Windows 10: Running two Windows 10

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  1. Posts : 25,367
    Dual boot: Windows 10 Home Insider Build 16179 & W8.1 Pro x64 with Media Center
       23 Sep 2015 #11

    Cbarnhorst said: View Post
    Nothing illegal about it. Gabe Aul stated months ago that dual booting Windows 10 on the same license is OK. This is a change from previous versions of Windows and is due to the change to Device Activation with Windows 10. The architecture is irrelevant to this (32 bit vs. 64 bit). What would be illegal would be to install the two architectures on two different computers on the same license, but on the same computer is OK. With device activation I don't think it can be prevented anyway, especially with retail licenses.
    Thanks for that info. Would you happen to have reference to that by any chance?

    Correct. It wouldn't activate, for it records the MAC address (I think) on the server.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.    23 Sep 2015 #12

    HippsieGypsie said: View Post
    Thanks for that info. Would you happen to have reference to that by any chance?

    Correct. It wouldn't activate, for it records the MAC address (I think) on the server.
    I searched on that but Gabe's tweets for the pre-release period seem to be archived. The only ones I could find were quotes in other people's comments, none of which were on that subject. I assure you that he did say that. In the same tweet he also pointed out that vms require their own licenses. The only issue is whether or not you are using a retail key or trying to do a keyless install. There is not problem with a retail key because you just enter it when asked. The problem with a keyless install is that the product key page may not let you proceed. It is supposed to but mine didn't and I had to enter the dummy key and then use phone activation (type "slui 4" in a command prompt). I reported the bug. Keyless installs have been permitted since XP SP3.

    The automated agent could not verify the installation and forwarded me to a live agent who escalated me to level two. That agent remoted in and activated me using a retail key.

    Neither of the two different agents that I talked with ever questioned my right to run two instances of Windows 10 on the same license. They just addressed the technical problem. Apparently there are still activation bugs, because I wound up with the retail key in the second installation.

    Both of my installations were 64bit, but it would have to work the same with 32bit and 64bit because the license is agnostic to bitness.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    23 Sep 2015 #13

    Cbarnhorst said: View Post
    Nothing illegal about it. Gabe Aul stated months ago that dual booting Windows 10 on the same license is OK. This is a change from previous versions of Windows and is due to the change to Device Activation with Windows 10. The architecture is irrelevant to this (32 bit vs. 64 bit). What would be illegal would be to install the two architectures on two different computers on the same license, but on the same computer is OK. With device activation I don't think it can be prevented anyway, especially with retail licenses.

    You are going to have to come up with the quote for that because that is one subject that is always discussed in the forums and yet this is the very first time that anybody has ever expressed this very unique concept. If true, then it will be a game changer for literally millions of people and Microsoft would stand to lose quite possibly billions of dollars. We are all waiting to hear back on this.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 25,367
    Dual boot: Windows 10 Home Insider Build 16179 & W8.1 Pro x64 with Media Center
       23 Sep 2015 #14

    Cbarnhorst said: View Post
    I searched on that but Gabe's tweets for the pre-release period seem to be archived. The only ones I could find were quotes in other people's comments, none of which were on that subject. I assure you that he did say that. In the same tweet he also pointed out that vms require their own licenses. The only issue is whether or not you are using a retail key or trying to do a keyless install. There is not problem with a retail key because you just enter it when asked. The problem with a keyless install is that the product key page may not let you proceed. It is supposed to but mine didn't and I had to enter the dummy key and then use phone activation (type "slui 4" in a command prompt). I reported the bug. Keyless installs have been permitted since XP SP3.

    The automated agent could not verify the installation and forwarded me to a live agent who escalated me to level two. That agent remoted in and activated me using a retail key.

    Neither of the two different agents that I talked with ever questioned my right to run two instances of Windows 10 on the same license. They just addressed the technical problem. Apparently there are still activation bugs, because I wound up with the retail key in the second installation.

    Both of my installations were 64bit, but it would have to work the same with 32bit and 64bit because the license is agnostic to bitness.
    Thanks for your searching efforts. Be assured that I believe you, it's just that it's nice to have reference for those that don't. I'm sure it's covered in the EULA, but I don't want to call my lawyer to decipher it.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    23 Sep 2015 #15

    Rocky said: View Post
    You are going to have to come up with the quote for that because that is one subject that is always discussed in the forums and yet this is the very first time that anybody has ever expressed this very unique concept. If true, then it will be a game changer for literally millions of people and Microsoft would stand to lose quite possibly billions of dollars. We are all waiting to hear back on this.
    I'm already doing it, so I don't need anything more than that. Anyway, millions is unlikely. I am only doing it to maintian mainstream and Insider builds on the same computer. And that is more for my amusement than any real need. I have an Insider build running on another computer and in a vm on yet another. Otherwise there is little use for Windows 10 twice beyond the occaisional need to run a 32 bit program that has a 16bit installer, which is probably what you have run into. Even that is probably just an edit to an installer .cfg or .ini file to overcome.

    The key change is that the device is activated (the mobo is the device; the license is written to the firmware on it). Any copy of the same edition should activate on it since a clean install checks for a license in the firmware. The ticket generated by the first upgrade writes the license to the firmware and there is no further checking for a qualifying OS. Also the resulting dummy product key is always the same, so there is no futher need to verify that either.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    23 Sep 2015 #16

    Cbarnhorst said: View Post
    The key change is that the device is activated (the mobo is the device; the license is written to the firmware on it). Any copy of the same edition should activate on it since a clean install checks for a license in the firmware. The ticket generated by the first upgrade writes the license to the firmware and there is no further checking for a qualifying OS.
    I've heard other folks say that MS writes NOTHING to the firmware on the motherboard -- and I tend to believe those folks.

    Also, even if this DID happen, it would only be true of OEM preinstalled Win8.1 systems. My system, for example, is not UEFI and was not OEM preinstalled. So, I'm certain there's nothing in the BIOS firmware of this machine that MS can change.

    What is recorded on the MS activation server is a hardware hash that MS generates -- which, together with your original OS product key, uniquely identifies your machine (or, so I've been told). The motherboard is the part of that hardware hash which, when changed, tends to indicate (to MS) that you're now using a different "device".
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    23 Sep 2015 #17

    Cbarnhorst said: View Post
    The key change is that the device is activated (the mobo is the device; the license is written to the firmware on it). Any copy of the same edition should activate on it since a clean install checks for a license in the firmware. The ticket generated by the first upgrade writes the license to the firmware and there is no further checking for a qualifying OS. Also the resulting dummy product key is always the same, so there is no futher need to verify that either.
    Very wrong information.

    1. Read the EULA. The EULA definition of device includes partitions. Two partitions = two devices.
    2. There is no license information written to a motherboard's firmware by any version of Windows. There is no "ticket" written to firmware. The manufacturer can put a product key in firmware for Windows 8/8.1/10 to read, but that is it. The hardware information and activation information ("license") is stored by Windows 10 on Microsoft activation servers, not motherboard firmware.

    Every time Windows 10 starts it surveys the computer's hardware and runs a whole bunch of things through a formula resulting in a Hardware ID. The Hardware ID is stored in a file on the hard drive. As long as Windows 10 computes the same Hardware ID because no major hardware changes have been made, it stays activated. That has nothing to do with any "license" stored in firmware.

    The initial upgrade to Windows 10 from a previous OS will create a ticket file stored on the hard drive and that ticket file allows Windows 10 to push a new activation and hardware ID to Microsoft activation servers during the upgrade activation process. The hardware ID is also stored in a file on the hard drive for future comparison.

    When a major component, such as the motherboard, is changed, when Windows 10 does the hardware survey at startup it will create a Hardware ID that is different than what it has stored previously on the hard drive and will deactivate that installation of Windows. Then it will attempt to match the newly created Hardware ID with one stored on Microsoft activation servers - and finding no match, it will prompt the user that Windows 10 needs to be activated.

    Mark Phelps said: View Post
    What is recorded on the MS activation server is a hardware hash that MS generates -- which, together with your original OS product key, uniquely identifies your machine (or, so I've been told). The motherboard is the part of that hardware hash which, when changed, tends to indicate (to MS) that you're now using a different "device".
    Bold part isn't quite correct. The original OS product key is not used in the creation of the hardware ID. During an upgrade, a program called gatherosstate.exe is run from the sources directory of the Windows 10 install media/file. That creates an .xml ticket file. During the first activation of Windows 10 on that computer it is that .xml ticket file based on the previous OS license that allows Windows 10 to activate and push the hardware ID to Microsoft activation servers. Once Windows 10 is activated that way, the .xml ticket file is deleted, and keys in the registry are changed to indicate that that process has been completed and futures activations should be based on the hardware ID alone. (well, there is one more step that creates an installation ID - which includes the current product key, usually the generic one that everyone with that version of Windows 10 gets).

    The previous OS product key is stored in the Windows 10 registry if it is an upgrade - but that is only used for rollback back to that previous OS purposes.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 529
    ,7,8.1 10TP 10upgrade,MINT
       23 Sep 2015 #18

    One way is to fit a hard drive caddy into a 5 1/4 external bay and keep the drives outside the case. That way, only one runs at a time and you can have as many operating systems as you like without them interfering with each other.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    23 Sep 2015 #19

    tinmar49 said: View Post
    One way is to fit a hard drive caddy into a 5 1/4 external bay and keep the drives outside the case. That way, only one runs at a time and you can have as many operating systems as you like without them interfering with each other.
    Other than setting up dual boot in the boot files, two Windows 10 installations will not interfere with each other on separate partitions of the same hard drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    23 Sep 2015 #20

    All of this is just academic because it does not address the OP's original question, which I think was already solved for him. The question dealt with what he considered to be a corrupted system, which we explained to him was not corrupt. Because the OP is running two separate instances of Windows, he can not access the programs that are associated with one installation of Windows while he is running a different installation of Windows. As far as the whole question of licenses and dual booting on one license, there are plenty of threads here at the forum that already deal with which we can use to carry on this conversation.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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