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I have a Dell laptop that I dual boot into Windows and Linux. Linux is where I do all my software development. I use Windows for photo editing, watching Netflix, and playing video games. I like having the complete separation of work and play.

Too bad Windows refuses to cooperate. A few months ago, my windows partition died when explorer.exe became corrupted and Windows crashed on boot. The only solution was to reinstall Windows. So, I backed up all my files, extracted my license keys, got an install CD from work, and reinstalled everything from scratch. It was a time consuming process, but mostly straight forward – Windows destroyed my boot loader forcing me to reinstall Linux, but I had been meaning to upgrade Ubuntu anyway.

After two full reinstalls, everything was fixed and happy for a few months. Then Windows decided my copy was a counterfeit. The problem was I installed Windows from a normal install CD but my license key is for an OEM version. I installed exactly the same version of Windows 7 Pro, but it still doesn’t recognize my license key. I contacted Microsoft support, but the best the woman on the phone could do was “Contact Dell and you’ll probably have to reinstall Windows again with an OEM CD”. No thanks. Maybe it’s time to switch to a Mac.