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2 Windows 7's on one machine...legal or not?

Last response: in Windows 7
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June 29, 2010 4:05:34 PM

Hi,
Is it allowed to have 2 windows on one computer. Basically I wanted to install xp as secondary OS, but the ahci driver crap is ridiculous. So if I were split my drive into two partitions and install another copy of Windows 7 on it for expiriements and other things, would it be legal if I used the same activation key as i did for my other windows 7 install. Remember this is going to be a dual boot on one machine. If this is illegal then i'll just buy another copy, but I wanted to ask if it is as microsoft probably knows it is coming from the exact same IP address.

More about : windows machine legal

a b $ Windows 7
June 29, 2010 4:26:38 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
Hi,
Is it allowed to have 2 windows on one computer. Basically I wanted to install xp as secondary OS, but the ahci driver crap is ridiculous. So if I were split my drive into two partitions and install another copy of Windows 7 on it for expiriements and other things, would it be legal if I used the same activation key as i did for my other windows 7 install. Remember this is going to be a dual boot on one machine. If this is illegal then i'll just buy another copy, but I wanted to ask if it is as microsoft probably knows it is coming from the exact same IP address.


i think you would need two seperate keys
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Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
June 29, 2010 4:40:44 PM

Hi blackhawk1928,

In order to dual boot Windows 7, you will need to have two licenses (meaning you would need to purchase an additional copy / product key). Think of it as dual booting Windows XP and Windows 7, you would need to have two copies (one XP and one Windows 7) in order to do so.

Cheers,
Cassandra
Microsoft Windows Outreach
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June 29, 2010 5:45:11 PM

Thank you :)  I thought so also but still worth asking. I'll just order another copy from newegg or something.

Thank You :) 
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June 29, 2010 5:45:29 PM

Best answer selected by blackhawk1928.
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June 29, 2010 8:49:49 PM

Hello there,

For the actual Windows 7 and XP -Yes you can "multiboot" to Windows XP and Windows 7. *(After installing Windows 7, default Windows 7 is selected and that will be the primary choice for booting to Windows 7).
See the following detailed instructions on the Microsoft website:
http://tinyurl.com/ycqbde4
Essentially, these are the important steps to pay attention to:
"On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Custom.
On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, select the partition or disk where you want to install the new Windows operating system.
Be sure to install Windows on a different partition from the one where the earlier version of Windows is installed.
Click Next to begin the installation. You might see a compatibility report."

Additional information about Multiboot from the Microsoft website:
Can I have more than one operating system on my computer (multiboot)?
http://tinyurl.com/yccnt22

Let me know if this helps!
John M.
Microsoft Windows Client Support
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June 30, 2010 2:37:59 AM

Hi windows7guy, I really appreciate the help but my question was weather I can use one key for both OS's on my machine, not weather I can dual boot them.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 30, 2010 8:49:21 PM

Load up 1 drive & get it working. - disconnect
install new dive load windows this is youreveryday
reconnect second drive
When you want to play around boot to the second drive
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
June 30, 2010 8:58:59 PM

My understanding of the activation process is this: A new internal license hash is generated each time you activate windows. The license hash is based on the hardware but also includes randomization. Even if you were to install Windows on two different but identical drives and disconnect / reconnect the drives prior to booting so that the hardware appeared to be identical for both copies of Windows, the license hashes will be different. This will prevent both copies from working with the same key. There may be a grace interval that lets you switch back and forth a few times, but eventually one of them will report that it's "not genuine".
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a b $ Windows 7
June 30, 2010 11:45:18 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
Hi windows7guy, I really appreciate the help but my question was weather I can use one key for both OS's on my machine, not weather I can dual boot them.


I not sure you were given a correct answer. I know of nothing in the license that would prevent multiple installs on the same machine.




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July 1, 2010 12:09:21 AM

Well a person from Microsoft client support, outreach, and a forum addict with 3,000+ posts do.
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July 1, 2010 12:11:32 AM

And it makes sense also...once they get one key, they probably add it to a list or record, if there is another key that is identical...that already means two operating systems are using one key...which highly suggests illegal distribution so they will most likely figure it isn't genuine and deactivate or something.
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a b $ Windows 7
July 1, 2010 5:08:46 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
Well a person from Microsoft client support, outreach, and a forum addict with 3,000+ posts do.


With all due respect to the MS client support people, I have seen them and other official MS sources both get it wrong outright and contradict each other on other occasions. Its not a problem with these individuals in particular. MS just has issues keeping their message consistent. Especially on licensing.

The forum addict didn't even address licensing. Just his understanding of activation. How the software activates has little to do with whether this use is consistent with the EULA.

I will take a closer look. I didn't have time earlier.



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a b $ Windows 7
July 1, 2010 5:26:15 AM

I dug up a copy of the EULA and it does specify one install per system per license.

Difficult to say whether its legal or not as your local laws may modify such restrictions. May I ask what country you are located in?
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
July 1, 2010 6:08:06 AM

FALC0N said:
The forum addict didn't even address licensing.
I'm guessing I'm the "addict" in question, and if so you're quite right - I didn't discuss the licensing terms. Here's a link to the Windows 7 licensing document: http://download.microsoft.com/Documents/UseTerms/Window...

Section 2(a) states: One Copy per Computer. You may install one copy of the software on one computer. That computer is the “licensed computer.”

So in licensing terms, putting copies of Windows 7 on two different disks using the same license key is not permitted.
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a b $ Windows 7
July 1, 2010 9:43:47 AM

Yep, that's the paragraph. Now its just a question of whether such a provision is legally binding wherever the OP resides.
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Anonymous
a b $ Windows 7
July 1, 2010 10:34:13 AM

Right then , my two cents, I have Windows 7 installed, and multi boot to 4 Windows 7 systems including other OS systems at the same time, some using Bootloader some by HDD boot sequence, And to heck if I am paying for 4 windows Licences for the same CPU to use Windows 7 when i have already paid for the licence! i reinstall often enough that i end up calling for activation anyways and have done so since XP days! i dont run Hooky copies of Windows, I only sell legit machines with Licence sticker attached and Activated, but to heck am i paying for each Windows partition on my own home system, hell no!!!! i purchase around 120 licences a year for builds never mind the Office installations needed to go with!

Its no small reason i try install Linux where ever possible and Openoffice as alternative to MSOffice where people agree!

If it is the same system, clone the activated windows system and change boot sequence to boot into second windows system on second HDD, its only been activated once so there, or use HyperOs and clone your windows 7 system as many times as you want on 1 activation, so there...

www.hyperossystems.co.uk

now these guys would not be running for as many years as they have if it were illegal would they, have used them since 2003!!!!

Jeesh have you given Microsoft your address and asked them to come check you are doing things right.... You own a licence, they have your money, you are not installing it on every mate and familys PC,You are not making illegal copies and distributing it willy nilly you are installing it on your own machine, run as many copies of it as you want on your own machine, this rubbish that you don't own your software has to stop, come on EU, you have done it before to MS do it again and get consumers a fair deal!

I hate piracy, I hate rubbish infected crap software, but seriously, if I buy a retail Licence I should be able to install it as many time as I want on a machine as long as only 1 System is running at a time!!!!!!!!
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Anonymous
a b $ Windows 7
July 1, 2010 10:55:25 AM

sminlal said:
My understanding of the activation process is this: A new internal license hash is generated each time you activate windows. The license hash is based on the hardware but also includes randomization. Even if you were to install Windows on two different but identical drives and disconnect / reconnect the drives prior to booting so that the hardware appeared to be identical for both copies of Windows, the license hashes will be different. This will prevent both copies from working with the same key. There may be a grace interval that lets you switch back and forth a few times, but eventually one of them will report that it's "not genuine".



Not if you clone the systemonce activated, it already has licence activated, so clone ahead and go for it, only major hardware change will require re-activation.

I changed from Asus p5q pro to Asus 890FX and my windows multiboot system did not require Re-Activation, mind you i was surprisd to see it even boot considering it was new Mobo, CPU and GPU from intel c2d to amd x6, guess because some Asus compatibility in drivers, re-installed Multi boot system anyways as was not convinced of stability!

Yes Used HyperOs to clone windows 7 system no problems!
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July 1, 2010 11:20:19 AM

You can install it on a different partition of the same machine, if you have a activation issue, you can call Microsoft and tell them that you doing a re-install on the same machince and get a manual activation key. This is only true of non-oem versions, since the product key on the oem version lable cannot be used. Instaling the OS on two partitions of the same machince does not violate the EULA.
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July 1, 2010 1:11:26 PM

^Well you people obviously have different opinions on this. I don't think Microsoft monitors specific windows activated through IP addresses, I think activates so through a much more specific manner. Otherwise, I can lets say make a server, install VMware and run 100 copies of windows with on key...I am willing to bet that's violation. Therefore I think Microsoft knows exactly how many copies of windows are activated with one key and I think they wan't ONE key per ONE copy, no exceptions. I think i'll do it the safe way and buy two copies of windows with different keys to be on the safe side. Oh and to the person who asked which country I live in it...United States :) 
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Anonymous
a b $ Windows 7
July 1, 2010 10:06:04 PM

Well there you go BlackHawk, you have made your mind up, have fun with your two licenses.

If you use your windows 7 Install key to run on VMware, then you will need a license for each one, because you will be running each one at the same time.

I only boot into a windows system one at a time, not all at the same time, very big difference, One license, one set of hardware, one instance running, just installed several times on different partitions with key only activated once due to clone of first activated system, It is a clone, undetectable as it has already been activated before cloning!
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July 1, 2010 10:29:39 PM

^Thats a good point. But Vmware is more fun :)  You can just switch between Operating Systems like switching between applications in the taskbar.
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a b $ Windows 7
July 2, 2010 9:38:49 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
^Well you people obviously have different opinions on this. I don't think Microsoft monitors specific windows activated through IP addresses, I think activates so through a much more specific manner. Otherwise, I can lets say make a server, install VMware and run 100 copies of windows with on key...I am willing to bet that's violation. Therefore I think Microsoft knows exactly how many copies of windows are activated with one key and I think they wan't ONE key per ONE copy, no exceptions. I think i'll do it the safe way and buy two copies of windows with different keys to be on the safe side. Oh and to the person who asked which country I live in it...United States :) 


Im not going to tell you your wrong buying a second license. But your positon here is a little paranoid. MS just isn't that concerned about a guy dual booting on the same system no matter what the EULA says. You make it sound like the EULA police are going to come for you.

Is this system a homebrew or big OEM?
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Anonymous
a b $ Windows 7
July 2, 2010 10:17:51 AM

I see your point Blackhawk, what would you be using all those VM systems for though that you cant do with all the PC resources for one system!
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July 2, 2010 3:46:55 PM

I use VMware for two OS's and want to get three so I will have linux also. I don't really need it, I just do it for fun and because I can :)  I use different OS's for different purposes.
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
July 2, 2010 5:38:08 PM

I have two Windows 7 licenses on my computer because I run a copy of Windows 7 inside a virtual machine. I use this copy for security-sensitive work and replace the VHD file from a template after every use.
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July 2, 2010 5:49:36 PM

Interesting. I mainly use my primary windows 7 OS (64-bit) for my main stuff...email, applications, games, internet...etc. My secondary OS which is Vista 32bit for things like virus scanners, performance tools, encryption tools...etc...mainly security, oh and system monitors. when I scan my Win7 for viruses...i open up vista and scan from there as none of the files are in use resulting in the best possible scan.
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Anonymous
a b $ Windows 7
July 5, 2010 11:45:50 AM

There are faster more secure ways of scanning for viruses than from a OS in VMware.
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July 5, 2010 6:03:46 PM

I know :) 
There are bootable CD's.
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July 25, 2010 2:17:51 PM

Great to know the Microsoft team are "looking after us" here on Tom's Hardware forum.
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!