Question 2 accounts on one PC

Mechanicos

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Apr 4, 2020
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Hi everyone, i will get straight to the point...so what is the best way to have two windows 10 accounts on one PC and the Apps installed on one have nothing to do with the other account. Something similar to parallels desktop when installing Windows on MAC, however i just want 2x different window accounts but i dont really need to have access on both at the same time as with parallels desktops. So basically i need to get Parallels desktop😀

Also keep in mind that my SSD is only 1gb, and i would prefer to add another SSD, most probably i would get a second 2gb SSD and use it for my main pc and use the 1gb for the 2nd account. So is it possible to have 2x SSDs each one with a different Windows account? If yes how to you choose with which SSD to boot from?
 
Last edited:

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
If you truly want/require separate SSD's then Dual Booting would be a solution.

However, you will need two Windows licenses to do so - one license for each drive. And overall maintenance would likely be cumbersome. Separate drives not recommended.

Just create separate User Accounts on the existing boot drive and configure the second account as necessary for that user.

FYI (starter links):

https://www.businessinsider.com/guides/tech/how-to-create-a-new-user-on-windows-10

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3046707/how-to-share-a-windows-10-pc.html

There are other similar links available online.

What apps and access will the new user account be allowed to have? What will be restricted?

Plan it all out first then proceed.
 

Mechanicos

Commendable
Apr 4, 2020
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If you truly want/require separate SSD's then Dual Booting would be a solution.

However, you will need two Windows licenses to do so - one license for each drive. And overall maintenance would likely be cumbersome. Separate drives not recommended.

Just create separate User Accounts on the existing boot drive and configure the second account as necessary for that user.

FYI (starter links):

https://www.businessinsider.com/guides/tech/how-to-create-a-new-user-on-windows-10

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3046707/how-to-share-a-windows-10-pc.html

There are other similar links available online.

What apps and access will the new user account be allowed to have? What will be restricted?

Plan it all out first then proceed.
Hi there, thank you for the prompt reply. Well if this is that easy but just creating another account then i am glad.
 

Mechanicos

Commendable
Apr 4, 2020
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2x Windows accounts, or 2x Windows installs?

2 different things.

Also, what is the purpose for this?
Knowing the Why may lead to the How.
The main reason is that i have certain software which i want to check on their latest updated editions (trial versions) before i go on to update, there3fore i dont want them to interfere with each other.

Also even if i update, i would still need to keep both softwares for a while just to check and compare their results so that i am sure there is nothing wrong with the new version.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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The main reason is that i have certain software which i want to check on their latest updated editions (trial versions) before i go on to update, there3fore i dont want them to interfere with each other.
Well, that may mean 2x actual Windows installs, on individual drives.

Reasoning:
When you install something, it generally asks "For This user only" or "For all users".

The only real difference is where the shortcuts appear and who can access them.
The actual install may be only one shared set of files.
"For all users" does not install multiple full copies of the software.

What you might consider is a second OS install in a VirtualMachine, rather than 2 individual HDDs.

A VM is basically a whole PC, encapsulated in software.

Run a basic OS and your trial software in the VM.
Once satisfied that the next Update does not kill anything, then run that update on your actual PC.

I use VirtualBox for this.

Depending on what software your working with, this may be an option.
 

Mechanicos

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Well, that may mean 2x actual Windows installs, on individual drives.

Reasoning:
When you install something, it generally asks "For This user only" or "For all users".

The only real difference is where the shortcuts appear and who can access them.
The actual install may be only one shared set of files.
"For all users" does not install multiple full copies of the software.

What you might consider is a second OS install in a VirtualMachine, rather than 2 individual HDDs.

A VM is basically a whole PC, encapsulated in software.

Run a basic OS and your trial software in the VM.
Once satisfied that the next Update does not kill anything, then run that update on your actual PC.

I use VirtualBox for this.

Depending on what software your working with, this may be an option.
You couldnt have explained it any clearer, thank you. I know what a VM is, i used to have an iMac with Windows installed using Parallels Desktop. That was a very good application. Do you think virtual box is as good?

the software i use is for structural design and 3d modelling of buildings, do you think using VirtualBox will work fine?
 
If you truly want/require separate SSD's then Dual Booting would be a solution.
However, you will need two Windows licenses to do so - one license for each drive.
It doesn't require 2 windows licenses.

How do you think cloning works? Do you think each cloned windows require a separate license?
License is associated with motherboard.
If source windows and cloned windows work on same hardware, they both get activated by same license.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Reference that I used:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/can-i-dual-boot-win10win10-on-the-same-machine/1f4f49e1-8486-4096-adf8-601c46e95665

From the link:

"Every windows install is treated as individual setup so to have two installations you need two licenses. This is true for dual booting as well as if you run windows in a virtual machine even on an activated windows. "

And further down:

"All of these answers reside on one major point. How was the windows that is on that device bought?
Windows are essentially of two types retail license and OEM license.
OEM licenses cannot be transferred from device to device and are bound to the one that windows came with (usually the windows that come preinstalled on laptops are OEM licensed) Retail licenses (The one you purchase separately) are transferrable between device by first disconnecting the present device and then activating it on other device. "


Did not consider license type or clones and have also since realized that I was thinking Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Reference:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-dual-boot-windows-10-and-windows-11/

From the link:

"Dual booting is a fun way to try Windows 11 without deleting Windows 10. You do need a separate license and account for both Windows operating systems to dual-boot legally without violating Microsoft’s terms of service. "


My error then - apologies.

Fortunately the OP has other options.
 
"Every windows install is treated as individual setup so to have two installations you need two licenses. This is true for dual booting as well as if you run windows in a virtual machine even on an activated windows. "

"Dual booting is a fun way to try Windows 11 without deleting Windows 10. You do need a separate license and account for both Windows operating systems to dual-boot legally without violating Microsoft’s terms of service. "


My error then - apologies.
Well - that is all wrong. I personally run windows 10 and windows 11 on the same pc (as dual boot).
They both run activated by the same license.

Windows 10 is a backup copy, if I didn't like windows 11 and wanted to return back to windows 10. I just haven't deleted it yet.
But you're allowed to have a backup copy of your windows. It says so in license agreement.

Running windows in a virtual machine is a completely different thing. That does require a separate license.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Interesting.

First source is Microsoft and the second source is Digital Trends and appears to be a legitimate link.

No problem with backups as I have always understood that to be allowed.

Strange and almost contrary in some ways is that VM requires a separate license.

Which would also mean that VirtualBox would require a separate license.

My understanding is that VirtualBox did not need a license.

Perhaps because Microsoft offers a solution:

https://www.maketecheasier.com/legally-download-windows-virtual-machine/

Which includes VirtualBox.

= = = =

As for Windows 10 and Windows 11 activating and running dual boot via the same license and working - fair enough.

Just did not see that license usage listed as being permitted.

However, from the MakeTech link above and at the end of the link:

"If you want to use Windows 10 or 11 on a virtual machine, you have another option than downloading a pre-made VM like the ones we saw above. Although strictly speaking both Windows 10 and Windows 11 require activation with a license key to work, in practice this isn’t actually the case....

Anyone can download installation media for Windows 10 and 11 directly from Microsoft. You can then install Windows on a computer or virtual machine, install software and use it normally. While you can’t use personalization options, and you’ll get the occasional nagging message to activate Windows, nothing actually stops you from running your app. So as long as you’re happy with the minor limitations of an unactivated Windows installation, you can roll your own VM and use it for as long as you like."


Mind boggling. o_O
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Running in a VM instance, VB or other hypervisor, does require its own license to be fully activated.

Rationale:
You are running 2 different instances at the same time.

MS sees a VM as a discreet system.

Otherwise, I could run a whole server farm of a dozen "systems" off one single license.


Running Unactivated in a VM is no different than running Unactivated on native hardware.
The same small restrictions apply.
 

Mechanicos

Commendable
Apr 4, 2020
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Thank you everyone that is some really good information there.

I have one last question,

I want to add an extra SSD on my PC because i am already running out of space and if i install all these software twice (the 2nd copy on the Virtual Box windows) then i will be out of space for sure.

So is it possible to install the Virtual box on the 2nd SSD and all the software that i want to test to also be installed on the 2nd SSD where the Virtual box is?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Thank you everyone that is some really good information there.

I have one last question,

I want to add an extra SSD on my PC because i am already running out of space and if i install all these software twice (the 2nd copy on the Virtual Box windows) then i will be out of space for sure.

So is it possible to install the Virtual box on the 2nd SSD and all the software that i want to test to also be installed on the 2nd SSD where the Virtual box is?
The VirtualBox client can be/should be installed with your OS and all your other applications.

The VHD (VirtualHardDrive) that holds this new OS can be on any drive.
 
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