Windows 10: Clean Install on Virtual Machine - fundamental question... Solved

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  1.    19 Jul 2016 #1

    Clean Install on Virtual Machine - fundamental question...


    Hi guys,

    This is hopefully a simple one to answer:

    If I set up a brand new Windows 10 VM (using VirtualBox) and perform a clean install of Win 10 Pro 64-bit (via the latest 1511 ISO image), at what stage will I need to activate Windows? Bearing in mind that this is a clean system and has had no previous Windows version installed.

    Do I need a valid license key, or can I used the 'generic' key, (ie: QJ*XR-YD*7Q-K7*H4-RY*Q8-6M*6Y) which is floating around?

    Previously (prior to 1511) on my 'real' systems, I installed an earlier version (8.1) of Windows, then performed the upgrade, after which I was able to do a clean install and Windows was activated, as expected.

    Is my understanding of "free" Windows 10 incorrect? Do I still need a valid Windows key to perform an install?

    Cheers,

    Mike.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 20,839
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
       19 Jul 2016 #2

    Hello Mike,

    Sorry, but you are mistaken.

    The free Windows 10 is only an offer for a free upgrade to Windows 10 to replace an activated Windows 7 or 8 PC.

    The generic key for Windows 10 is only good to install Windows 10 with. It will not activate Window 10.

    If you don't have a valid key to activate with, or upgrade from a valid Window 7/8, then you'll need to purchase Windows 10.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    19 Jul 2016 #3

    Brink said: View Post
    Hello Mike,

    Sorry, but you are mistaken.
    No probs - I suspected as much!

    Thanks for the quick reply!

    Now I need to install Win8.1 and go through the rigmarole again :-)

    Cheers,

    Mike.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 20,839
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
       19 Jul 2016 #4

    You're most welcome. I hope it goes smoothly.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    19 Jul 2016 #5

    Brink said: View Post
    You're most welcome. I hope it goes smoothly.
    Thanks - Wind 8.1 install is quietly chuggin away, as I type :-)

    One quick additional question (assuming it has a simply answer!):

    Once I've installed my valid Win8.1, is my virtual machines UUID the 'fingerprint' that the Windows 10 servers use to identify my VM and permit the Windows 10 upgrade/install?

    Cheers,

    Mike.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 20,839
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
       19 Jul 2016 #6

    I'm not certain for VM's, but I would assume so as well.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 11,238
    Windows 10 Pro
       20 Jul 2016 #7

    Don't know VirtualBox but here's how it goes using Hyper-V virtualization. Your specs show your Win 10 edition is PRO meaning you have Hyper-V available.

    The hardware signature for digital entitlement of a virtual machine is a combination of your real physical hardware signature, the host machine, and signature of the emulated virtualized hardware of Hyper-V. This is because Hyper-V uses core host hardware to some extent, some hardware being emulated.

    To keep the digital activation of a Hyper-V Windows vm after let's say re-install, you have to first export the vm, then re-install Windows 10, enable and setup Hyper-V, and last import the vm using either Register the vm in-place or Restore the vm options. These import options will keep system GUID as it was, the imported vm being an exact duplicate of original vm, to the smallest detail. If activated when exported, vm will be activated after importing.

    Only difference between these two import options is that in-place leaves the vm files including its vhd to location where you import it from, whereas restoring will copy the files to your default vm and vhd locations set in Hyper-V settings, or any other location you choose.

    Activation does not remain if either half of the digital signature has been changed, Hyper-V on another physical hardware or same physical hardware but vm imported to another virtualization platform.

    Tutorials:


    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    20 Jul 2016 #8

    Brink said: View Post
    Hello Mike,

    Sorry, but you are mistaken.

    The free Windows 10 is only an offer for a free upgrade to Windows 10 to replace an activated Windows 7 or 8 PC.

    The generic key for Windows 10 is only good to install Windows 10 with. It will not activate Window 10.

    If you don't have a valid key to activate with, or upgrade from a valid Window 7/8, then you'll need to purchase Windows 10.
    Hi there

    actually you DON'T need to have an activated Windows 7 --but you need a VALID KEY --different thing entirely.

    I still have a load of my old Tech net subscription W7 keys (W7 pro and Ultimate) -- I can install a W10 system either on a REAL or VIRTUAL machine and enter the W7 key when proipmpted --activates fine.

    Actually the old Technet keys are great as they usually allow around 10 - 15 activations per key !!!

    (In caps deliberately) - YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE AN ACTIVATED W7 SYSTEM TO INSTALL W10 --OR EVEN AN INSTALLED W7 SYSTEM. YOU NEED A VALID KEY.

    I think this is what Brink intended to say --just trying to clear5 up any confusion --you don't need to install W7, then upgrade and then clean install. You can clean install directly provided your W7 (W8/W8.1) key is valid.

    Use the Ms media build tool to get a reasonably recent copy of W10 and use that for install either to a REAL or a Virtual machine.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    23 Jul 2016 #9

    mingle said: View Post
    Thanks - Wind 8.1 install is quietly chuggin away, as I type :-)

    One quick additional question (assuming it has a simply answer!):

    Once I've installed my valid Win8.1, is my virtual machines UUID the 'fingerprint' that the Windows 10 servers use to identify my VM and permit the Windows 10 upgrade/install?

    Cheers,

    Mike.
    There was no need to do this - you could have just installed windows 10 in the vm from iso and activate using a valid 8.1 key not in use elsewhere. The only issue is that you could not use same 8.1 in use elsewhere as a vm requires its own separate licence.

    However if 8.1 key is in use, you would have to install 8.1 first as it is in a vm.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    11 Aug 2016 #10

    Kari said: View Post
    Don't know VirtualBox but here's how it goes using Hyper-V virtualization. Your specs show your Win 10 edition is PRO meaning you have Hyper-V available.

    The hardware signature for digital entitlement of a virtual machine is a combination of your real physical hardware signature, the host machine, and signature of the emulated virtualized hardware of Hyper-V. This is because Hyper-V uses core host hardware to some extent, some hardware being emulated.

    To keep the digital activation of a Hyper-V Windows vm after let's say re-install, you have to first export the vm, then re-install Windows 10, enable and setup Hyper-V, and last import the vm using either Register the vm in-place or Restore the vm options. These import options will keep system GUID as it was, the imported vm being an exact duplicate of original vm, to the smallest detail. If activated when exported, vm will be activated after importing.

    Only difference between these two import options is that in-place leaves the vm files including its vhd to location where you import it from, whereas restoring will copy the files to your default vm and vhd locations set in Hyper-V settings, or any other location you choose.

    Activation does not remain if either half of the digital signature has been changed, Hyper-V on another physical hardware or same physical hardware but vm imported to another virtualization platform.

    Tutorials:


    Kari
    Very interesting Kari - I've been looking and googling for this insight for a while now; for many days/ weeks
    Found this nice post too -
    will free win 7 -- 10 update work if chose a VM instead of native? - Windows 10 Forums
    But your post/ info is the most clear & detailed in pointing out certain aspects of Hyper V VM in relation to Win 10 DE Activation.


    I have just one small Q about the "Gray" marked para
    - Could I let go of the VHD after Export, Save the VM info and in the future Add/ Use a fresh/ different VHD instead? - Since the HWID is tied to the VM (& respective Motherboard like H/w) and not Hard Disk i.e. VHD?

    I ask this because in most Real Physical Machines - changing Drives has not had any impact on activation / DE.
    PS: Otherwise saving/ keep that VHD will take lot of space.

    jimbo45 said: View Post
    Hi there
    actually you DON'T need to have an activated Windows 7 --but you need a VALID KEY --different thing entirely.

    I still have a load of my old Tech net subscription W7 keys (W7 pro and Ultimate) -- I can install a W10 system either on a REAL or VIRTUAL machine and enter the W7 key when proipmpted --activates fine.

    Actually the old Technet keys are great as they usually allow around 10 - 15 activations per key !!!

    (In caps deliberately) - YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE AN ACTIVATED W7 SYSTEM TO INSTALL W10 --OR EVEN AN INSTALLED W7 SYSTEM. YOU NEED A VALID KEY.

    I think this is what Brink intended to say --just trying to clear5 up any confusion --you don't need to install W7, then upgrade and then clean install. You can clean install directly provided your W7 (W8/W8.1) key is valid.

    Use the Ms media build tool to get a reasonably recent copy of W10 and use that for install either to a REAL or a Virtual machine.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Wow! I had no idea the Technet keys were such a large goldmine now ha ha! Point to note.

    cereberus said: View Post
    There was no need to do this - you could have just installed windows 10 in the vm from iso and activate using a valid 8.1 key not in use elsewhere. The only issue is that you could not use same 8.1 in use elsewhere as a vm requires its own separate licence.

    However if 8.1 key is in use, you would have to install 8.1 first as it is in a vm.
    Would that be "not in use elsewhere" or "never used before elsewhere"?

    I recently used a previously unused Win 8 Product key that ShowKeyPlus identified as: Win 8 RTM Professional Retail
    In order to get a Win 10 DE in a VM.
    My mistake was createing to VMs (hence the different HWID for VMs, A: W8 and B: W10).

    Now, there's 2 ways for me to go forward:

    1 - Copy/ Transfer GenuineTicket from HWID VM A: W8 VHD, Save, Attach Partition/ VHD (fresh W10) to same VM A

    OR

    2 - In the same VM A: Just enter Win 8 Product Key into attached Fresh W 10 for it work?

    In each case with release of Win 10 must / would be preferred to use? MCT, MSDN 1511 or TH2?
    Would both work/ Which one would be safer?
    PS: Assuming I can leverage the unofficial Window still open.

    PS: My goal is not to double up my W8 key/ license - Once its done I will delete all VHDs and maybe keep the VM A without VHD around since DE would be last attached to that. In future transfer DE (from W8 Retail) to fresh hardware if I need/ want.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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