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Which Windows 7 Licenses?

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 8, 2011 3:24:10 AM

The more I read the more I get confused. I am certain that I want Windows 7 Home Premium is all, and I need 3 licenses in the end.

License 1: main build, 64bit, new computer, fresh install. Would like to be able to install on HDD for main OS, but also use under VM with Linux Mint (dual boot). Not sure if OEM allows this as it's tied to one machine.

License 2: media buld, 64bit, budget new computer fresh install. Will dual boot with Linux Mint. Not sure if I want it tied to this machine for purposes of future upgrades, as it's a dead socket and may want to move the license to another computer when both are obsolete.

License 3: eeePC, 32bit, OEM XP, upgrade to Win7; have run the Windows.exe to verify compatibility and it checks out.

So... what 3 licenses do I need to satisfy the above?

If you could be very specific that would help... I really don't want to purchase a 64bit upgrade how-to DVD on accident (seems the marketing is purposefully misleading)

In general it would help if I understood better:
- What OEM means, and if it affects installing and running in VM.
- Why there are 64bit and 32bit versions listed
- Whether I can just choose on install between 32/64bit (implied in some places) or I have to get the right license up front
- Where to buy (if allowed)...every time I think I've found a deal it's something else.
- If a 3-pack of X would somehow work and be less expensive.
- Do I need more licenses to run VM copies... like will Windows detect other copies of itself in VMs or HDD on the same or other of my computers?

But I really just need to know which 3 licenses to buy.

More about : windows licenses

a b $ Windows 7
November 8, 2011 4:26:32 AM

OEM Window 7 are for system builder to install on their machine to sell to a 3rd party. In the EULA, you agree to use it on only one machine only and non-transferable. If you run it on an VM, in theory you are breaking the EULA. In practice, it is still on the same physical machine, so that is open for interpretation. I am not quite sure, may be ask MS.

Retail Window 7 comes with both 32 and 64 bit disc, but OEM version you only get one of 32 or 64 bit disc. The key works on both 32 or 64 bit but only on the same level version (e.g. Home Premium 32 to 64 bit vice versa, but not Ultimate.)

And you must purchase OEM disk with a system order.

Be careful on those pack of three OEM. It could be a pack of 3 activation sold from MS to the place where you bought it from, but the place you bought it from may split it and only sell one activation to you (but your box still says box of three).

Ask the seller and make sure there really is 3 activation in there.

While your new build and HTPC is good on Window 7 64 bit Home Premium (the CPU, including the Atom in the eeepc, all support 64 bit instruction set right?) , make sure your eeepc actually has all the driver for Window 7 before purchasing and installing the OS.
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November 8, 2011 5:48:23 AM

Pyree, I don't understand what you're getting at. If I buy a 3-pack of MSFT OS I'd certainly want a shrinkwrapped box. You don't get the key until you crack the box, right?
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a b $ Windows 7
November 8, 2011 5:52:51 AM

DelroyMonjo said:
Pyree, I don't understand what you're getting at. If I buy a 3-pack of MSFT OS I'd certainly want a shrinkwrapped box. You don't get the key until you crack the box, right?


He's talking about OEM 3-pack's, which are strictly speaking not supposed to be sold as retail copies. 3-pack retail options like the family pack do come boxed with the license inside, yes.
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November 8, 2011 2:50:20 PM

Herr_Koos said:
^ Good summary, agreeed on all points. I want to add one more option to the list:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/defaul...

It think you will find there is no better deal for legally running Windows on multiple PC's.


Two problems I see, the least expensive is $199/year which is actually more expensive considering the lifetime I expect from Windows7 (maybe naiveté on my part but then again I'm one of the still milking XP bunch).

The second is it's an evaluation copy only, which doesn't seem any more legit than running a student copy as a professional.

I would be more inclined to buy a 3-pack family edition and use no more than 2 licenses myself at one time: run A on MachineA as OS and B in VM on MachineA while B is technically installed on MachineB but idle. C installed and in use on MachineC by another family member. I just don't want to spend the extra money on this solution only to have it fail from licensing- I worry the home network will say "There are 4 copies up, shutting down!" or something, despite attempting to follow the spirit of being legit.

As an example my totally legitimate DVD to HDMI player connected only to my TV got updated when I bought a legit DVD of Avatar. Because of an updated on my owned copy of Avatar, my equipment reports blacklisted and as a result I cannot use the DVD player- if I'd torrented I probably could have watched it at home before it premiered. Don't mean to start a morality discussion, it's just THAT is what I'm afraid of- spending more (over a single OEM) to be what in my understanding is legit and in the spirit of licensing and then getting punished.

Herr_Koos said:
He's talking about OEM 3-pack's, which are strictly speaking not supposed to be sold as retail copies. 3-pack retail options like the family pack do come boxed with the license inside, yes.


The proliferation of the OEM packs are really what got me confused in the first place, as they list as 64-bit or 32-bit. It sounds like I should get two non-OEM licenses and one non-OEM upgrade (which I believe is redundant), which leaves me with a few more questions:

1) Non-OEM upgrade, can I "upgrade" my 32bit eeePC XP to 64bit Win7 with a fresh install, or do I need a full non-OEM license to change to 64bit?
2) If there are multiple non-OEM copies how do they react to one another- say I buy two non-OEM copies and they wind up on 3 machines- real or virtual- what happens?
3) Similar question: if I buy a 3-pack family and install it on 4 machines- real or virtual- what happens?

I'm not looking for workarounds, I just don't want to get into a situation where I waste money to discover something that will bite me in the future (like I now understand buying a OEM copy for a mobo you're getting rid of is a bad investment)
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a b $ Windows 7
November 8, 2011 4:01:09 PM

I understand your reluctance about TechNet; believe me, I thought it was too good to be true. But truth is, there is nothing in the license agreement that prevents you from using it on your home PC's, as long as you don't use it in a production (i.e. business) environment. "Evaluation copy" basically means that you are free to try it out and do whatever you like with it. The licenses you get from TechNet are full retail keys and won't expire, even if your subscription does.

And as far as the $199 goes, read the list of available software. You get every version of Windows, every version of Office, Project, Visio, and a whole bunch of other stuff I've never even heard of. There really isn't a better deal out there.
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November 8, 2011 4:13:03 PM

Except it is a business, exceedingly small, home based, but technically a production environment.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 8, 2011 4:23:55 PM

Understood. Pity though.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 8, 2011 8:01:05 PM

jage said:

1) Non-OEM upgrade, can I "upgrade" my 32bit eeePC XP to 64bit Win7 with a fresh install, or do I need a full non-OEM license to change to 64bit?

Yes fresh install needed. Be it OEM license or not you are allowed to install either 32 OR 64 bit with which ever license you buy. What you cant do is install a 32 and 64 bit on the same machine. If you but a machine that has 32bit installed, you are legally allowed to wipe it and install 64 bit if you so desire.
jage said:
2) If there are multiple non-OEM copies how do they react to one another- say I buy two non-OEM copies and they wind up on 3 machines- real or virtual- what happens?

Chances are you won't be able to activate. If your just trying out stuff on VM, remeber you can rearm up to 180 days, and then just reinstall if you want. but what do you mean with non-oem? Retail? Again license agreement says you can install it however many times you want, on what ever machines you want as long as your only using it on one machine at a time.
jage said:
3) Similar question: if I buy a 3-pack family and install it on 4 machines- real or virtual- what happens?

If it is the same machine ID nothing, same hardware same ID. Assuming you setup the vm correctly.


Also about the $200 don't forget, if windows8 comes out, and you still have the technet license, you get windows8 as well. Also all the office packages, windows server etc.
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