Switching Windows Versions – “Downgrading” to Enterprise

So I recently bought a new laptop and asked the IT people at RBA about which version of Windows to install on it. They said it was all on our network so I went out and saw we had both Ultimate and Enterprise versions. Being a sucker for marketing gimmicks I grabbed the Ultimate version because it sounded cooler.

Unfortunately, I chose wrong. I should have used the Enterprise version because that’s what we are licensed for. In the end, they are the same version, but Enterprise is sold only to businesses and Ultimate is sold to home users.

So you think it would be an easy task to switch from one to the other, but the only officially supported way is to completely reinstall and start over. I had just spent the entire night setting up all my software, so I didn’t really feel like doing it twice two nights in a row.

Luckily, there is a way to workaround the limitation, I’ve pulled and simplified from here: http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/11/03/hack-to-in-place-downgrade-from-windows-7-ultimate-or-professional-to-less-premium-editions/

The condensed version is to:

  1. Run RegEdit on your computer and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version
  2. In the right hand side change the word “Ultimate” to “Enterprise” under both the EditionID and ProductName entries
  3. From there I inserted the Windows 7 DVD and ran setup and chose upgrade and everything worked flawlessly

Note: I reran the setup from inside of Windows. I did not boot from the DVD to do the upgrade so I don’t know if it works that way or not.

Back in Business

So, it’s been a few months. Been very busy, got married, closing on a house in November.  Started a new project at work, for the government.  Despite my repeated requests I have yet to receive a dark pair of sunglasses and handgun.  I thought that they were standard issue for the project, oh well, I guess not.

I’ve got some things I’d like to share, so expect more updates starting again soon.  Continue doing a lot of WPF and related work.  It’s great fun and soon I hope to forget entirely what WinForms even looked like. 🙂

So long Linux, remember the good times…

Last night I was fighting with repairing my MythTV box, the final remaining linux PC in my house.  My video card went down and trying to replacing it the nVidia that was in there with the ATI replacement I picked up turned out to be too frustrating.  Steps I went through

  1. Backup/Restore of KnoppMyth
  2. #2 caused a bad xorg.conf to be used, and install crashed
  3. Un-tarred the backup, replaced bad xorg.conf with a failsafe xorg.conf, re-tarred
  4. Repeat #2
  5. Video card works, KnoppMyth installation crashes
  6. Powered through, MythTV up and running, can’t talk to backend
  7. Reconfigure backend, can see recordings, can’t watch them
  8. Networking doesn’t work
  9. TV-Out doesn’t work
  10. Give Up
  11. Try to pull recordings onto portable hard drive (NTFS formatted, ha, good try)
  12. Download Knoppix w/ NTFS write support
  13. Run LiveCD
  14. Copy files to portable hard drive

Remaining steps

  1. Wipe linux
  2. Install Windows
  3. Install GB-PVR

Before I started working at Magenic none of my computers booted into Windows by default.  My laptop ran VectorLinux (based off Slackware) and my main PC ran Fedora, Ubuntu, etc based on what I wanted to try that week.

The MythTV box was running rock-solid for years, and I loved it.  It was the last bastion of my free-spirited geekiness in my increasingly Microsoft focused world.  Now, it has but hours left to live.  Maybe I’ll put Ubuntu on my laptop for old time’s sake at some point.  Who knows?

Speaking of, Windows 7 RC is out now to MSDN.  THAT is going on my laptop immediately tonight.  I think I’ve been fully assimilated.  Even Winston eventually saw the light and learned to love Big Brother.