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Windows 7: Can I Dual-boot Vista & 7 / Will it activate?

11 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 Bit
Can I Dual-boot Vista & 7 / Will it activate?

Hi all,

About a year or so ago, I bought a "Family 3-pack" of Windows 7 Home Premium from Office Depot. Since then, I've used it one 3 computers. Two desktops, and a laptop. One of which, is no longer in use (power surge killed it). Recently, I scored a quad core HP Pavilion Elite desktop off Craigslist for $60. Cleaned it up, and it runs great, but it takes a solid 3-4 minutes to boot up, even though it runs like lightning when it's booted, and shuts down in about 10-15 seconds.

Problem is, I really like Vista. Yes, it's a terrible OS overall, but it's the last one to have a "real" taskbar at the bottom that I've grown up with. Windows 7 has a flat bar for the taskbar (which I like) but not as much as the look of Vista.

How would I go about installing both on the same hard drive? Do I just need to "shrink" the volume within Vista, then reboot with the disc and install 7 in that partition? I recall doing something similar once before.

The main question is...

Windows 7 is technically installed on 3 computers, which is my "limit". One is completely dead, and the other two have required a re-install once, the last one being about a month and a half ago.

Can I "migrate" Windows 7 from the computer that is completely dead to my new quad core? I don't know how the user database works, if it "kicks" a install out of the system after it does not "see" it still active after a period of time, or if it's in there forever.

The way Vista is acting, would it be easier to just wipe the HDD, install 7, then re-install Vista when I get a hold of a 64-bit disc? I know with a quad core computer, 1GB of graphics, 4GB of RAM, etc. it should boot up in much less than 3 minutes.

Thanks all. :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Yes, you can just follow this tutorial:
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and Vista
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP


You don't lose a retail OS when the hardware dies. Retail Win7 can migrate for life to any hardware of your choice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 Bit

So essentially, I should be able to install it, and just call Microsoft to explain the situation, and should be all good..?

I'd just hate to have a desktop that is "useless" because I don't have a "valid key" anymore, if Microsoft rejects it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP


Activate online normally. If it requires a robocall it should only be to update to the new hardware signature in MS Servers.

MS cannot randomly decide to steal back your legally-bought licenses from you - they are good for life. They only want to know that it isn't installed on more than the correct number of computers - 3 in this case for Family 3 pack.

If this ever becomes a problem, contact Customer Service which will determine the key validity and then open a Support case to help you get it activated one way or another.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Using the automated telephone activation service is quick and painless and the only pertinent questions you'll be asked are whether you are a home or business user and on how many computers is Windows currently installed.

Activate Windows 7 by Phone
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Did you switch it to use small icons, looks exactly the same. Unless you mean something else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Why dual boot similar OSes? Install Windows 7 and set the options to use the toolbar pretty much the same way Vista did.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can I Dual-boot Vista & 7 / Will it activate?

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