• Install any version of Windows 7 from the Ultimate DVD – and get 120 free evaluation days to boot

    My latest Windows Secrets Newsletter column just hit and it contains a couple of tricks that you might want to peruse.

    To my mind, the really amazing news is that you can install any version of Windows 7 – Ultimate, Pro, Home Premium, or the others – from any Windows 7 DVD. That means if you ripped or ripped off a copy of the final version of Windows 7 Ultimate, say, you can use the DVD (or ISO file) to install Windows 7 Home Premium.

    The trick doesn’t change the “bittedness” – if you have a 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate DVD, you can only use it to install 32-bit copies of Home Premium, for example – but you can easily change the DVD so it’ll install Ultimate, Pro or Home Premium.

    Here’s why that’s important to those of you who have a copy of the Win7 Ultimate DVD (or ISO file). If you go ahead and install Win7 Ultimate right now, Microsoft gives you 30 days before you have to type in an activation key. If you use the trick in my Secrets column, you can extend the free time up to 120 days – which pushes you out beyond the October 22 ship date. So you can start to use the “real” Windows 7 right now, no sweat, perfectly legally in all respects.

    But if you install Windows 7 Ultimate right now, when time comes to activate, you have to supply an Ultimate key. And Win7 Ultimate costs two arms and two legs.

    Chances are good that you want to install Windows 7 Home Premium right now. (A few of you may really want Pro, but almost everybody will do just fine with Home Premium.) Unfortunately, unless you know the trick, that Windows 7 Ultimate DVD you have right now only installs Windows 7 Ultimate – and you’ll get stuck with either a whopping bill when Windows 7 ships, or you’ll be faced with re-installing Win7.

    So check out the column, follow the tricks, and get a copy of Home Premium installed right now. It’s all legal, all legit – if you know how.