterprise
[Channel]
OEM
[VL]
0

PID.txt Format

The PID.txt file contains the product key for the edition of Windows that you are installing.

The PID.txt file has the following format:

[PID]
Value=XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

Where XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX is the product key.

Troubleshooting

If you see The product key entered does not match any of the Windows images available for installation. Enter a different product key.:

  • You may need to download a separate version of Windows. OEM versions are only available to OEMs, and volume licenses are only available to MSDN subscribers.
  • Ensure that you're using the right Edition ID in your EI.cfg file.

Work with Product Keys and Activation

Windows Setup Command-Line Options

Windows Setup States