First off, apologies if this should be in Storage, but I was thinking it may be more relevant to Windows 7.
I've been considering creating a separate partition for my just my OS, and having the remaining portion of my drive for all programs and data. I know there are tools out there for resizing existing partitions, but I'm not sure if it's possible to create an OS partition on an existing install. I know I could reinstall Windows and then do it that way, but I'd prefer not to go through the hassle of resintalling everything. If it's not possible, it's not a big deal. I'll just do it the next time I get a new OS.
I have a secondary question as well. My previous OS was XP, and over the course of its life, I apparently "used up" my allowed number of installations. After that point, it would no longer allow me to activate my copy. After talking to the Microsoft phone robot, it let me activate once, but after a second try, it told me to buy another copy. Does Windows 7 have a feature like this? If so, I'd rather not use up my installations on something as trivial as this.
Oh, and I'm running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OEM, if that helps.
You don't need to create a new OS partition, just a new partition for your data.
Leave the current OS inplace.
Windows has the ability to create partitions by shrinking the current one.
From Windows 7 help,>
"If you are logged in as an administrator, you can repartition your hard disk by using the Shrink feature in Disk Management. You can shrink an existing partition or volume to create unallocated disk space, from which you can create a new partition or volume. (Note that the terms partition and volume are often used interchangeably.)
Click to open Computer Management. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
In the left pane, under Storage, click Disk Management.
Right-click the volume you want to shrink, and then click Shrink Volume.
Follow the instructions."
The second part of your question re instalation.
There are no limits on the number of times you can reinstall on the same pc with the same hardware. Exceptions to this are when reinstalling multiple times within a short period of time, so while you can't reinstall every week, a couple of times a year is ok. If the need arises to reinstall say 3 times in a couple of months, then a phone call will most likely be required to explain.
In this respect W7 is no different, a reinstall on the same hardware won't be a poblem, but major hardware changes will require a phone call.
If you have a problem with the automated system, call back and wait to speak to a consultant and explain your problem.