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Windows 7: Multi-Disk System Windows 7 Installation and Activation ?

21 Apr 2014   #1
Windows7Nubie

Windows 7 Pro 32bit
 
 
Multi-Disk System Windows 7 Installation and Activation ?

Hello Everyone,

My system has multiple hard disks which I can select by power switches in the hard drive power cabling (when the whole system is powered off). Only one disk at a time is powered on and booting. I never have more than one drive spinning. Right now each of them has a Windows XP setup. Same OS and CD Key on all of them. Different software applications setup on each. It is for my personal use, and the hardware is the same on each, of course each hard disk has it's own manufacturer's serial number. But the disks are all the same size.

Since XP will no longer be updated, I feel compelled to move to Windows 7 Pro now. Usually what I did with XP was to create a base image of the OS and hardware drivers on one disk. I use Acronis Backup to do the disk backup imaging. Then I would restore that image to each hard drive. Then I would put my different application programs on each disk. Then I would backup image each disk. If anyone is wondering why someone would do this for personal use, here are some examples. One disk I use for my banking only. I do not browse with that drive so as to keep it as safe as possible from Virus or Spyware to try to minimze the risk of Identity Theft. Another drive is used for personal paper based correspondence that has things like birthdates or social security numbers. That drive is NEVER connected to the internet at all. Another is for casual browsing, and yet another for testing out new software that might crash or foul up the entire setup, (which sadly some do). I've operated this way for many years since having my Identity Stolen multiple times. Hard disks are a lot cheaper than legal fees.

Since Windows 7 and later have this Activation stuff. I am wondering can I still create a base image including my hardware drivers using Acronis Backup and then just restore to each of the other drives and customize my software applications just as I did with XP?

Or do I need to use Sysprep to "generalize" my base setup before I create the base backup image with Acronis Backup and then activate the OS on each hard disk?

Or do I need to somehow "unactivate" my base image before backing up and Activate each restored image on each disk?

Again, the user and all the hardware is the same in each instance, except the hard disk manufacturer's serial number would be different on each drive. The only difference would be some of the software applications.

Please help me avoid activation headaches with my setup. Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Apr 2014   #2
nooruddin76

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

I think there should be no problem imaging in windows 7 .. it also has this option of imaging xp partitions too.. and i don't think you lose ur activation after restoring from the image backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2014   #3
Windows7Nubie

Windows 7 Pro 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nooruddin76 View Post
I think there should be no problem imaging in windows 7 .. it also has this option of imaging xp partitions too.. and i don't think you lose ur activation after restoring from the image backup
Thank you. So it seems like I can just use the same method for setup that I did with XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Apr 2014   #4
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

Quote:
Since Windows 7 and later have this Activation stuff. I am wondering can I still create a base image including my hardware drivers using Acronis Backup and then just restore to each of the other drives and customize my software applications just as I did with XP?
Windows XP also requires activation!

The activation system for Vista and Windows 7 is very similar - for Windows 8 and higher it underwent a step-change, since the Product Key for OEM installs from large manufacturers was installed into the BIOS, rather than the OS, so is theoretically not so susceptible to counterfeiting.

Legally, what you propose is a definite breach of the Licensing rules - in practice, it's unlikely that anyone would notice, and I doubt that the activation/validation routines in Windows 7 would complain too much.
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 Multi-Disk System Windows 7 Installation and Activation ?




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