Single hard drive for multiple computers

I have fairly expensive software that generates a license key based on the hard drive on which it is installed. There are several workstations on which I'd like to use this software, but not simultaneously. The hardware configuration of each workstation is not identical.

I'm considering an idea in which Windows is installed on an external hard drive, along with the software I would like to use. When I want to move from one location to another, I just take the hard drive out of one workstation and plug it into the next.

Does this make sense? Will the windows installation tolerate the changing hardware? If not, are there a few key components that would need to be the same model (MoBo and Processor for instance)?
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  1. Best answer
    This will not work.

    I'm considering an idea in which Windows is installed on an external hard drive,

    Windows can't run like this.

    What is the particular piece of software? There is a reason they have that license key set up. What you are suggesting is, depending on the specific software, piracy.
  2. Also if the hardware was identical - would likely work. ^ quite likely you are not following the software licensing agreement. I have some expensive software that will work with a license server or I can convert to a single computer license. You may want to contact the company to see if there are install options.
  3. Licensing on the software I am using is OK with uninstalling it from one workstation and reinstalling on another. Installing it on a hard drive on each workstation would violate the license. I think that what I am suggesting is in the area in between those two cases, and I would contact the software manufacturer about it if the Windows O/S would deal with it OK. Their machine key can be set up to look explicitly at the hard drive and no other hardware, so it would support this usage.

    To deal with different hardware configurations, I suppose that the portable drive could be partitioned with a windows installation for each. It seems like that would violate the Windows licensing though.
  4. How about set up one central workstation. Whenever someone needs to use it, they go there.

    As it is, you're probably violating someones license, either MS or the vendor.
  5. Depending on the APP, you may be able to put it on 1 machine, and have your users just remote into this system from their system and run it.
  6. all depends on the specific licensing from the vendor. Talk to them.
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