Can I run Windows 7 on a portable hard drive that I can use on multiple computers?

Can I run Windows 7 on a portable hard drive that I can use on multiple computers? In the old days I had a hard drive enclosure that let me slide a hard drive into different computer. From the reading I have done so far, it does not look like Microsoft is allowing that. It looks like the OS is now tied to the motherboard/cpu configuration. My son and I are building computers for fun and I would rather not have to purchase a new copy of Windows 7 every time we build a computer. It adds $100 to the cost. If that is the case I guess we could run Linux Ubuntu for free.
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  1. there is a small program called pwboot http://reboot.pro/topic/6851-project-pwboot-latest-version-302/
    it will allow you to use it on multiple machines but you will need to re-patch it every update you do it might be best to switch to Linux a lot quicker and works in multiple machines i recommend manjaro Linux
  2. Windows 7 allows you to change all components except the motherboard and still maintain legitimate status under it's licensing agreement. That being said, you can typically take the harddrive to another computer but if the computers are drastically different it will simply BSOD and/or bootloop. Short story: it might work or might not depending on the computers in question. It is *possible* though as long as drivers and architecture aren't too radically different. You can't take a copy of windows 7 installed on an intel core i5 and have it boot on an amd phenom x4 for example, it'll bsod every time.
  3. If you have a retail version of Win 7,and all of your computers are the same, and you use the drive as an internal drive, it will work they way you want it to.

    It's not just now being tied to the system Windows is installed on, it's been that way for a long time, and Windows never supported being run from an external drive.

    If you build a new computer, and you have a full Retail version of Windows 7, you can just wipe the old PC and install Win 7 on the new one. Although I am thinking your activation will start having issues eventually.
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