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I've bought a new computer and like always it comes with windows 7 pre-installed. I'm a linux user by default but i still keep a virtual windows installation around.

Is it possible to install my linux distribution, and use the OEM license that came with the computer to create the virtual instance?

I have no intention of moving the license off the physical machine so i'm sure i could argue that i'm not violating the license but i don't expect that this would work and activate without great legal battles.

So in the event that this doesn't work what other options do i have? Can i shrink the physical partition and have Qemu boot it? My thoughts are that windows would detect the change in hardware and fail.

What can i do with this windows install as a linux user?

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marked as duplicate by DragonLord, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, BBlake, soandos, Synetech Nov 19 '12 at 21:08

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2 Answers 2

You can't just boot the partition using Qemu, VirtualBox or whatever tool, Windows will probably fail when detecting the new hardware.

Also, the OEM license is bound to the machine, while it might work on a VM, it probably is illegal (cf. Legal to install an OEM license of Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion?).

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Technically this can be done using VMWare Converter http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/.

But you still have the legal issue to think about, whether it's legal to use a OEM license for Virtual image, but technically it is doable.

Or alternatively, you can use the Ubuntu Windows installer, http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/windows-installer, which will install ubuntu side-by-side with your windows partition, w/o affecting your windows install.

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