collapse

Author Topic: Dual-booting Windows 7 may violate the license  (Read 1723 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Skhilled

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2642
  • Attack: 3025
    Defense: 2963
    Attack Member
  • Gender: Male
  • Retro Gamer!
    • Doc Skillz!
Dual-booting Windows 7 may violate the license
« on: December 03, 2009, 08:25:03 AM »
Taken from WindowsSecrets.com:

You know about dual-booting, right? Since the dawn of time, Windows has allowed you to install more than one operating system on a PC and choose which OS to use at boot-up. Dual-booting is a good way to migrate from an older operating system to a newer one. I've used the technique for years whenever a new OS has come around.

For example, once you set a machine to dual-boot, you can use the new OS until you run into trouble for example, you forget a password or can't remember an e-mail setting. You just boot into the old OS and use it long enough to jot down the missing information. Once you're sure you no longer need the old version, you delete it: safe, simple, and easy.

I first jumped down the Win7 licensing rabbit hole when I realized you aren't supposed to use an upgrade version of Windows 7 to create a dual-boot system. Er, well, more precisely, it's physically possible to use an upgrade version of Win7 to create a PC that will dual-boot Win7 with XP or Vista. But the licensing terms say you can't do so.

This is one of those areas where verbiage indicates you shouldn't, but the software and all of its supporting documentation show that you can. It's also one of the areas where the rules have changed. Dual-booting with an upgrade copy of XP was perfectly kosher. The licensing language changed with Windows 7. (Actually, it changed with Vista, but nobody seems to have noticed.)

The crux of the matter lies in the following sentence in Windows 7's EULA:

    * "15. Upgrades. To use upgrade software, you must first be licensed for the software that is eligible for the upgrade. Upon upgrade, this agreement takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from. After you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from."

Yes, you read that correctly. As soon as you install the upgrade version of Windows 7, Microsoft claims that your license for the existing version of Windows goes kaput and you may no longer use the software you upgraded from. While you can create a dual-boot system heck, it's easy to do so, using the upgrade DVD under a strict reading of the EULA, you aren't supposed to boot it up.

The Windows 7 installer will automatically set up the entire dual-boot infrastructure, making it easy for you to dual-boot. But the license says you can't still use the previously purchased and installed operating system.

This leads to all sorts of craziness. For example, a friend of mine wanted to dual-boot the 32-bit version and the 64-bit version of Windows 7. This would allow him to test 64-bit drivers but fall back to 32-bit if he encountered a problem.

He bought the Windows 7 Upgrade Family Pack, whose license permits three installs. To dual-boot, he simply needed to install Win7 twice. But he was a bit, uh, disconcerted to discover that dual-booting with the 32-bit and 64-bit versions theoretically negates the license of whichever Win7 version was installed first.

I still can't believe that Microsoft made such a ridiculous rule. I'm amazed there hasn't been a mass uprising of Win7 users brandishing pitchforks and blazing torches as they threaten to ride the legal beagles out of Redmond on a rail. But no. In fact, I've hardly heard a peep about this matter in the trade press.

The simple fact is that a dual-boot system created using the upgrade version of Win7 works fine. Microsoft may say your license for the original software gets tossed into the bit bucket, but I've never heard of anybody failing a Windows Genuine Advantage check on an old XP or Vista system that's part of a Win7 dual-boot hookup.

I don't know how Microsoft could tell which old system you had. I don't know of any mechanism Microsoft could use to disable a running copy of Windows 7 or prevent it from receiving critical updates. In short, the rule's there, but it may in fact be legally unconscionable as well as unenforceable.


Offline LETHAL

  • DS User
  • Not So New
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Attack: 87
    Defense: 81
    Attack Member
  • Drag Race Junkie
Re: Dual-booting Windows 7 may violate the license
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 09:55:27 PM »
Thanks, This is good information to know.

Offline Skhilled

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2642
  • Attack: 3025
    Defense: 2963
    Attack Member
  • Gender: Male
  • Retro Gamer!
    • Doc Skillz!
Re: Dual-booting Windows 7 may violate the license
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2010, 08:36:06 AM »
Hey, Lethal. :)


 

ordinary
ordinary
ordinary
ordinary