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Using unactivated Windows for OC testing

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Jan 20, 2002
The idea of submitting a fully installed Windows operating system to the rigors of OC testing is one that I can't adhere to. I've got tons of software on my system and every crash or faulty boot has the potential to mess up something somewhere in the OS that would be difficult and potentially impossible to recover from.

At first I was thinking a Live CD would be perfect: load in the OS with the required apps (a system stressor like Prime 95, a System reporter like CPU-Z and temp monitor like Core Temp or RealTemp) and we're good to go.

I was first attracted to Linux but I couldn't find the above combination of apps. Maybe I didn't look hard enough. Then there's dealing with Linux, and the Linux gurus ("yeah, once you get it, then build it in the "usual way") who are very good at remaining gurus... But someone should really put a Linux Build with either the relevant utilities on it, or run the classic ones through Wine on Linux... if anyone's ever inspired do to this, please let us know!

Then I thought a Windows live CD like BartPE might work. After loosing some hair dicking around for an entire day trying to get BartPE to load on a newer system (I couldn't get it to see 4 cores) I gave up.

So then I thought: 40 minutes to install XPSP2 OEM that used to be installed on this system before W7 (grey legal area... ). I installed it to an older IDE-drive lying aroung (my P5Q has an IDE port...), using a *cough-cough* floppy disk for alternate drivers, which gave me 30 days pre-activation to test my system and I only needed about a week, so.... that's what I did. Installed the requisite OC tools and off I went. Disconnected all the other drives. And I kept the system completely off the network and internet to avoid any snafus. Got my old Q6600 GO rock stable at 3.3 GHz 1:1 Air 66C under stress, after many many crashes.

Now I could still use this drive within the remaining activation time ( though in theory, I can "play" with the system clock and re-use it at any time...). And then I thought: "Why didn't I just use Windows 7!" Silly me...!

So an FYI and a big thanks to all the posters here that have provided so much valuable information here and elsewhere.


Jun 23, 2012
I have W7 loaded on one of my Folding comps.
It only has just the software I need for folding.
It has no OS updates, anti-virus etc.
So far it has never got a virus and boots quicker than one that has all the updates.


c(n*199780) Senior Member
Feb 18, 2002
I have a dual boot Windows XP / Windows 7 and it takes a couple of minutes to image one from the other. They are on relatively small hard drive partitions.

I routinely nuke and reimage after testing anything. It takes less time than a short bathroom break.