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Using multiple cloned boot drives RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi.  I am considering an atypical setup where I have 1 single computer, but there are 3 hard drives, each in the hands of 3 different people (not residing inside the computer).  User 1 plugs the drive into the computer, and Windows XP is installed on the drive.  User 2 and 3's drives are cloned from the first.  (If I understand the EULA on Windows XP, this is not a violation, since the WinXP environments cannot possibly be used simultaneously, and the computer is the same).  When one User wants to use the computer, they have to plug in their hard drive, since the computer has no hard drive internally.  When another User wants to use the computer, they unplug the first User's drive, and plug in their own (which is a clone).

    My question is, can I install the same copy of MS Office 2007 on each of the drives individually (not cloning, so that means I plug them in at different times, so that they are booted in individual WinXP environments), using the same serial number, and there would be no issue with any Genuine Advantage Validation?  Basically, would MS deny registration after the first time, because it would look like the same computer is trying to register MS Office 2007 2 more times?  Or even if registration is not denied, would then the first system no longer be able to run Office 2007 without re-registering?

    Thanks.
    Monday, August 17, 2009 6:20 PM

Answers

  • Each independent hard drive must have its own Windows XP license.  The EULA permits only one (1) installation of Windows XP on one (1) computer.
    You should be setting up individual User Accounts instead of using individual hard drives.  The Office 2007 EULA permits one (1) installation on a desktop
    and a second installation on a portable computer, such as a notebook PC.  Again, having an individual User Account eliminates the need to install Office
    multiple times.
    Carey Frisch
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, August 18, 2009 3:46 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by LarikDi Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:18 AM
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, August 19, 2009 3:54 PM
    Monday, August 17, 2009 7:32 PM

All replies

  • Each independent hard drive must have its own Windows XP license.  The EULA permits only one (1) installation of Windows XP on one (1) computer.
    You should be setting up individual User Accounts instead of using individual hard drives.  The Office 2007 EULA permits one (1) installation on a desktop
    and a second installation on a portable computer, such as a notebook PC.  Again, having an individual User Account eliminates the need to install Office
    multiple times.
    Carey Frisch
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, August 18, 2009 3:46 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by LarikDi Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:18 AM
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, August 19, 2009 3:54 PM
    Monday, August 17, 2009 7:32 PM
  • Hi Carey,

    Thank you for the answer.  You have addressed the concern about Office 2007.  However, you have also addressed the Windows XP OS EULA, so my following concern might be more appropriate if moved to another thread.

    (Let's modify my original proposed system so that the 3 drives DO reside in the computer case.  Only that one of the 3 drives is accessable at any given moment.  Let's assume the rest of the scenario is the same - 2 drives are clones of the original, of which Windows XP was installed.)

    The Windows XP EULA reference you made would not correspond to the Windows XP license conclusion you provided.  Here's my reasoning, and correct me if I am misunderstanding something in the EULA.  In the modified setup, I would not be in violation of the Windows XP EULA because I would have only *installed* Windows XP on one of the 3 drives.  It is that the other 2 drives that are part of the computer are *clones* of the original drive, therefore, Windows XP would never be installed on them... Windows XP would be *copied*, which is not mentioned in the EULA.  That means the reference you made to the EULA about installation would not correspond to the result of having each drive with independent Windows XP licenses, since Windows XP was only installed once.  You would need to reference another portion of the EULA in order to be able to conclude that "each independend hard drive must have its own Windows XP license."

    In addition, because only one of the drives can be run at a time in the system (not simultaneously), I would not be in violation of the "use, access, display and run one copy of the software on the computer" portion of the EULA.  Furthermore, because the one single computer system consists of the 3 drives, all components are considered to be the one computer.  Therefore, the license would not be "transferred to or used concurrently on different comptuers" (from the EULA).

    Perhaps I am missing something, but if what I have mentioned above is correct, then I would not be in violation of the Windows XP EULA.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:18 AM
  • Hello LarikDi,

      These forums are for the support of Vista, XP and Office Validation and Activation issues. Licensing questions (especally as complex as the one you are asking) are beyond my primary area of knowledge and are off topic for this forum.

      I use the forum's Answered/Unanswered mechanism to tell me what threads need my attention. You and Carey are free to continue your discussion, but since this thread does not require my attention, I will be marking it as answered.'

    Thank you,
    Darin MS   
    Wednesday, August 19, 2009 3:54 PM
  • Thank you, Darin MS, for considering my question.  I apologize for any inconvenience I have caused to you.
    Thursday, August 20, 2009 3:30 AM
  • Microsoft does not provide support for computers on which Windows XP is installed by duplication of fully installed copies of Windows XP.
    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, August 20, 2009 12:55 PM
  • Hi Carey, Thank you for the input.

    I take it that I am in the wrong place to be asking about the legality of the proposed system, so I apologize for that.
    Sunday, August 23, 2009 6:05 AM