Skipping product or license key during installation of Windows 8 and Server 2012

Windows 8 and Server 2012 have an annoying default installation process which forces you to enter a product key during installation. Often you may want to paste this in later, or just not enter one if you are installing a demo or test system, having to type one in manually is a massive pain. Luckily, you can easily modify the installation so that it lets you skip the requirement for entering the product key. The easiest way to do this is by creating the ei.cfg file in Sources folder in your ISO or USB media.

For Windows 8 or Server 2012 – this is the file that I normally create using notepad and save as ei.cfg in the Sources folder.


This works using MSDN or Technet (RIP) keys and media. I don’t bother entering the version, since I often may want to choose that during installation. By not entering the version you can choose if you want Standard, Datacentre etc.The format of the ei.cfg is as follows:

{Edition ID}
{Channel Type}
{Volume License}

[EditionID]: This is the version of Windows that you want to install. This varies by OS. You can use Dism /Get-ImageInfo and specify the image file  to get the editions available from the wim file e.g. Dism /Get-ImageInfo /imagefile:I:\sources\install.wimValid options are:

Windows 7:

Windows 8:
Windows Server 2012:
Note that there others, e.g. Foundation and Essentials for Server 2012.

[Channel]: This can be OEM or RETAIL depending on the type of media that you have.

[VL]: This can be 1 for  Volume License, or 0 for Retail

See for more information.


18 thoughts on “Skipping product or license key during installation of Windows 8 and Server 2012”

  1. You can find an original License Key for Windows Server 2012 on licence-activation dot com, tried and guaranteed.

    1. Lubi's stunning white-grey hair, perfect red lips and stylish clothing are so refreshing!We, particularly in America, have been sold that hye-zpcommercialiration about youth so that we keep buying the hair dyes. It's reinforced that that grey hair is "old" and "aging". I don't think so at all! As long as a woman keeps her hair in good condition and style, takes care of her skin and wears good makeup that flatters her coloring, it's chic and elegant!~ Susan

  2. Great blog here! Also your web site rather a lot up very
    fast! What host are you the use of? Can I
    am getting your affiliate hyperlink to your host? I desire my
    website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  3. As we talked about above, quality is paramount to your model
    and its success, so it is vital to teach yourself and select your blank shirts wisely.

  4. As we mentioned above, high quality is paramount to your brand and its success,
    so it is necessary to teach yourself and choose your clean shirts properly.

  5. What i don’t realize is actually how you are no longer really much
    more neatly-preferred than you may be now. You’re so intelligent.
    You know therefore considerably in the case of this subject, produced me in my view imagine it from
    so many varied angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be fascinated until it is one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga!
    Your own stuffs outstanding. Always care for it up!

  6. When applied with a dry sponge, it creates an ultra matte finish or
    use a moist sponge for a sheer, fresh appearance. a Product) by the leading industry analyst,” writes Mark Mc – Gee, the Managing Director of Global Operations at Quantum Art. It’s called direct compensation since it is you do not need to collect your claim from the guilty person but from your insurance company right away.

  7. Types of waste which might be typically serviced by dumpster rentals embody
    family particles, construction website cleaning debris and supplies, clear concrete, soil
    or filth, and stump or brush products from yard upkeep and landscaping.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *