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Windows 7: 1 PC, 2 Win7 installs, 2 Boot Options

10 Apr 2012   #1
Refuge Denied

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
1 PC, 2 Win7 installs, 2 Boot Options

I have a couple of questions about dual booting 2 instances of Windows 7 x64 Ultimate.

1. Is it legal to use the same copy / license to install Win7 twice on the same PC (2 partitions)? **EDIT** I found my answer to question #1 ... I will need a second license (no problem, I have an unused Home Premium copy I can use for the "Dummy" partition).

2. Is it possible to require a USB thumb drive to be installed to boot to the 2nd installation/partition? If so, how should I go about doing this.

--------------------------------------
Dual Boot (BIOS boot order = 1-USB, 2-HDD)
  • Win7 x64 "Dummy" (1st partition)
  • Win7 x64 "Main" (2nd partition)
  • Booting without USB thumb drive boots to "Dummy"
  • Booting with USB thumb drive boots to "Main"
  • "Main" partition is hidden from "Dummy" (Can remove Drive letter for "main" in the "dummy" install)
--------------------------------------

I'm not really sure how else to explain this other than the USB thumb drive sort of acts like a key to unlock/unhide/boot the 2nd Win7 installation.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Apr 2012   #2
gregrocker

 

The best way to do what you want is to shrink C by enough for the second install, then boot the Home Premium DVD to Custom install to the space which you shrank. Clean Install Windows 7

This should configure a Dual Boot menu with each OS as a choice. Give a secure password to Home Premium so that only you can boot into it.

To keep Home Premium from being seen from Ultimate in Explorer, enter Disk Management in Ultimate to remove the Home Premium drive letter: Drive Letter - Add, Change, or Remove in Windows 7 - Windows 7 Forums

To gain even greater control over your PC you can enter BIOS setup to set a BIOS password needed to even get past the BIOS screen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #3
Refuge Denied

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks Greg.

What I'm trying to do is make my mobile device recoverable with tracking software. If I make it too difficult to use, there is a much greater risk of a potential thief reformatting the drive, and in turn killing my "phone-home" software. If I lock everything down he/she might just trash the device.

My plan was to use the "Dummy" partition as sort of a honeypot. Put some typical documents, software, shortcuts, etc on it to make it look lightly used and give it most of the drive space - I only need about 5GB over the Windows installation for the real ("main") partition to get my mobile computing done.

If the machine boots normally it boots right into a normal account (no password, auto-login) - this would be the "dummy" partition. Prey, DDNS updater, and reverse-remote connection software all hidden on that partition running as services with obscure process names that match normal Windows process names. I could then turn all the data I collect over to police to start recovery - IP, Webcam photos, website login info, remote screenshots, etc.

This is part I don't know how to do: On a small USB thumb drive would be another boot manager that when plugged into my mobile would cause it to boot to the second "main" partition. The mobile's BIOS is set to look for bootable USB devices first. The boot manager on the hdd would not reference the "main" partition at all.

While I am betting on a potential thief's lack of knowledge / computer skill, this type of recovery option is better than nothing. Obviously, if a tech-savvy thief steals my mobile there is no hope of hardware recovery. Killing power to the BIOS, flashing it, wiping the drives will defeat any tracking.

I'm not so worried about sensitive data on the device as I use a hidden encrypted volume. All of that is always backed up in 2 different physical locations. First my mobile syncs with a backup directory on my desktop every time I shutdown. My desktop backs up to my VPS in another state every night.


Thanks again, for your initial reply Greg
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Apr 2012   #4
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello Refuge Denied, and welcome to Seven Forums.

You must have a second product key number (license) to activate another installation of Windows with. Using the same key to activate both installations will violate the EULA, and will get one installation marked as non-genuine, and if happens often get the key invalidated.

A retail product key number legally allows you to activate only one copy of Windows it's for at a time. Any previous installation that was activated by the same key number must either be uninstalled or have the key removed or changed first. Otherwise, it will be considered the same as piracy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #5
Refuge Denied

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi Brink, thanks very much for taking the time to reply.

As noted in my original post I found this out late last night. I have an unused copy of 7 Home Premium I can use for the "dummy" partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #6
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 1 PC, 2 Win7 installs, 2 Boot Options




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