The police must be there to see you speed and stop you. However, every time you connect to MS to update your system it would make since to validate. Else, why have a license, if not to check for validity.
MS does validate you via WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage), however that only validates that you're not using a cracked/illegal product key, YOU are not using a cracked or illegal product key, you're using a valid licensed product key, you're just using it twice.
Since both systems are contain same product key, both are not illegal, only ONE would be. In this situation, per your conclusion, it would be DELL-2. Thus, I do not need to change the license number in the registry. That's good!
right, you still need to fix dell-1 though
However, I do need to remove the two invalid subkeys from the registry that were created when I tried to change the license number generated by the product key. As I really do not want to have to reformat and reload everything again, is there a way to do this?
reading your post about the subkeys, you attempted to change the original and it wouldn't let you, so you created a NEW version with a different name (like subkey2), at which point it wouldn't let you change/delete that one. meaning that the original subkey is still there and in the same state as it started, the new subkey isn't being read by windows because it's got a name that windows doesn't know. so it ACTUALLY shouldn't be causing any issues whatsoever