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    New Lounger Neilm's Avatar
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    Dual boot PC and legal MS Office install

    I've set my PC to dual boot Win 7 and 8. Can I load the same version of MS Office legally on both operating systems. As I can only use one installation of Office at a time I could not see why I can't do this but thought I should check first.

    Thanks
    Neil
    Neilm


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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I believe you can. I did this when I was set up for a dual boot during the beta test period. If it does not activate in the 2nd OS, you could call MS to explain what you are doing. MS is generally very accommodating.
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    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    Most software companies allow more then one install on the SAME computer.
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    It will probably activate, but it may still be outwith the licence conditions, even if you can only run one instance of it at a time.

    The Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines may be viewed as different machines from a software perspective. The GUID's of the system will be different and that may be enough to trip it up. On the other hand, some versions of Office sold in the residential market allow installation on up to 3 PC's. That licence should allow for the circumstances you describe.

    As Medico says, in these cases it's best to seek advice from the people who really know: Microsoft.
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  6. #5
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    Why do you need a separate install? Isn't there a way to access the files from either OS?

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    You can set your documents folder to be on another drive/partition and then share those files but programs must be installed on the copy of the OS they are using so the appropriate registry entries are made and accessible. In the days of .ini files you could install software on a mutually accessible drive and the one install would suffice. HTH
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    I asked because next time I upgrade my hardware I intend to instal Win7 64bit. I currently run XP Pro 32bit, and want it to be a dual-boot option on a separate drive. (Actually tri-boot as I have Mac OSx Snow Leopard on another drive and can already dual boot). I may not need XP later, but want to have it in case something won't run on 7. My wife has had to buy newer versions of software that isn't compatible with 7 (Adobe Illustrator, for example) and I am loathe to have to do that too.

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Here's how I have my drive divided to dual boot Win 7 HP and Win 8 Pro with shared data on G: HTH
    Multi-boot.JPG
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    My plan is to put Win7 on SSD as primary OS. I have not purchased the SSD yet, but do have a full Win7. I may do it before I upgrade the mobo and processor.

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    I have Win 7 HP dual booted with Win 7 HP on my laptop using a SSD. Yeah, I know I said Win 7 twice. One has Office 2003 Pro and the other Office 2010 Pro. They don't play nicely on the same OS and I need to keep 2003 for testing & development purposes. Works great and boy does it boot FAST!
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    RG, in what way do the two versions of Office not play nicely on the same OS? If you're referring to Word running the configuration routine when switching from one version to the other, there's a registry entry to prevent that -- look at http://word.herbtyson.com/?p=14.

    I have various pieces of Office 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 all running on the same OS, sometimes simultaneously, with no problems.

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    J.J.,

    Thanks for the info, I'll check it out.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neilm View Post
    I've set my PC to dual boot Win 7 and 8. Can I load the same version of MS Office legally on both operating systems. As I can only use one installation of Office at a time I could not see why I can't do this but thought I should check first.

    Thanks
    Neil
    If you right-click on any shortcut, then click the Properties tab, you will see at the bottom 'Owner' and 'Computer'. In other words, this is Microsoft's own terminology and hence a pseudo-legal argument to make.

    The owner will typically be System, or Administrator, or Username, or Username/Computer name. Any valid username, or System or Administrator, is going to be valid so far as the machine itself is concerned. The Computer name is going to be the same for either boot.

    That is swell fun for argument, but what if you give all your computers the same name and the same username(s)?

    This brings us to the problem of 'The Identifier', which is to say there is software that can look at various components of your computer to identify it as unique. And that is where I worry about things like swapping physical drives, which are identifiable hardware. I have reason to think that they don't check drives, because that is an easily-changed piece of hardware that may be changed as a matter of necessity, and some machines, such as my Toshiba Satellite Pro M10, have interchangeable hard drives.

  16. #14
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    In my own case I have parallel installations of Win 7/Office 2010 and Win 8/Office 2013 on separate partitions, with a third for data and common files like music, photos, etc.. In some cases I have successfully installed third-party software as part of the setup as well, but as pointed out above these must be installed separately in order to have the necessary registry entries.

    One important thing to remember is that when you boot into one system, the other is just a bunch of folders and files, which means that you only need one imaging program for the whole machine, for example, and if you have a super file manager, or GoodSync, it can be installed on one system or the other and when you want to use it you can reboot into the correct system. If you are migrating you could actually keep a dual system indefinitely just to be able to continue using your existing valuable programs without paying any upgrade cost. On the other hand, you require AV and all that rot on whichever system you go online with.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    The only caution I would add is, don't take this dual-boot success as a sign that a Virtual Machine can have the same copy installed, even if the guest OS is a different version from then host OS. That might well be detected as not compliant with the Office license terms. But if there's a three-machines permission on your copy, even this configuration should work OK.
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