I am a computer science student and my university is participating the Dreamspark program, as such I can get Dreamspark licenses for Windows operating systems. I am planning to install Windows 7 Professional from Dreamspark on my computer. However understandably I want to know what I'm getting into before I go ahead.
Here are the questions to which, despite an extensive search, I was unable to find complete answers to:
I have read on a few forums that apparently there exists an activation limit which limits how many times I can reinstall Windows. However on a few other forums I read the limit is about how often I reinstall which seems to imply I should be able to reinstall as many times as I want as long as I don't do it too often (which seems like a contradiction to me ;) ). If said limit does exist does anyone know what it is?
I have also read that if said limit is met I will not be able to activate Windows until I phone Microsoft's automated system and it resets that limit. If this is true can anyone tell me if I can accomplish the same via the Internet? Even ignoring the fact I hate dealing with automated phone systems if I have to phone Microsoft in the USA then this is going to pose a significant problem as I live in Europe and thus the roaming fees are going to be huge.
I have also read that hardware changes can cause problems with Windows activation. Is that true? What would happen if I were to change my graphic's card or replace my RAM?
As my hard drive is getting quite old I am well aware that sooner or later it's going to fail (although right now everything, SMART included, appears to be ok). If my hard drive has a head crash one year from now will I be able to reinstall windows on a new hard drive (with all other hardware staying the same)?
I know that software from Dreamspark works even after I stop being a student (which is probably going to happen 2.5 years from now). However can I still reinstall Windows from Dreamspark after I'm no longer a student?