Install any version of Windows 7 using any version of Windows 7 DVD

All Windows 7 DVDs contain all versions of Windows 7 (Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional to Ultimate edition), however they are normally restricted to install only single version.
This done by a file ei.cfg located in /sources folder inside installation DVD. If you open this file in a text editor you will find text similar to this:


An example above will force Windows 7 Ultimate installation.

If you simply delete this file from your installation DVD, Windows 7 Setup will prompt you which version you want to install.
Select which version of Windows 7 you want to install
You can use your favourite DVD / ISO burring software to remove this file from the installation DVD. This can take some time as you will have to re-burn DVD/ISO.

Alternately, you can use this small utility to remove ei.cfg from Windows 7 .iso file.
Simply extract the file, run eicfg_remover.exe and point it to your Windows 7 .iso file. Removal process is instant because this utility doesn't have to re-save the iso file. It simply marks ei.cfg as deleted in the UDF file system table.

Firefox 8 crashes on every startup (after upgrade from v7)


Firefox 8.0

This morning Firefox on one my Windows XP SP3 machines decided to upgrade itself to the latest 8.0 version. All well and good, but after the upgrade Firefox worked for couple of minutes and then crashed. Every subsequent attempt to open Firefox resulted in immediate crash. First tried couple of obvious things:
  • Start Firefox in Safe Mode
  • Restart PC
  • Reinstall Firefox
None of these actions helped. Then Started Windows in Safe Mode and Firefox was running happily without any issues. This made it pretty clear that problem was caused by a third party software. Standard Firefox add-ons had to be ruled out as they would not be loaded in Firefox safe mode.

Disable "Scanning for Viruses" in Firefox download manager

After you download a file, Firefox Download Manager for couple of seconds displays "Scanning for Viruses" and during this time you can't do anything with the file from within download manager.
Firefox Download Manager displays "Scanning for Viruses"
This behaviours seems strange and unnecessary – Firefox doesntt have any buit-in antivirus, so it's not going to find anything if there is no antivirus software on your computer (even then Firefox will misleadingly display "Scanning for Viruses"). And if you have antivirus, real-time scanner will scan downloaded files anyway.

To disable this feature perform following:

  • Open Firefox and type about:config in the address bar
  • Find entry and change its value to false
Set to false

Crystal WDM Audio Codec driver fails to load after reboot – This device cannot start (Code 10)

Received an old DELL Latitude C400 Windows XP laptop with not working sound. Quick look into device manager revealed the first problem problem: Crystal WDM Audio Codecs device was listed with exclamation mark and Device Status in Properties was "This device cannot start. (Code 10)".
Crystal WDM Audio Codec driver – This device cannot start (Code 10)
First off all tried to update sound drivers to the latest available from DELL website. Initially looked like this has worked – sound was working absolutely fine and no errors in device manager. Unfortunately after a reboot I was back to square one – no sound and the same error in the device manager. Whatever I tried to do with drivers (downgrade, upgrade, completely remove from system) result was always the same – sound was working after reinstalling drivers and was gone after a reboot.

This looked like some sort of hardware or driver conflict. Checked Add Removed Programs and noticed two or three pieces of modem software and drivers. This was a bit suspicious as there was no modem listed in the device manager. Quickly removed all modem software; unfortunately no luck, Crystal WDM Audio Codecs still failed to load after reboot. Then found and physically removed actual modem (it was installed next to the RAM module; had to undo two small captive screws and remove a memory module cover). Started the laptop again and was greeted by familiar Windows XP start-up sound, a few more reboots confirmed that sound problem is fixed.

It seems that issue was caused faulty modem interfering with sound hardware or drivers.


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