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Windows Guest requires license reactivation after hypervisor upgrade

    Question

  • HI,

    I have a RHEL hypervisor on which I created a virtual machine. I installed Windows Server OS on the virtual machine and activated it. Recently, I upgraded the RHEL version from 5.5 to 6.1. After this, my Windows OS is asking me to reactivate license.

    1. Why do I have to reactivate license even though I am running it on the same system, but with just the hypervisor changed?

    2. If I choose to reactivate the license, what do I loose?

    Appreciate your quick response. Thanks!

    -- Joe

    Thursday, September 19, 2013 6:12 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Hello,

    reactivating is NOT a critical Task, just do it. It may be the reason the hypervisor change result in a complete virtual hardware change for the VM which can require the reactivation.


    Best regards

    Meinolf Weber
    MVP, MCP, MCTS
    Microsoft MVP - Directory Services
    My Blog: http://msmvps.com/blogs/mweber/

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

    Thursday, September 19, 2013 7:06 PM
  • As Meinolf Weber says, the reason can be due to change in the version of the hypervisor. You can activate the copy of Windows now. If there is an issue, press Windows key+R, type slui.exe -4 and press enter. Choose your country/region and proceed. You can find a list of contact numbers. Call to any of those numbers, speak with a technical representative, explain the issue and they'll assist you. If you face any activation issues, like Windows can't be activated, you can request for license transfer.

    Balaji Kundalam

    Thursday, September 19, 2013 7:22 PM
  • Hi,

    Is there any official website pointing to the Licensing terms which can explain the behaviour of Windows Guest Licenses on Virtualization environment especially on how it is impacted with hardware emulation changes?

    Also is there a way to tweak the Windows Guest so as to pursue the hardware as same which then should not demand the Licence update on any hypervisor update.

    Thanks,

    Preethi

    Thursday, September 19, 2013 7:36 PM
  • Hello,

    the Hypervisor vendor seems for me to be responsible here and NOT Microsoft. Please contact them about this.

    Microsoft doesn't care about VMs or physical machines in activation, it is the hardware and if RHEL change the hypervisor they are responsible.


    Best regards

    Meinolf Weber
    MVP, MCP, MCTS
    Microsoft MVP - Directory Services
    My Blog: http://msmvps.com/blogs/mweber/

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

    Thursday, September 19, 2013 7:51 PM
  • Volume Activation includes built-in detections for hardware changes (to prevent casual copying/piracy).
    In a hypervisor scenario, the hardware, is emulated by the hypervisor, so, a "significant change" to the hypervisor may be detected and trigger the HW_OOT mechanisms.
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793429.aspx

    I don't know much about the hypervisor you are using, but it's reasonable to assume that whoever developed it wouldn't necessarily focus on avoiding an MS VA trigger-point?

    It's also difficult to answer your question about "reactivation, what do I lose?", since the requirement to be activated, is a licensing condition that you've already agreed to by installing and using the software. You've also agreed that you will not attempt to bypass nor circumvent such mechanisms. :)

    Reactivation (depending on the licensing product/SKU/channel) may be simple (if you are using KMS) or slightly more complicated if using MAK or Retail or OEM.
    If not reactivated, some optional features and additional download/content will not be available to you.


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
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    Friday, September 20, 2013 12:29 AM
  • Thanks for the answers. I have two more questions:

    I see that Windows usually allows 30 days for license activation after I updated my hypervisor. I will most likely reactivate my license sooner than waiting till the last minute. But am curious how this will affect me, if I had not noticed the license issue and started thsi virtual machine again only after a couple of months.

    1. What happens after 30 days if I still did not reactive? Will I not be able to run my windows guest os on the virtual machine? Any issues to the applications I run on my guest?

    2. Is there a way to identify from Windows OS, since when it required a license reactivate? Precisely, the exact date when Windows thought the underlying hardware has changed and thus wanted a reactivation. I am not sure if slmgr.vbs can help here. If so, what are the exact parameters and what should I look for in the output?

    Thanks in advance!

    --Joe

    Friday, September 20, 2013 7:59 AM
  • 1. Yes you can run the guest, but some optional features and downloads are not available.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd979803.aspx

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793403.aspx

    2. You can use slmgr.vbs to display the current licensing state.
    For further details, you can refer to the event logs of the machine, since the SPPSVC will log these events and the licensing state transitions.


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
    This helps the community, keeps the forums tidy, and recognises useful contributions. Thanks!)

    Friday, September 20, 2013 8:55 AM
  • Don, Thanks again!

    I would appreciate some details on how to view the event logs of the machine, especially how to pin point the one that is logged with respect to licensing state transitions.

    eventvwr gives me everything, I am not sure how to get to the one that I am interested in. Appreciate your help!

    Friday, September 20, 2013 1:58 PM
  • this should help: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc303695.aspx#_KMS_Events_Logged

    for KMShost and KMSclient, you should see eventID's 122xx, with a source of SLSSVC or SPPSVC

    for MAK clients, here's what a Win7 looks like:


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
    This helps the community, keeps the forums tidy, and recognises useful contributions. Thanks!)

    • Marked as answer by djoeantony Saturday, September 21, 2013 7:52 AM
    Friday, September 20, 2013 9:31 PM