Forcing Windows 10 Enterprise to install on a system with a Home version key in the BIOS

Problem – I had a system (HP Spectre) with Windows 10 Home edition which I wanted to upgrade to Enterprise (to get BitLocker). The trouble is, even when using the Windows 10 Enterprise install ISO and a clean install it installed Home. This is because it detects a Home key embedded in the BIOS and automatically installs it without giving you a choice.

You can apparently force it to install the version you want by including EI.cfg and PID.txt files in the install ISO (or USB key). I had a look at our ISO, which does include EI.cfg. The contents are:




Interestingly, according to the Microsoft documentation this is wrong – [Channel] should be either Retail or OEM…

There is no PID.txt file. According to some people this is also required. I was going to try this, but then found a simpler solution. You can run setup.exe from the DVD (assuming you have a functioning install already, like I had here) and include command line switches. Including specifying the product key.

setup.exe /PKey NPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43

(List of KMS client product keys)

Hey presto, this time the upgrade wizard only gives you the option of a clean(ish) install (as Win 10 Home to Enterprise is not a supported in-place upgrade for some reason), and the summary explicitly confirms you are upgrading to Enterprise.

And then you wait ages…

Note that if you have a system with Pro, then in theory you can change the product key (there are several ways to do this) to get to Enterprise. On the other hand, Pro can join domains and has BitLocker anyway.

Published by

Jamie Scott

IT Administrator at the Institute for Gravitational Research, University of Glasgow