View Full Version : Software(MS)Licenses

Curt Harms
11-06-2006, 4:28 PM
There seem to be some knowledgeable software types here so here goes. I'm wondering if it would be a violation of MS' license to run more than one instance of the same copy of Windows on the same machine. Why would I want to do this? I was thinking of using one instance (partition) for internet browsing only and another partition with apps. Maybe I could keep the crapware on a separate partition, image it before use, then nuke it periodically and restore the original image.

I just set up a machine with 2 boot partitions and it seems to be working fine, thinking about adding more OS's. I use this because I have one piece of legacy hardware that is a DOS based and works with Win98 but not with NT based OS's. I'm also wanting to tinker with Linux. I saw the idea of using dedicated browsing partitions on Robert Cringely's site and it seems like a reasonable idea. Whatcha think? I did look on MS' site but couldn't find anything relevant


Robert Mickley
11-06-2006, 5:49 PM
I don't know about the legality of that one.

Go with one of the linux distros for internet browsing. much safer in the long run since most virus writers shoot for windows. It will be a long time before you have to reload it.

Jim Becker
11-06-2006, 6:00 PM
Multi-boot you are likely fine...you're only running one instance of the same software on the same machine with just a different configuration. Thinks "may" be different if you're using virtual machines since in that case, you have multiple OSs running concurrently. It will actually be interesting to see how that plays out with Vista given the restrictions in the number of unique machines you can install it on...you get one hardware "upgrade" I'm hearing...

Rick Doyle
11-06-2006, 6:54 PM
... I'm wondering if it would be a violation of MS' license to run more than one instance of the same copy of Windows on the same machine. ....
As Jim indicated - you are absolutely o.k. doing what you propose. I know lot's of users who install another copy of the OS on a spare drive simply as a backup in the event something goes wrong with the original. It's also a great way to test out new software without risking messing up your primary OS.

Also, as Jim mentioned, Vista is another story altogether - a story that keeps changing as the Vista release date nears. Late last week, Microsoft changed their policy on multiple installations of Vista saying this:

"Microsoft said today it has changed the retail license terms for Vista so that customers now may uninstall the OS from one machine and install it on another as many times as they want. The new terms do away with limitations on the number of new devices to which the license can be transferred."

Here's a link to the story: http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,127741-pg,1-RSS,RSS/article.html (http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,127741-pg,1-RSS,RSS/article.html)

MS did this because of the concern that was being expressed about how limiting their previous position was for licensed users of their OS. I expect their will be futher changes but this one means you will be able to transfer Vista to any new computer you purchase - as long as it is installed on only one at a time, of course.


Curt Harms
11-06-2006, 9:09 PM
Your replies seem reasonable. Jim's mention of virtual machines would overcome one problem with my idea, that of having to reboot to do something with on another partition. On the other hand, I've not really had a problem with crapware. I don't visit web sites that seem likely to cause problems and do have software and hardware fire walls as well as antivirus. Still, it'd be handy to not have to worry about corrupting the "production" software.

One risk I do worry about is connecting to hotel web access. Jim, I suspect you're versed on this. Have You heard of any issues?


Jim Becker
11-06-2006, 11:00 PM
Curt, my ThinkPad has never been "corrupted" by hotel connections. There was only one "attempt" that I know of and that was in Barbados a couple years ago when I "was forced" to take some business meetings with a business partner down there. :D :D The (very lovely) hotel had high-speed access, but it was via a "mom and pop" ISP venture that apparently did a lot of business via pop-up ads, etc. The firewall and other security software/settings on my machine allowed me to avoid any issues.

Outside of that, travel in the US, Mexico, UK and Belgium have brough no issues for me in this respect...my machine is protected.

Derek Rose
11-08-2006, 4:20 PM
You should be ok with this. Windows XP recognizes whether the OS was installed on a seperate machine by looking at the serial of the motherboard. But since you will have the same motherboard on both partitions, you won't have a problem.

Typically, if you swap out the motherboard on the same machine, XP recognizes the change and you have to call in to MS to get it unlocked. I do not believe you are in violation of the license here.