locked
Handling activation of Virtual PC machine - backup of home Windows XP RRS feed

  • Question

  • I was redirected to thi forum from answers.microsoft.com. My question is what to do about Windows XP activation ona Virtual PC machine and how to handle it.

    Since I need to upgrade the system drive on my old DELL PC (and after changing harddrive I want to do a fresh Win XP installation (OEM version)), I wanted to backup everything from my current system drive. In case something goes wrong or I need to go back and look up some settings I wanted to create a virtual machine of my old PC. I used Microsoft tool disk2vhd and created a virtual drive. On my laptop I installed Windows Virtual PC, created a new virtual machine and mounted this virtual drive from my old PC as an existing disk.

     

    This virtual PC will not be used for any purposes other then occasional lookup of a software or settings once used.

    After I created this virtual machine I wanted to test it and after I entered my credentials a window poped up saying - 'This copy of Windows must be activated with Microsoft before you can continue. You cannot log on until you activate Windows Do you want to activate Windows now? To shut down the computer, click Cancel. Yes-No-Cancel'

    I don't want to press YES since I have no idea what it will do. I really do not want to end up on any black list with blocked windows unable to run a virtual machine and unable to use and update my existing old pc.

    I would appreciate any advice. What should I do? Should I press YES? Will it raise any red flags? If I can't do that can this be solved any other way? A special key or something? Or there is no way of using a virtual pc as a backup solution?

     

    Thanks for all responses.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011 7:03 AM

All replies

  • From my understanding of your setup, you have installed the OEM WinXP back onto your original hardware, and on a VM.  OEM software lives and "dies" with the physical (or virtual) machine.  So it was ok to put the OEM back onto your original (slightly) different hardware, and Windows did not trigger re-activation.

    For the XP VM, you need another Windows XP licence.  That's it.  You should not activate the Windows on your VM if that same copy of Windows has already been activated for your physical machine.

    So, in short, Windows in the VM has triggered re-activation because it has detected very different hardware from where it came (the physical hardware of you machine), if that makes any sense.

    Even if you are actually able to activate the copy on both machines, it would be in violation of the OEM licence agreement.  The fact that you only want to use it occasionally makes no difference, unfortunately.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011 7:19 AM
  • From my understanding of your setup, you have installed the OEM WinXP back onto your original hardware, and on a VM.  OEM software lives and "dies" with the physical (or virtual) machine.  So it was ok to put the OEM back onto your original (slightly) different hardware, and Windows did not trigger re-activation.

    For the XP VM, you need another Windows XP licence.  That's it.  You should not activate the Windows on your VM if that same copy of Windows has already been activated for your physical machine.

    So, in short, Windows in the VM has triggered re-activation because it has detected very different hardware from where it came (the physical hardware of you machine), if that makes any sense.

    Even if you are actually able to activate the copy on both machines, it would be in violation of the OEM licence agreement.  The fact that you only want to use it occasionally makes no difference, unfortunately.


    I am having a very similar problem - with a distinction - I am trying to migrate an existing machine to a VM, so I can decomission the physical hardware.  Ergo, the EULA should be happy as a clam since I am not running multiple instances of the same machine.

    Here's the scoop:

    *  I have Win 2008 Server (R2) running as my virtualization system and I place various virtual machines on it.

    *  I have migrated my wife to Windows 7 (64 bit) because her old P4 machine was hugely lame.

    *  Since my wife is a Real Estate agent, she has to log into about 20 different web sites periodically to get her work done.  To make this easier for her, I had installed the M$ fingerprint reader on her XP box.  Unfortunately you can't even HACK the fingerprint software to work on Win7 64 bit.

    *  I want to decomission her prior system to use it for something else.  However, I still need access to the original system to dig up her login credentials for the various sites as she comes across them.

    My idea was to virtualize her box and move it as a VM to my Win2k8 virtual platform and access it as needed to get credentials, and then (eventually) destroy the image.  This wouldl free the existing physical hardware for other important uses.

    After doing this I did a "repair install" of WinXP because of certain changes (the virtual platform box is AMD and the original box was Intel.)

    When I did this, it asked for the product key, which I gave it, and it accepted.  After the final reboot, it will bring me to the initial login screen, I type in my password, and it logs me in.  It then displays my chosen background - sans icons - and asks me to activate.  (p.s. the key is a Technet key that should allow for multiple activations.)

    I tell it "Sure! Go right ahead!" and it hangs tighter than a bass drum.  The system is still running, the mouse works, the hypervisor control panel tells me that everything is just peachy but I hang right there, nothing happening, just my mouse cursor and the background - even if I let it sit for 12+ hours.  It doesn't even give me the option for a phone-in activation, it just hangs right there with nothing but my background showing.  If I tell it "no", it drops me back to the login.

    I suspect that part of the problem is that the virtual network adapter is not properly configured yet - but I can't do that until I get fully logged in (and can install the "integration pack"). So it appears to be a catch-22 situation, or something like that.

    I can login to SAFE mode, but I cannot do anything with networking in SAFE mode.  I tried to install the "Integration Pack" in Safe mode (to see if that would help the networking) and it won't install.  Safe mode + networking stops me at login, telling me that I'm SOL until I activate this beast!  I'd be happy if it would give me the "Phone In" option.

    I know I could do a "bare metal" install in the virtual environment - but that would not preserve my wife's carefully saved credentials - which is what I need.

     I am sorry for the length of this post, but I wanted to make sure you were fully apprised of the situation.

    Any ideas would be gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Jim (JR)


    • Edited by Jharris1993 Friday, September 30, 2011 12:21 AM
    Friday, September 30, 2011 12:16 AM