I got a Windows 7 license key from my university for my computer. I have 2 computers though, is it okay if I use the same key for both of them?

According to this, unless it is OEM license it should work (one at a time). So how can I tell if it an OEM licence? Or any other rules apply for university licences?

I do not want to spoil the only licence I have, since the guy who distributes licences is mean and grumpy.

  • 4
    Just to be sure: one at a time in that other question means: one installation at a time, regardless if a computer is actually powered on or not. – Arjan Dec 2 '10 at 16:05
  • @Arjan: Oh, I think I get it now :) Thank you. – nimcap Dec 2 '10 at 16:14

Whatever the type of the serial number that you got from the university, it is illegal for you to install it on two computers.

Even if it is a Multiple Activation Key (called before Volume License), this doesn't mean that the university has allowed you its installation on an unlimited number of computers.

If it isn't, installing it on a second computer may only get it blacklisted at Microsoft, therefore ending up with no serial number at all (both installations will be marked by Microsoft as illegal). And this is guaranteed to greatly annoy the university authorities.

Legally, you need to get back in touch with the university and ask for permission to use it on two computers (if at all possible), or for a second serial.


As noted in the chosen answer for the question you linked, REGARDLESS of if it's OEM or not, it is against the terms of the license agreement to install it on more than one machine simultaneously, period. You can TRANSFER a retail key.

It's very possible your university does have a volume licensing agreement or other special dispensations of some sort. The only way to find out for sure is to ask Mr. Mean and Grumpy, I'm afraid.


The answer you seek is no. Retail and OEM license are for one system only. OEM license mean that you can only install it on one system and can never transfer it. You also have limited upgrading ability too. But I have read that you can call Microsoft Support and get around this. Retail license you can transfer to a new system but only installed and active on one system.

However, Microsoft does have Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack. The is a family license that is able to be installed on 3 system with in the same household.


If you got your license from your university, then it is almost certainly through the MSDNAA program. MSDNAA licenses use the same type of media as MSDN/TechNet. The disks are usually VLK media. In the event that you decide to transfer the license to a different computer, you can always call the Microsoft activation hotline, explain that you moved your license to a different computer, and they will help you activate by phone.

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