Windows 10 licence install question

  1. Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit

    Windows 10 licence install question


    I have a question regarding Windows 10 installs but I am struggling to find the best way to word the issues, so I hope that I have made myself clear – if not, please accept my apologies.

    My basic question is… do I actually NEED to have 2 different Windows 10 licences to have 2 different installs on the same PC – 1 for general work and 1 for gaming? I am not referring to the legalities but the actual technical limitations?

    The reason I ask is this…

    A few years ago I bought a 4770K prebuilt system that came with a Windows 7 Pro 64bit licence. This machine eventually upgraded to Windows 10 Pro. I had 2 separate install of Windows 10 Pro on this machine – one for general work (500GB SATA SSD) and one for gaming (1TB SATA SSD) and this worked great for my purposes. I could install and reinstall on the 2 different SSDs as and when I needed to – everything was wonderful J

    Now, I will do my best to explain exactly what happens.

    Fast-forward to today and I have recently purchased a new 9900K prebuilt system with 2 x 1TB NVMe SSDs (1 x 970 EVO and 1 x 970 EVO Plus). This DID NOT come with an OS as I had several Windows 7 Pro OEM licences spare and I took a chance that one of these would work with a Windows 10 Pro installer and it does – yay me!

    However, if I install Windows 10 on to both of these SSDs only the first install will actually boot the system - the second install won’t boot.

    BUT, If I only have one SSD in the machine and install Windows 10 and then physically remove the first SSD and put in the second SSD and install on to the second SSD - then put the first SSD back in to the system as well as the second then both SSDs will be bootable.

    This is a problem because if I want to reinstall Windows 10 on one of the SSDs then I have to take the other one out of the system – and this is a PITA because one of the SSDs is mounted under the GPU so that has to come out as well.

    Does anyone know why this is the case? Is it because I currently only have one licence “attached” to this machine – bearing in mind my 4770K build that only has one licence and works fine?

    As I have another spare Windows 7 Pro OEM licence I could also use that if possible on the second SSD but will that cause any problems having 2 licences attached to the 9900K build? If I need to reinstall one of the Windows setups how will I know which licence number it needs? It would be worth it so that I don’t have to remove drives when I want to clean install Windows 10

    Any help and advice you could offer would be very gratefully received.

    Many thanks in advance,

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. dmholt57's Avatar
    Posts : 3,623
    18362.53 Pro 18362.53 Home

    Modern hardware stores the license in the firmware, so there lies the problem.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 2,364
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

    Are you using 2 separate W7 keys to activate W10 ?

    Ya it could be because you are using OEM keys and not Retail or even System Builder keys, but I don`t see why that would matter
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4. sn00ker's Avatar
    Posts : 522
    10 pro 64 clean install

    Each installation has to have its own license if you are using more than one hard drive at a time. And OEM isn't meant to be carried over to another machine. So your oem windows version is not transferable. I have seen in the past were MS will allow you to transfer it over onto another machine ( or Motherboard ) within a certain time frame but that's really a small time frame though
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    The problem has nothing to do with the licenses. When you do a clean install of Windows, it will look for a previous version of Windows, and if it finds it, it will want to add the new install of Windows to the boot files of the existing version of Windows as a dual boot option rather than creating a new system partition to boot from.

    If you don't want to keep removing one SSD to install Windows onto the other SSD, you can easily overcome the situation by manually creating a system partition on the second SSD to boot that installation of WIndows. Personally, I prefer to have just one system partition for the whole system and multiboot from one single Windows boot menu.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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