vitualization of existing OEM vista?


  • OK, let me start, The only Vista I have left is home on the original machine.

    I purchased 7 64 bit retail and installed dual boot with Vista.

    I also use Wvpc with XP mode in 7.

    I dont use Vista for anything other than game type stuff, which 7 could easily do.

    But this Vista is the last system I have of Vista, I just cant delete it.

    I wish to virtualize it.

    It is an OEM, it will always be on the same machine it came on.

    Explian to me why I cannot do this?


    Saturday, February 04, 2012 9:26 PM

All replies

  • Because if you virtualize the Vista install and run it in a virtual
    machine, you wont be running it on the same machine and it would
    probably be against the EULA. (most OEM versions of windows are locked
    to the same hardware and wont even install on other hardware)
    A virtual machine is considered separate hardware from the host PC.

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Saturday, February 04, 2012 10:14 PM
  • I do understand.

    Thanks for your reply.

    Saturday, February 04, 2012 11:07 PM
  • You're welcome.

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 12:32 AM
  • Bob, believe or not the OP can do what he asked about.  An OEM copy of Windows can be converted to a vm and the COA SLP product key from the label affixed to the case is used to activate it.  The conditions are that the OEM copy cannot have been the license used to upgrade to another copy of Windows and it must not still be in use on the computer.  This ruling surprised me too.  Darin Smith (MSFT) confirmed it recently and here is the text of the ruling he obtained from the Licensing Team:

    11/18/2011 11:21 AM

    OK, the Licensing person got back to me pretty quickly.

    So, can a customer use an OEM SLP licensed Windows in a VM?


    Yes, a user can use his/her OEM SLP Windows as a VM as long as it is used only on the computer the OEM SLP software originally came with.

    "License Person’s response> They [the user] either uses the software on the system normally or uses it in a single virtual hardware environment on the same computer. The license cannot be transferred to another system nor can the virtual environment be transferred to another system. If an end user wanted to have a copy of the OS on the system hardware and one in virtual environment, it would require two licenses."

    "There is no dedicated HW for the VM. That is not the case with a hardware partition. The VM would be relying on the computer’s hardware to run, not separate and distinct hardware."

    I know this is counter to what we have said here in the past but it is official and the Windows Answers forum moderators have been instructed on the new ruling. It also applies to OEM System Builder licenses that are used by smaller companies like CyberPower.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    • Edited by Cbarnhorst Sunday, February 05, 2012 1:56 AM
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 1:45 AM
  • Interesting change of heart by Microsoft.  I stand corrected.

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 2:13 AM
  • It probably isn't a change of heart by the Licensing Team.  We just perpetuated urban legends.  I shudder at how much bad advice I have given on the subject.  Finally I decided to pursue it in the right channel.  At least now we can be on firm ground.  The Licensing Team's perspective on virtual hardware was the most interesting to me and makes a lot of sense. 
    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    • Edited by Cbarnhorst Sunday, February 05, 2012 2:42 AM
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 2:40 AM
  • No, I was actually told that.
    Thanks for posting though, it's important to know...

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 2:44 AM
  • Thanks for clarifying.

    My conundrum, I end up with to many ?'s. What about this, what about that, and so on.

    If I used disk2vhd, would the conversion be functional? Do I need to move XP mode vhd to another drive before? (probably should have use fixed disk).

    I read that Wvpc only supports Vista enterprise or Ultimate as guest, mine is home premium.

    I figured I would leave Vista on it's original drive and let natural death take place, but I found that dual boot is not a preferential set-up when a network is involved, even if it is a small set-up. (dedicated server should be used).

    Since Vista is only used for game duty, if I virtualize will they even work?

    I have to many ?.


    Sunday, February 05, 2012 4:50 PM
  • You don't use XP Mode.  You create a new virtual machine and install your OEM copy there.  It depends on the dvd how you do that.  You probably have a recovery disk so it is a matter of selecting the dvd drive in the vm's Settings and then restarting the vm.

    I can't answer the disk2dvd question but Bob or Steve will.

    Support is not the same as Run.  Microsoft will only give you support (help with problems) for certain editions but they all run in a vm.  Vista Home Premium runs fine.  I know first hand because I am running a Vista Home Premium OEM System Builder copy in a vm on my Windows 7 computer.  I only do it to explore questions that come up here but it has been running fine for years.  I have not used a recovery disk to create a vm, however.

    No games that require support for 3D graphics are going to work because the vm uses an emulation of a very old video card that only supports 2D graphics.  That is by design.  Legacy games usually work fine but you will just have to try yours to see.  One of the problems I have run into is that WVPC does not recognize some game cds that have copy-protection schemes and the games won't run as a result.

    Here is a link to one of Ben Armstrong's blogs that explains some of the problems in emulating hardware and why VPC uses the emulations it does.  It is an old blog but the principles still apply.

    Keep in mind that WVPC is not your only option.  VMWare Player is also free and I use it for legacy gaming because I don't run into the same copy-protection problem with it and graphics support is a little better.  It is just as legitimate to run your OEM copy of Vista in it as it is WVPC.  You still have the same restriction that an OEM copy can only be used on the original computer.

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    • Edited by Cbarnhorst Sunday, February 05, 2012 5:50 PM
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 5:41 PM
  •  > If I used disk2vhd, would the conversion be functional?
    If the disk is less than 127G, yes it'll work easily.  If it's not,
    you'll have to shrink the Windows partition down to 127G or less with a
    partition manager, and then use disk2vhd.

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 6:27 PM
  • I am under 127gb, the drive shows 112gb, but my quandry is about XP mode vhd, which this drive is supporting.

    Vista itself is about 90gb, XP is 13gb, should I move XP to another drive before virtualizing?

    XP is dynamic on the disk.

    • Edited by larsel Sunday, February 05, 2012 6:47 PM
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 6:44 PM
  • Just to be clear, the size of the partition must be less than 127GB, including free space.  What is concerning you about XP Mode?  Surely that is not on the Vista drive.  XP Mode would be on the Windows 7 drive.
    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 7:01 PM
  • By the way if you just delete the Vista partition after you are done with the virtualization your computer won't boot.  The boot files are written to the Vista partition.  You need to copy the boot files to the Windows 7 partition first, even if your default boot order is already Windows 7.  I use DualBootPro.  It makes everything blindingly easy. 
    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    • Edited by Cbarnhorst Sunday, February 05, 2012 7:17 PM
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 7:13 PM
  • Well, the actual partion is 222gb, so then it would be a NO GO for convertion?

    And yes, I moved XP vhd to the vista drive, XP is on that drive.

    Sunday, February 05, 2012 7:14 PM
  • I just shrunk the drive, the drive only had 18gb available, so I would have to move XP from the drive.

    after shrink, the drive is 204gb.

    Sunday, February 05, 2012 7:42 PM
  • My boot is on its own partition, a 10gb partion, so I dont think I would have an issue, as i would not be involving that partion, or modifying that partion.
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 7:52 PM
  • Ya know, If it wasnt for the network I wouldnt care, but anytime somone reboots into vista to play a game, my slower desktop pickes up the network, and then i have to hear about how slow that machine becomes. and I have boosted that machine to the max it can do, i believe virtual would be an answer. But alass, limitations restrict, which I can understand.

    I get to work with computer's every day, just not the type most on here see.

    • Edited by larsel Sunday, February 05, 2012 8:27 PM
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 8:24 PM
  • > Well, the actual partion is 222gb, so then it would be a NO GO for
    > convertion?
    Nope, you'd have to shrink it down to 127G.
    You mention you want to do this for running games in Vista?  If they're
    not real graphics dependent they might do okay, but otherwise you might
    be disappointed in the performance of the video...

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 9:16 PM
  • Well, I am in the proccess of virtualizing Vista, so far so good.

    I did not use disk2vhd, I am useing the original disk, and clean installing to virtual machine, am installing MSE at the moment.

    Already have been notified that there is needed updates for Vista in Wvpc.

    So if all goes well, I should be seeing and comparing how Vista works very soon.

    And "too" Bob, I will check out the grahpics capabilty, and see what happens.

    Thank again for the advice.

    • Edited by larsel Monday, February 13, 2012 12:55 AM
    Monday, February 13, 2012 12:48 AM
  • Here is were my fears are, vista is stalling on the update, and they are a big update, bringing vista sp1 to sp2 is no small feat, so far wvpc has stalled out once, and I am retrying again, and so far it appears its going to stall again.

    But I will let it go, untill its stops again, then I will give up on this.

    Will Disk2vhd do what I want? or no?

    • Edited by larsel Monday, February 13, 2012 3:00 AM
    Monday, February 13, 2012 2:54 AM
  • update,

    spent a week playing with virtual vista, never got it to intergrate, lost online connect, kept " could not intergrate", so I dicided to leave well enough alone, dumped vista virtual, and I will leave it as dual boot.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012 7:29 PM
  • You should use the virtualization forum for this.

    Bob Comer and Steve Jain there can sort this one out with you.

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012 7:40 PM
  • Well, I am on the Wvpc forum, as I know it.

    I was impressed with how well Vista loaded in virtual, and overall first perfomance beat XP mode, I loaded DX10 with no issues.

    Prompted to full screen right away.

    I did like the normal login, dont like the auto login.

    My Vista disk is from 2006 vintage, so the massive update process is huge, and I lost online connect through this. ( this is why I belive disk2vhd would be better).

    Even when prompted to update Intergration, still intergration failed, now I could attach, it showed my drives and dervices, but no shared. (no shared, but attach was available)

    Vista showed on my network, I could access network drives.

    But I did find, ( and I believe you told me this, that my Graphics card could not be accesssed). So I would have nothing to use Vista for. It is only used at this point for games, and they are graphic intensive.

    • Edited by larsel Sunday, February 19, 2012 6:59 PM
    Sunday, February 19, 2012 6:58 PM
  • A password is required in order to use the integration components.  A lot of games that have problems with Windows 7 can still be used by using Compatibility and selecting Vista.  Here is good link to explain it.

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012 7:13 PM
  • I set up a password when I created the virtual machine, what I said I like was the the normal loggin screen , rather then the auto log in XP mode.

    As far as intergration, when I checked intergration, it showed as intergration was active, but apon initial start of Vista virtual, before the loggin screen it kept telling me that intergration could not be enabled, but I could continue without, and checking intergration with virtual vista running shows that intergration is running.

    I also got prompted to update Wvpc, but was instructed to do so through vista virtual, wouldn't Wvpc need to be updated through the host?

    Sunday, February 19, 2012 8:18 PM
  • That's just normal XP.  Remember you can change the login type under User Accounts in Control Panel.

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012 8:23 PM
  • No, it is not normal XP, I took it to be normal to virtual XP mode, I might not have had XP for quite some time, but I did have XP when it first came out, for 5 yrs until I went to Vista, and XP came to a login page, no auto log.
    Sunday, February 19, 2012 8:35 PM
  • Yes, it is a perfectly normal screen.  The option for the login type is in the Control Panel.  Just access it by clicking on

    Control Panel/User Accounts/User Accounts/Change the way users log on or off/

    and uncheck the box for "Use the Welcome Screen". 

    Thereafter you will be presented with the network style login box if the Integration Features are disabled.  If Integration Features are enabled you will be automatically logged in and the box will not appear. 

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    • Edited by Cbarnhorst Sunday, February 19, 2012 9:41 PM
    Sunday, February 19, 2012 9:07 PM
  • Ok, I am there, but I am prompted with "Fast user switching cannot be used because Offline Files is currently enabled".

    The "use welcome screen" is not checked. So do I "OK" to make changes to "offline files setting"?

    If I "click" OK, is my XP mode going to suddenly develope a headache?
    • Edited by larsel Sunday, February 19, 2012 9:46 PM
    Sunday, February 19, 2012 9:43 PM
  • I would switch to the XP Answers forum at

    for that question.  I have never used fast user switching.  It sounds like you have two user accounts set up in XP Mode.

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012 9:59 PM
  • I have never set up 2 accounts on XP mode, but because of auto loggin, I wouldn't be able to tell you what could have gone on, I have at this point created standard loggin for standard users and reset Admin loggin password that I only know. (On my Host system)

    As to xp mode it is only showing (1) acount, the original, since I installed XP mode.

    Tell me if I am wrong, Offline file's are used when a guest system is to have accesss to a host drive, but must be able to use the file's even when not connected to the host drive, so, the files are created on the guest so that they can be used offline. Yes? No?

    Sunday, February 19, 2012 10:26 PM
  • And there is noway I wil put XP mode  as the same as regular XP, most people go "what"? if you even say virtual.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012 10:49 PM
  • Offline has nothing to do with the HDD.  It is when you are not connected to the internet.

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012 10:50 PM
  • It cannot only involve the intrernet, Internal network works with this also.

    I can share a drive, as  an exteneded resource to another PC, and it will work fine, until my PC is down, then no sharing is capable, unless offline files were setup on that PC, which means the file have to be put on that PC's HDD.

    • Edited by larsel Sunday, February 19, 2012 11:27 PM
    Sunday, February 19, 2012 11:25 PM
  • So what Offline file would XP mode be using? I dont use XP mode off line, I dont have (to my knowlege have any resource extended, ahh, I got ya).

    The host of course, is the extention, the extended resource.

    But that does not solve my delema.

    I wish to, if there is away to get away from dual boot, but still keep my Vista intact, and have Vista functional. It is not amatter of will the the games work in 7, they will, but I like 7 without the games.

    Is this not the forum for Windows virtual PC?

    So any experience poeple use disk2vhd?

    Monday, February 20, 2012 12:13 AM
  • Yes, it is for Windows Virtual PC.  But the issues are not WVPC.  They are straight forward XP.  XP Mode is a preconfigured virtual machine with XP Pro SP3 already installed.  XP is not the only guest OS supported by WVPC, however.  WVPC supports Vista and Windows 7 guests as well.

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Monday, February 20, 2012 12:38 AM