Using Win 7 64 Bit OEM Software

I have a never used sealed copy of Win 7 OEM install disk and I was wondering if I could partition my hard drive and install that OEM copy of Win 7 (Home Premium) along side in a dual boot configuration with an already existing Win 7 O/S that originally came with the computer I purchased about 4 years ago.  The original Win 7 is a legit copy complete with license key.

I have enough disk space to install the OEM copy on a separate partition on the same drive as the original Win 7 copy.

My question is two fold: (1) Can this be done and (2) is this legit ?

Many years ago I did a quad boot of XP using 2 hard drives and 4 different partitions that worked well. The only difference is that the media I used were 4 different NON OEM copies of XP. You may ask - why did I do this in the first place. My reasoning, at the time, was that (1) I wanted to do it; (2) I had the available disks (3) I had the money to do it!

Part of my reasoning to do a dual boot on this machine is that I want to keep my existing copy of Win 7 since on it are things I cannot replace due to lost license keys of installed software, Lost ExE install disks of installed software or both.

I could reinstall the original O/S with the media enclosed with the computer OR using the OEM install disks and NOT creating a dual boot.

I do not like the media that came with the computer. I used it once and found out that I had to separately install key drivers to make the install function and (2) the install created a super large folder called "old windows" which if removed would give me the dialog that my install of Win 7 was not valid. I had to put the old windows folder back in to keep my install "legit". I thought i was doing a clean wipe of the O/S at the time and if so this should never have happened in the first place.

Also - when I did the install mentioned above years ago using the quad boot I didn't use a boot manager and instead Windows created the dual boot on its own without using a separate booting software.

I do have a 2nd computer that I occasionally use when for some reason I have problems with my main one. It does not need anything done to it but it is merely a back up or in case the original computer becomes totally unusable.

I would do this differently if I had the money but I am a 72 year old senior citizen who is living at the poverty level with an adjusted gross income of $10,060. I cannot borrow money to do this since I was forced into filing bankruptcy in 2009 in order to keep my apartment after the death of my late 92 year old father.

I would appreciate your comments on this matter.
HMCSAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
So long as the OEM license is different (It comes with a Key, so you can tell) and so long as you only use it once and do not use it again, then you can do this. The rules around OEM are a tad grey, but Microsoft allowed OEM licenses to be sold to individuals provided they were only used once, not resold, and did not require support.
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
I thought as much and also, correct me if i am wrong, the OEM disk could only be used on ONE computer but could actually be used more than once on the SAME machine.

If this is correct I have something to work with.

Also 2 additional questions arise: (1) Can I get windows to set the boot, as in the boot sector or should I look for an independent maker for this? I've found one called "Dual Boot Pro" which is $9.95.  Do you have any working idea about this software or have you ever used it? And (2) If necessary or desired could I uninstall this arrangement? Also of consideration will be Windows 10 and I wonder if this would work with Windows 10. If my information is correct Windows 10 will be FREE & I guess I could get copies for both of my computers. I would be interesting to dual boot Win 10 and win 7 on my other machine! :-) If I had the money (which I once had) all this would be a moot issue!

Any further help you can give me would be highly appreciated! :-)
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
So long as your two Windows licenses are different, it should work.

For me, dual boot is dead and I use VMware Workstation and create virtual machines. I have a Windows 7 machine (virtual) on my Windows 8 host. I have a Windows 10 machine as well, but Windows 10 is not production.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also, at this point, Windows 10 (when in production) is a free upgrade to individuals with Windows 7 and Windows 8. This is still in the future, however.
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
Correct me if I am wrong again but to use a VM don't you have to have installed Win 7 Professional?

I know recently I installed some software a friend recommended to me and lo and behold it tried to install a VM.

I uninstalled the program but evidently it did not totally uninstall as it left me with a messed up network problem but still somehow mostly works. It created "Virtualbox Host Only Network" and also all my restore points are toast, except one which finally got me to the point I have an internet connection once again. After that harrowing experience I didn't want to mess with any of it again.

This is another reason to want to keep the old Win 7 and dual boot into another which has a networking that is complete and totally functional.  I hated losing the restore points also.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
VMware workstation should work with Windows 7 Home so far as I know. XP Mode will only work in Windows 7 Professional.

I am not certain how to dual boot two equal systems, so I would be inclined to use a boot manager that says it will do this.
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
I did it with XP but frankly XP is a far cry from Win 7. I am afraid all this is not something to enter into lightly.
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nobusCommented:
you'll have to use Easybcd, as discussed here :
http://www.overclock.net/t/677808/two-windows-7s-on-one-hard-drive
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
Nobus! GTSY :-) I'm already one step ahead of ya on that but will read the link you gave. I found EasyBCD looking at more information about my question/problem. This thing is also FREE and that is a GOOD thing ! :-)
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nobusCommented:
i always try to offer free tools
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
One final question and we can close this one out!

I've decided in the very near future to attempt this dual boot. Since I have never used a product like Easy BCD  I was wondering should I install the Easy BCD first on my present copy of Win 7 and then create the partition - or does it even matter?

Once I have this installed and hopefully correctly working I plan to wait at least a week before I activate the OEM copy. My reasoning is I need time to make sure that everything is working properly. Should i need to "back up" there should technically be no problem since the OEM version was never activated in the first place!

Regarding my existing copy of Win 7 - I remember and old "trick" from my XP days of something called a non-destructive reinstall. I used this "trick" many times with XP and it saved my bacon from a nasty full reinstall and gave new life to my then aging O/S. This I've also considered. What does get me is for some reason all my restore points are non-workable and this does bother me considerably.

Any thoughts on this  before we close this one up ?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You need the third part boot manager to avoid problems with the existing Windows 7.

You can use Windows 7 repair install to fix an existing installation of Windows 7. You need a working recovery partition or the Windows 7 DVD ( and you will need the latter approach for dual boot)
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
I gathered that Easy BCD is a boot manager.

The Windows 7 DVD that I have is the one that came from the mfg of my computer and it will reinstall my O/S but I don't care to do a full reinstall. The other DVD that I have a an unused OEM copy of Win 7, 64 bit. My original install of 7 is also 64 bit.
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nobusCommented:
if you purchase Bootit-BM - you can install up to 128 different multiboot OS'es:
www.terabyteunlimited.com/
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
Well right now, since $$$ in my main problem, I'll stick with the Easy BCD and take my chances from there.

I'm going to first create a partition on my drive and then install Easy BCD on my already previously installed Windows 7 and then go for the install of the OEM version of Windows 7 on the newly created partition.

This in theory should work - if not then oh well I'll just have to restart things from scratch.

I'll possibly do this soon but not immediately. I am headed to see a vascular surgeon to see about a possible small aneurysm that was discovered on a routine x-ray. Seems like every time I am planning something then some medical complication rears its ugly head. I'm going to imagine this doctor is going to require an ultrasound and a CT or MRI scan before proceeding any further. Additionally right after that I see my primary care physician for the results on my hip and lumbar spine x-rays. We already know that is mostly going to show extensive arthritis. This next week is going to be a busy one for me. Don't get old - it's not what it's cracked up to be! Sheesh !!!

Other that this I am reasonably intact - within reason, naturally! lol
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nobusCommented:
keep the spirit up - that's the MOST important
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
Actually I've got MORE irons in the fire NOT to keep the spirit up! But like the Three Dog Night song "The show must go on"! lol
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
Sorry I've not closed out this question. I had a CT scan awhile back and with and without contrast dye. I had an allergic reaction to the dye and went into shock and was taken to the ER and later admitted to the hospital. I've been turned inside out from this experience and I will never have any procedure done with contrast dye! today is the first decent day I've had in a week!

Thanks for the help on this question. I am taking all answers seriously but I am putting all this on the back burner until I find out the result of this CT scan and other tests to determine the best course of action pertaining to my medical problem(s). I'd even planned on a knee operation and even that must for the time being be put aside.

Thanks again and I appreciate all you ppl have done for me! :-)
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@HMCS  - Thanks, and I wish you good health and as speedy a recovery as is possible for you. No issue with the delay here and thank you for following up.
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nobusCommented:
your health is primordial, so put the rest aside
best of luck!
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