Windows Vista forum

General discussion

How many PC's can I install on?

by markcorbyn / June 15, 2007 12:24 AM PDT


I have just purchased Windows Vista Home Premium DVD, Full Retail version. I seem to remember reading somewhere that I can only install it on two PC's? Is this determined by the motherboard? Is protection built into the software to PREVENT me installing it on more than two PC's?

I'm thinking that throughout the lifetime of Vista, I am likely to own more than two PC's or motheboards, does this mean I would have to buy Vista again in the future?

Also, another reason for my concern is Vista has just been delivered but there is some damage to the casing making me suspect someone has opened the box and stolen the PRODUCT KEY. Is this going to cause me problems if somebody has stolen the product key?

Thanks for you time,

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: How many PC's can I install on?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: How many PC's can I install on?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 15, 2007 12:26 AM PDT

But it will only activate on ONE.

Hope that clears it up for you.


Collapse -
One at a time...
by John.Wilkinson / June 15, 2007 3:05 AM PDT

The license limits you to a single installation on a single computer at any given time. This is enforced by product activation and the WGA program. If you try to install on multiple computers it will most likely refuse, prompting you to call Microsoft. If you do install it on two computers at once it will likely enter 'reduced functionality mode' on at least one and report the OS as pirated. What does this mean? Well, Vista can actually lock down, enabling you to access only Internet Explorer for 1 hour other programs, no desktop, no taskbar, etc. In short, don't do it.

You can, however, transfer the license from one computer to another, provided you completely remove Vista from the 'old' computer first. You just have to call Microsoft's toll-free number and tell them you're transferring the license...they'll give you a confirmation code and de-activate Vista for the old system.

Finally, if someone else has stolen the product key and used it you may be prevented from installing Vista or have your actions restricted. (See above.) Note that most companies will refuse to replace the copy if the packaging is opened unless the DVD is damaged, so it may be an uphill battle. If it's just damaged and not opened I wouldn't worry too much, and if there is a problem you can always show proof of purchase to Microsoft and request the key be deactivated and you be sent a new one.

Hope this helps,

Collapse -
by markcorbyn / June 15, 2007 4:29 AM PDT
In reply to: One at a time...

Thank you,

Brilliant, clearly explained answer.
I will attempt to install it then and see what the outcome is.

Thanks again,

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!