Can I use my current Windows 7 Key on my new macbook running parallels?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by soapage, May 7, 2010.

  1. soapage macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2009
    I am planning on installing Windows 7 on my new macbook pro. have a windows vista install cd and then a windows 7 pro upgrade dvd. If i install it on my new mac will it automatically block my laptop??? i have searched online and there are conflicting responses to this?
    Do i need to uninstall it? is it automatic? mmmm help me if you can Mac Demi_gods
  2. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    I've never seen it block out one machine or another, but there could be authentication issues. To be honest, there are so many types of windows license keys that you're best off just trying to install it and see what happens.
  3. matoch macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2006
    I'm not sure if this is the place to ask but vm or not the real question is can you install windows 7 on 2 computers. The license says you can't and whether it is physically possible probably depends on the type of windows 7 install you have. OEM versions attach themselves to the original machine's motherboard and you won't be able to even activate it on a second machine. If you bought a retail copy you theoretically can transfer the license between machines but you are supposed to remove it from the previous machine. I'm not sure what or how much info is transferred to MS when you start up any particular machine but they could potentially get the info and see that it is going in between two machines and take action. At the very least you should never have both instances online at one time.

    As you can see I don't have a lot of solid information on the subject however my plan is to install windows 7 in bootcamp and then use parallels to run it in a vm on the same machine. It's similar but a little bit different from what you are doing.

    Hopefully someone will have a solid answer for you on the subject I just provide things to think about.
  4. Mikhailov macrumors regular

    May 3, 2010
    Before selling my Dell, I bought a 13" MBP. I installed Windows 7 on it using Boot Camp and the restore CD from the Dell. It seems to be working just fine even though I sold the Dell and the new owner is using the same Windows 7.

    Hopefully you'll have the same luck.
  5. tturner23 macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2010
    I've been running Windows 7 via Boot Camp for a few weeks on my 2010 13" MBP. Last night (great timing with this post BTW) I installed Parallels and booted up Windows 7 from within OSX. Parallels popped up a little bubble that said I would have to re-activate Windows 7 within Parallels. Windows booted up no problem and didn't ask me activate it. I decided since my copy of W7 is legit I would manually activate it. So I enter my code and it says that this key is registered on other hardware and gives me the option to call Microsoft, purchase a key online, or some other options. I've heard you can call Microsoft and they will give you a new key if you make a fuss, so that's on my menu tonight. Unless someone here has a better idea. I've been a long time lurker, but made an account today to post this!
  6. soapage thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2009
    guess i will install it and see what happens :S
  7. Yomo macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2008
    I installed W7 on my MBP under bootcamp (W7 was previously activated on my broken Dell). Activation failed due previous activation on different hardware.

    I called MS. You never talk to a person. Just go through the prompts. Then you have to enter a long 'code' that W7 gives you. Then the voice prompt will read back a new (long) 'code' that you enter. And you're activated.

    When it asks something like "how many computers has this been installed on" just say "1" .. (or maybe it's "0")... I forget the actual question they ask but basically your new MBP install should be the only one. Otherwise it will tell you to buy another license and hang up.

    Anyway, then I installed Parallels and used the bootcamp install as the VM. Had to activate W7 again when running the VM version. Had to go through the same procedure, calling and entering the codes.

    I really haven't used W7 under bootcamp since I installed Parallels so I can only assume that activation is still valid (and the reactivation under Parallels didn't negate the bootcamp activation). I may boot up under that just to see.

    So, the only problem with using a previously activated version of W7 is the 5 min it takes to call and enter the codes and stuff.
  8. soapage thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2009
    perfect... i will just wait for my parallels... i read around i figured parallels was better than vm3
  9. wakemac macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Never used VM, but have been using parallels as long as I have had my MBP. Works great and no issues. I installed Windows through parallels using the reinstall disc from my old busted Dell and it worked fine. No problems.
  10. DadofThree macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Not looking to play the "licensing police" - just trying to be helpful assuming the OP doesn't want to break the Windows license intentionally. My understanding of Windows licensing:

    For the consumer versions of Windows 7 (other than the Family Pack), you can only install on a single machine at a time. The retail version of Windows allows you to uninstall/wipe clean and then reinstall on different hardware, while the OEM version is tied to the hardware it was originally installed on and cannot be used on different hardware, even if the old version is no longer being used (e.g., HP installations or home-built machines with OEM licenses).

    Therefore, if you have a laptop or other PC with Windows 7, you can't use the same key in your VM on a Mac unless the version of Windows in question is a retail version (i.e., wasn't installed on the machine when you bought it, but rather was purchased later and installed by you) and you plan on discarding the old hardware. I'm in that situation and bought a new OEM license for use on my Macbook Pro.

    As for the situation of creating a Bootcamp partition and then using the partition within a VM, I'm not a lawyer but think that's probably fine from a licensing perspective since it's not much different than accessing a machine remotely. It isn't a separate installation.

    Note that the above limitations are largely licensing limitations and not technical ones.

    Hopefully this helps.

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