Bought an iMac, do I need another Windows 7 disc?

jan08

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 20, 2006
109
21
Wakefield, England
Probably a really daft question, but here goes. I've bought a 21.5" imac and have put all my data from the MBP on there and now want to set up a boot camp on it. I take it those evil folk at MS insist I buy another Windows 7 disc for this computer?
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
580
Finland
Do you have Windows 7 disc already? If you have one, sure you can use it but if you don't, this question is quite obvious...
 

jan08

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 20, 2006
109
21
Wakefield, England
Yes, I bought one at launch to put on the MBP. Will it be OK to use that same disc/serial number on the iMac as its already in use on the MBP. I wouldn't have thought it would and don't want to set up Boot Camp to find out!
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
580
Finland
Yes, I bought one at launch to put on the MBP. Will it be OK to use that same disc/serial number on the iMac as its already in use on the MBP. I wouldn't have thought it would and don't want to set up Boot Camp to find out!
It'll be fine, especially if it's the retail version because OEM versions are sometimes very hard to get work in multiple computers (as they are meant for only single computer)
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,360
963
New England
You are planning on removing it from the MBP, right?

If you run two installs from the same product key, the activation process will force you to reactivate and you will essentially have to choose one or the other, but nor both.

If you won't use them simultaneously you can probably get away with re-activating when you switch machines. (i.e. transferring the license).

B
 

jan08

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 20, 2006
109
21
Wakefield, England
You are planning on removing it from the MBP, right?

If you run two installs from the same product key, the activation process will force you to reactivate and you will essentially have to choose one or the other, but nor both.

If you won't use them simultaneously you can probably get away with re-activating when you switch machines. (i.e. transferring the license).

B
This is what I thought. I was hoping to run them both with the same product key, but 9 times out of 10 use the iMac. So, will it not let me use the product key again do you think?
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
580
Finland
You are planning on removing it from the MBP, right?

If you run two installs from the same product key, the activation process will force you to reactivate and you will essentially have to choose one or the other, but nor both.

If you won't use them simultaneously you can probably get away with re-activating when you switch machines. (i.e. transferring the license).

B
Retail version can be used simultaneously on several machines (not legally though) but OEM version is pretty strict, it won't activate more than once. OP has nothing to lose so he could try. If no go, then remove it from MBP or use "tools to activate it" ;)
 

Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,140
1,015
Germany.
Probably a really daft question, but here goes. I've bought a 21.5" imac and have put all my data from the MBP on there and now want to set up a boot camp on it. I take it those evil folk at MS insist I buy another Windows 7 disc for this computer?
Imagine that: The evil folks at Apple also want you to buy a second license for a second computer. Unbelievable! :eek:

Of course you need a second Windows license when you are going to use Windows on BOTH computers.

But if you are going to wipe out Windows from the MBP, you can -- transfer -- the license to your iMac. Which, in other words, just means that you install and (phone) activate Windows on the iMac and remove the Boot Camp partition on the MBP.

However, when you live in the corporate friendly USA, the option of legally transferring a license to a new system might not be available to you. Tip: Move to Europe. Transferring and selling used licenses is legal here.
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,041
65
Plymouth, MN
However, when you live in the corporate friendly USA, the option of legally transferring a license to a new system might not be available to you. Tip: Move to Europe. Transferring and selling used licenses is legal here.
That is perfectly legal here - unless they are OEM discs which are typically labeled "not for resale". Obviously you cannot run 2 copies at the same time.
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,835
436
No, you can't legally use a single Windows 7 license on two computers.

And, as pointed-out above, you'll have to repeatedly re-activate if you do.

They do sell 3-packs, and had a pretty good deal on them a while back. I don't think they have any "upgrade" to this, even though they do have upgrades to higher-functionality versions (so, to Professional, or Ultimate).

If you do have the 3-pack, it's no problem, say, it install under VMWare on one machine and then copy the VM to another machine. I installed Windows 7 on OSX, then copied the VM to a Ubuntu system. It activated on Ubuntu and that simply increased the license count.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,360
963
New England
Retail version can be used simultaneously on several machines (not legally though) but OEM version is pretty strict, it won't activate more than once. OP has nothing to lose so he could try. If no go, then remove it from MBP or use "tools to activate it" ;)
Not my experience either for retail or OEM.

OEM's license is strict, but the reality is quite a bit looser. Many folks here have successfully transferred OEM licenses from one machine to another helped by the kind folks on the phone for Microsoft. Even though the license specifically prohibits it, the actual process just prompts you to call Microsoft and activate by phone.

Retail will allow you to transfer a license as many times as you want, but I have personally seen it happen where it decides to call home and forces re-activation if the same license is seen in two places (In my case a physical machine I converted over to VMWare and had to boot physically once before I retired it).

Even with retail if you transfer the license and activate it "too often" (however that is defined) you will trigger online activation being disabled and activation by phone being required.

I know in some extreme cases they have even had to issue a replacement product key, because the old one was used too often.

B