32bit AND 64bit Vista Ultimate? (Dual Boot Activation problems)

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Installation' started by Dan Ulrich, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. Dan Ulrich

    Dan Ulrich Guest

    Running XP Pro and bought Vista Ultimate. I have setup XP, 32bit & 64bit
    vista on 3 seperate partitions. I would like to see if I can get all my
    Hardware working in 64bit, and see what the benifets are vs 32bit version.
    (Intel 6600 w/4GB Ram)

    I installed and configured 64bit first and have activiated the product using
    the Key on the package. When I booted into 32bit and tried to activate it,
    I get "The product key you typed is already in use".

    I am pretty sure I will stick with 32bit, but was hoping to see over time if
    64bit was what I wanted to use, and if all the drivers work. Can I not
    active both my Vista copies? If I need to remove 1 copy, then, can I remove
    the 64bit partition and just stick with XP and Vista 32 bit, or will trying
    to remove it cause boot up issues?

    Any links or pointers to how to do this would be great.
    Dan Ulrich, Jul 22, 2007
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  2. Hi Dan,

    Yes, unfortunately this is how activation works in Vista. The second
    instance of Windows, installed on a separate partition, asks to be activated
    after it is first started. So far, so good. But when you go to activate,
    Activation calculates an unique ID for the hardware, which is derived from
    several factors including the identity of the drive it was booted from. Even
    though Windows is booting from the same physical box, it is booting on a
    different partition; so Activation calculates a different hardware ID for
    that instance of Windows. Thus it thinks that it is on a different machine;
    and says, No this Windows is already in use.

    Personally I think this is a poor design on Microsoft's part - you should be
    able to boot any number of instances of a Windows licence on the same
    physical box, without penalty. Although, in fairness to Microsoft, they
    probably didn't plan it this way deliberately. I suspect the Program
    Managers in the Activation team just don't realise how common it is to dual
    boot; so it's a kind of unintended side-effect of anti-piracy.

    You can continue to use Windows for up to 30 days, without Activation. Most
    things continue to work normally during that time. So one solution would be
    to simply not activate, until you've decided whether to go 32 bit or 64
    bit.Less than perfect, but it may be a solution.

    Hope this helps,
    Andrew McLaren, Jul 22, 2007
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