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can I install XP twice on one pc?

Posted on 2004-10-26
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Last Modified: 2008-01-16
I have a client who wants a pc and uses sage etc and for extra security they would like to have a drawer system on the pc so that the secretary can do her day to day work on the computer, then the accounts person can take the secretaries drive out and plug his drive into the computer for his work then pull the drive out each day and take it home.  

I know its a lot easier to have passwords and user accounts but this seems to be the way they want it (quite stuck in their ways) and I guess its my job to keep them happy.

Now, does this break MS regulations? or maybe MS regulations are ok because its the same pc and only one person using it at any one time, but maybe XP home / pro will not install twice as it thinks your installing it for a second time or on a second pc?

Basically I need to quote then for hardware and OS, office etc so hope you can help me!

Cheers for reading

Mat
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Question by:auraorange
    30 Comments
     
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    Expert Comment

    by:SheharyaarSaahil
    Hello auraorange =)

    Are we talking abt TWO hard drives here ??
    and Are we talking abt having XP Pro on one drive and XP Home on the other drive ??
    and Are we supposed to hook one drive at a time, and when one person finished his work, we will hook the second one to be worked on ??

    if YES then i dont think so that it has any problem.... its like a system having two hard drives with different Operating systems on it :)
    and its upon user that he wants to connect the hard drive all the time or wants to take out time to time =)
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    Assisted Solution

    by:NetworkArchitek
    Hi auraorange,
    Well, the question title isn't the same as the question but to what you are asking, yes you can do it. I do this regularly. But these computers need to be EXACTLY the same, I assume you are using swappable IDE bay or something similar. Yes, just set them up exactly the same, well this avoids the most problems, and as long as you have enough licenses for each computer I do not see a problem. I have not had problems doing it this way.

    Cheers!
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    Author Comment

    by:auraorange
    i am just using a double IDE cable and setting both hdd drives to master and using one at a time, there will be no alterations regarding hardware.  Do i still need 2 licenses or just the same license as it is only one pc being used by one person at a time.  I am now a member of an IT instsitution and just want to be careful to do the right thing especially as it is for a client,

    Cheers
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    Author Comment

    by:auraorange
    shehary,  I was asking if I have one XP home, and two hard drives in drive caddies for the same computer and want to use only one caddie at a time can I do this or do I need two xp home disks.................

    I hope that makes it a bit clearer
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    Expert Comment

    by:gjohnson99
    Yes you can.

    but you can normaly only use license key one time.

    The microsoft activation normaly uses your mac address.


    Contact Microsoft or read the eula.  
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    Assisted Solution

    by:SheharyaarSaahil
    tell me,,,, if u will install from One CD on first hard drive, u will need to activate it with the CD key.....
    then if u will use the same CD to install XP on second drive... how will u activate it ??
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    by:gjohnson99
    The microsoft activation normaly uses your mac address
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    Author Comment

    by:auraorange
    i am completely aware that ms only allow one install of xp, but the licence is per pc isnt it?  well I suppose thats why im on here at this time of night asking.

    I did wonder if xp will let me install twice I know I can call MS and they will give me a code to install when I give them my XP home key.  But I really need to know if I am allowed to do this and will not get some big men turning up at my door or a fine in 6 months time....

    If i am legally allowed to do this then cant I activate XP home one HDD one, then norton ghost it only drive two?

    cheers for your help so far,  mat

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    Expert Comment

    by:SheharyaarSaahil
    >> If i am legally allowed to do this then cant I activate XP home one HDD one, then norton ghost it only drive two?

    Nopes then i dont think so that its Legal.... coz i can admit that u are talking abt only one system,,,, but still it will count as TWO Operating Systems which can work in any system !!
    and having TWO Operating Systems from one CD is not legal..... so..... =\
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    Author Comment

    by:auraorange
    where is the eula? I think I could do with a good read  I may actually call someone at MS.... mind you as a profit making company I wonder what they will say lol

    cheers :-)
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    Expert Comment

    by:gjohnson99
    In the Product documentation or go on line.  
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    Expert Comment

    by:SheharyaarSaahil
    U are having the WinXP CD, insert it and open its i386 folder
    there u will see a Eula text file, this is the file :)
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    Expert Comment

    by:tmireles
    I think this is a slippery slope.  I tend to agree with gjohnson though because it is technically one system.  If you try and put the drive into another system then doesn't it do an inventory of the hardware installed and revoke the activation when it finds that it is completely different?  It would then require re-activation and if activated then this would be a no no.  Just my two cents.

    Good Luck.
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    Expert Comment

    by:mungchimp
    Simply put you are cloning your drive for personal backup purposes. Allowed under the EULA. 1 install per PC is allowed, multiple users are allowed. You would be violating the EULA once you placed either of those drives in another PC. Microsoft is not concerned with knocking on your door for maintaining 2 HD for one PC.
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    Accepted Solution

    by:
    Oh, by the way, Make sure both HD's are identical or you may trigger the activation requirement during the second install. The Mac address is used in combination with other selected HW devices (Video, HD, Chipset) in order to produce a unique hash code which becomes "linked" to the activation. If more than two of the HW devices is changed youcan be assured of having to re-activate. Also I have yet to hear of anyone being denied a re-activation if MS is called for a new code.
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    Expert Comment

    by:gonzal13
    We had at work a proposal that went to the Law department, regarding an Autodesk program. It was their interpretation at first that a copy can be installed on anther drive at the employee's home. The reasoning was that it would not be used at the same time. What pushed the decision is that it was a very new GUI program that required a long learning curve.

    They revisited the problem about a year later and said that the program could only be on one hard drive.

    In this case, I imagine that the two PC's have different hardware. Thus, it would not really be legal from my opinion.

    You actually need a site license.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;814175

    gonzal13(joe)
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    Assisted Solution

    by:samccarthy
    The licensing for Microsoft is per PC.  If you are swapping the drives back and forth in the same PC you are fine with the licensing.

    Activation of the second, or for that matter tenth install on the same machine with only the hard disk changed is not a problem and it will reactivate fine.  Actually the minimum combination of hardware changes to trigger an Activation "alarm" is 4.

    I had to do alot of research for the licensing and activation when XP first came out and did the removable drive bit for one employer.
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    Assisted Solution

    by:ThePerfectK
    There are all the legal issues to be resolved as shown above, and the best solution would be a separate computer, however if your client really wants that, then I recommend the following product:

    http://www.compgeeks.com/details.asp?invtid=GN210&cat=HDD

    The Genica removable ATA enclosure.  If you have standard ATA hard disks, it works great, and is dirt cheap.  There are more costly solutions out there, however I have used these for about 1 year now in 4 separate systems, and it works like a charm.  I can run Windows/Server/Linux/BSD - whatever I want on the same hardware, and not have to open up the case and mess around too much.  Also, easily transportable.  If you resolve the licensing issues, then you can go all crazy with these drive bays... :)
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    by:mungchimp
    When you say the user will "take it home", is that for security purposes or will he/she actually be working on it @ home? (Changes the whole complexion of the ?)

    NOTE
     "Actually the minimum combination of hardware changes to trigger an Activation "alarm" is 4."

    Curious, I have had to re-activate on many occasions just by swapping out  a HD and video card!
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    Author Comment

    by:auraorange
    it is purely for security reasons, anyway you can not just plug a HDD with xp on it and swap to another pc like you could with 98 (well thats something else I learnt on EE) :-)

    OK there has been LOADS of feedback, so is it safe to say if I get two identical HDD's (2 * 80gb MAXTOR), I can use two HDD's on the same PC with xp home installed (same copy) because MS stipulate it is 1 * XP per pc and not per HDD

    but when I swap between HDD 1 & HDD2 i wont have to reactivate every time will I?
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    Expert Comment

    by:engineer_dell
    OK buddy !!
    try this
    install XP on both hard drives and visit this web using both drives one at a time
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/ww/windows/default.mspx
    and register with Microsoft..if successful then :) and believe me chances are 70%

    All the best !!

    Ritesh
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    Assisted Solution

    by:Replied
    Wow there are lots of comments here for such a simple thing! Just get two identical hard drives, install XP on one of them, and activate it. Then just use Norton Ghost and copy it over to the second drive... That's all, that's it... After that you can install different programs and updates on each drive of course.
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    Expert Comment

    by:tmireles
    To avoid re-activation I agree with Replied.  If you do a fresh install on each hard drive you will have to activate each one.  So your best solution is to ghost/clone the second from the first after it has been activated.  After this you should not have to activate again.

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    by:ThePerfectK
    Why avoid reactivation?  I agree with auraorange - 1 XP installation per PC, so just setup the first disk, activate it, and then setup the second disk, and if it gives you any problems activating, just call microsoft on the number that the activation wizard provides.  They'll ask you for the code windows provides you, and a brief explanation.  Tell them you installed a new hard disk and it wouldn't activate.  They'll give you a code, and it will be done.  It will be quicker than this discussion has taken.  Microsoft won't sweat you with your single PC license.  They have bigger fish to fry, and fact is you're not breaking the EULA.  Go for it, capitan...
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    by:NetworkArchitek
    Just to clarify something, if you have one hard drive and two PCs which have identical hardware then you can swap them without problems. I do this regularly, so I know it can be done without having problems.
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    Author Comment

    by:auraorange
    Yes there has been lots of feedback on a simple issue I guess but I needed to know where I stood and if I was going to break any laws, if it was for my own benefit then maybe i'd have done it without posting on here but as it is for a client I wanted sufficient feedback from you Pro's to clarify what I wanted to do was:

    1) Possible
    2) Legal

    I will log on tomorrow to award points but it will take about an hour to make sure the right people get the points lol

    Thanks a lot for all your feedback you have all been very helpful

    Mat
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    Expert Comment

    by:mungchimp
    The drives are only being used on 1 PC, replied has it right using ghost.
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    Expert Comment

    by:hsthen85
    Actually you can install two windows XP in your hard disk. This will no problem at all. Because now I also use two windows XP Professional in my computer. You just need one hard disk and Pantition it to two drive I mean C and  D drive. So The CD ROM would be E drive. All of this is depend for your hard disk storage space. Example you have one hard disk is about 40 GB you can pantition to 20 GB for one drive and another 20 GB for another drive. How to do this use your Windows XP CD to create the pantition. Good Luck
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    Expert Comment

    by:gonzal13
    hsthen85

    Hi:

    I should of thought of this: I installed on one computer W98SE on two drives, both masters and use a boot manager. This way m,y son does not contaminate my hard drive.

    gonzal13(joe)
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    Author Comment

    by:auraorange
    they have used partitioning before but they want to be able to take the one HDD home with all the accounts on for security.

    I will award my points now and hope i've not missed anyone, thanks!

    Mat

    I have awarded based on who suggested things first...
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