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  • Legal issue: the same system on two PCs?

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 Legal issue: the same system on two PCs?

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      • #2292042 Reply
        Lex
        AskWoody Lounger

        I have two PCs. One PC has Windows 7 (BOX version) installed and the other PC, older, has Windows XP (also BOX version) installed.

        The older PC with Windows XP is normally not used, I have it “just in case” (if something happens to the other PC with Windows 7).

        There should not be a case / need for both computers to run exactly at the same time.

        Does anyone know what the legal issue looks like if I would like to install the same Windows 7 on this old computer as well?

      • #2292043 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        You need volume license to run the same OS/license on more then 1 PC.

      • #2292047 Reply
        Lex
        AskWoody Lounger

        You need volume license to run the same OS/license on more then 1 PC.

        Even in my case when only one PC is on at the same time?

        • #2292050 Reply
          Alex5723
          AskWoody Plus

          Yes. You can’t activate the same license on more then 1 pc. It is illegal.

      • #2292076 Reply
        PaulK
        AskWoody Lounger

        This is my understanding, which may not be rigorously correct. And this is for individual / end-user licenses, not company/enterprise/volume licensing.

        You note that these are ‘BOX version’, which means that you bought these licenses (probably as included with media) at retail; correct?

        A Retail license can be transferred under the condition that it is associated on only one computer at a time. This constraint allows one to transfer the license when the ‘installed’ computer is broken / in for repair, or is irreparably broken. After repair, the license can be transferred back to the original computer.

        (Contrasting this is an OEM license, where Windows was installed by the computer manufacturer. An OEM license is tied to the computer, now and forever, and cannot legally be transferred. When the computer finally breaks – sorry. But note that some components (typically a hard drive) may be replaced without violation.)

        So, to answer your specific question: Yes, you may move your Windows 7 to the XP machine, but you then must remove it from the current machine. Realistically, there could be a short period during transfer and checkout when 7 is on both machines; but not for productive use.

        Again, contingent upon BOX = Retail. And: this is my understanding. Final authority: ask MS.

        So

        I would like to install the same Windows 7 on this old computer as well?

        is not permissible as you would like to do. It is commendable that you ask ahead of time.

      • #2292079 Reply
        Lex
        AskWoody Lounger

        @PaulK: Yes, both OSes were bought in the box with all papers and can be transferred from PC to PC. They are not OEMs.

        So, to answer your specific question: Yes, you may move your Windows 7 to the XP machine, but you then must remove it from the current machine. Realistically, there could be a short period during transfer and checkout when 7 is on both machines; but not for productive use.

        “remove” = like OS needs to be fully deinstalled or just deactivated?

        EDIT: It seems Adobe is doing that “more user-friendly” than Microsoft in that case – they allow to install their software on two PCs with condition to use on only one. 🙁

        • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by Lex.
        • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by Lex.
        • #2292102 Reply
          PaulK
          AskWoody Lounger

          I’ve never faced this issue so I have to duck the question.
          One Search hit for [ windows deactivate ] is here. – – – Screenshots are from Win 7.

      • #2292116 Reply
        GoneToPlaid
        AskWoody Lounger

        It occurs to me that the older PC, if it is a name brand PC, just might have a SLP key for Windows 7 in its BIOS. It depends on how old the older PC is. If true (and there are freeware utilities which can tell you), then you could install Windows 7 OEM on the older PC.

      • #2292333 Reply
        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        his is my understanding, which may not be rigorously correct. And this is for individual / end-user licenses, not company/enterprise/volume licensing.

        Also this is NOT a general legal issue, this is something that has to be written in the relevant license agreement.

        In this case, well, the normal Windows license is fairly well known and pretty standardized the world over, nowadays. Special offers might still have been different.

        There have been other software products with licenses that did allow multiple installs as long as only one was in use at a time. I think a digital SLR camera came with one of those for an image processing application, for example…

      • #2292541 Reply
        Kathy Stevens
        AskWoody Plus

        It is an interesting question if there are “legal issue” if you install the same Windows 7 on two or more computers.

        In the United States, I do not believe that there are any federal or state laws governing the use of Windows 7 that would require a state or the Federal Government to take legal action against and individual.

        When you install Windows 7 you are required to enter into a Windows 7 license agreement with Microsoft that may restrict or limit how many PCs you can install your copy of Windows.

        If your use of Windows 7 violates the terms of the license agreement it is up to Microsoft – not any governmental agency –  to enforce its rights under the terms of the agreement.

        As a practical mater, Microsoft’s cost in time and treasure of enforcing its license agreements is substantial and, I believe, that it is unlikely the the corporation will take action against an individual who uses the same copy of Windows 7 on only two privately owned PCs.

        Therefore, the question is not so much legal as it is moral.

        Does anyone know of a case where Microsoft has taken legal action against an individual who has used the same Windows 7 license on only two personal computers?

        • #2292564 Reply
          PaulK
          AskWoody Lounger

          Good distinction, Kathy. Moral and ethical. And any case would be a Civil filing, not a Criminal charge.

          Can MS detect such a violation? I don’t know; but I would guess probably. And since a Product Key can be active on only one machine at a time, one of the machines would be running un-activated. And I’ve read that some functionality either is unavailable, and/or that after a certain period, some degree of Windows crippling (my term) is invoked. Are there circumventions? Probably. But not ‘legal’ / right.

          • #2292817 Reply
            mn–
            AskWoody Lounger

            And since a Product Key can be active on only one machine at a time,

            This actually is not generalizable. Microsoft issues lots of Multiple Activation Keys to volume customers, for example.

            And, there are valid cases where you can get a Windows license without the key you need. Some of these actually do allow you to reuse a key from another computer. (With downgrade rights, it’s completely normal to get a Right To Use to a version you don’t get a key for.)

            You do get the license paperwork for that too, which you’d need to show in case of an audit.

            (Yes, actually I do know of a family that has bought volume-type licenses for their home Windows PCs… they like to build their own so no OEM license anyway. One of their children goes to school with one of mine.)

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