Question about licence/activation on a VM

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  1. Posts : 11,172
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #11

    Hi there
    provided the hardware is "Reasonably similar" you can - at least with VMware save a VM on one machine and power it up on another.

    I've done this with Linux as a host and then Windows as host - The VM stayed active whether Windows or Linux was the host.

    What it didn't like though was if I switched to a machine with totally dissimilar hardware -- AMD CPU, different graphic card etc then activation was prompted for -- popup saying "Hardware has changed Windows needs to be re-activated.

    Now sometimes this *might* activate, sometimes it won't -- Ms servers have a mind of their own when it comes to VM's.

    The old W7 allowed 30 days of use before activation -- the current policies make testing of a lot of environments rather hard as there's no grace period if Windows needs to be activated .

    You can get trial SERVER software though for a limited period -- this makes for slightly easier testing but there's always a bit of a pain to set up a SERVER OS as a DESKTOP OS.

    I think Ms should really think about some way of allowing people who want to test a few scenarios using VM's to be a bit more flexible.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 343
    Windows 10
       #12

    NJMorf said:
    Before Win10 released I was running a copy of the preview on a virtual machine. I was also signed in to the insider program. After release I upgraded my machine and deleted the VM. I also deleted the downloaded preview ISO.

    I'd like to set up another VM. From what I've seen, the licence doesn't allow me to do that with my upgraded (from 7) copy, and I've seen the FAQ here that, if I understand it properly, suggests that I would need to reinstall the same version of the preview that I'd originally activated. I have no idea which version that was.

    If I install a copy on the VM using the 10586 ISO I recently downloaded, will that possibly invalidate my licence? I'm assuming that the VM won't look like it's running on my physical machine, so it won't look like I've just clean installed Windows on the same hardware: if it looks like different hardware, will the activation (assuming I can't just put it off for 30 days or something) just fail, or could it revoke the real machine's licence?

    Thanks in advance.
    I believe you can do it if you install the build that was used for RTM in the VM. You will remain activated as long as you apply the updates. This will make you part of the insider program. MS tests update here before they go out to the public. Because VM's are treated as new machines they typically require a new license.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 9
    windows 10
       #13

    I followed DR. Kari's instruction of Import Windows XP Mode from Windows 7 to
    Windows 10 upto Step 2.8. For windows Activation part I entered my XP windows
    Product Key (from my dead computer) and tried to activate through
    smartphone process. I got a message: " I am sorry , we cannot complete the
    transaction as our records do not recognize this as a valid product."
    What product key are they looking for? Can you tell me what should I do? I spent so many hours on this. Thank You
    in Advance. Happy Holidays and Happy New year.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 2,768
    Windows 11 Pro, 21H2
       #14

    I've done some experimentation with this and found an easy way to reactivate a newly installed VM. Note that this requires that you previously have legitimately activated a previous VM!

    If you want to be able to keep your activation status on a newly installed VM, this is super easy to do in VMware. It can be done in Hyper-V as well, but the process is not nearly as simple. I'm not posting the Hyper-V method here because frankly, I still need to test with it further before I know that it really works reliably, but in theory I have a framework laid out.

    For VMware Workstation, here is an outline:

    1) Install Windows 10 in VMware.
    2) Supply a proper license key and activate Windows.
    3) Save a copy of the VMware .VMX file for this Virtual machine. Technically, the only thing you need is the line within that file that starts with "uuid.bios". It will look something like this:

    uuid.bios = "00 11 22 33 44 55 66 77-88 99 aa bb cc dd ee ff"

    If you ever need to reinstall that VM again from scratch, follow these steps:

    4) Create a VM but don't yet install Windows to it.
    5) Open the current .VMX file and replace the "uuid.bios" string with the string that you saved previously.
    6) Install Windows on the VM as usual. It should be able to activate.

    NOTE: I have a limited number of machines for testing so it's possible that there could be limitations to this method. I was able to create a VM on one machine and save the uuid.bios string. I destroyed that VM and decided some time later that I wanted to recreate that VM for further testing but on a different physical machine. Using the above procedure it worked fine, but be aware that your milage may vary as they say. I don't know if going to a machine with vastly different hardware may break this.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 17,636
    Windows 10 Pro
       #15

    hsehestedt said:
    I've done some experimentation with this and found an easy way to reactivate a newly installed VM.
    A tip from tutorial Hyper-V - Optimizing Virtual Machines

    A hard disk on a physical machine, or VHD on a virtual machine on an activated Windows 10 system can be replaced without losing the machine's activation status (digital license).

    What I always do when I have activated a Windows 10 virtual machine is to remove its VHD, and export it without any disk. I now have an activated Windows 10 VM with no disk. When I want, I can just import the VM, attach a new VHD to it, and install the same edition of Windows 10 it had when activated. New installation will be automatically activated, based on the existing digital license.

    I even have have a few exported virtual machines on a safe storage which have digital licenses for Home, Pro, Education and Enterprise editions; when imported back to Hyper-V, I can install any of the four editions, all of them automatically activated, or install all four editions on VM in multi boot, all activated.


    Kari
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 2,768
    Windows 11 Pro, 21H2
       #16

    @Kari,

    Thanks for that - have not had the opportunity to test that completely, but I guess that must work for Hyper-V. Very cool. I had that as a "to be tested" item in my personal notes. I'll mark that off as confirmed.

    This forum is just such a great resource for information!
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 17,636
    Windows 10 Pro
       #17

    BPatel said:
    I got a message: " I am sorry , we cannot complete the
    transaction as our records do not recognize this as a valid product."
    My guess is your key for XP is a so called OEM product key, for which Microsoft gives no support. The key will never work in XP Mode VM, but might work if you installed XP normally on a VM, from original ISO image.

    Differences Between OEM Channel SLP, NONSLP and COA License Product Keys << My Digital Life

    Kari
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 17,636
    Windows 10 Pro
       #18

    hsehestedt said:
    Thanks for that - have not had the opportunity to test that completely, but I guess that must work for Hyper-V. Very cool. I had that as a "to be tested" item in my personal notes. I'll mark that off as confirmed.
    One important thing to remember:

    When importing a Hyper-V VM, you can register it in-place (red highlight in screenshot), but this is quite a dangerous option when dealing with activated virtual machines. In-place import is fast, because nothing will copied from your exported VM folder; instead, the VM remains there and will be added to Hyper-V. What happens now if you for any reason delete the VM in Hyper-V Manager, it will also be deleted from your exported VM folder and is forever gone.

    Only use the option to restore VM (highlighted green). This copies the VM and its files from exported VM folder to Hyper-V default VM folder, or to any location you'd prefer, preserving the activation. The difference, compared to in-place import is, that when you delete the VM, it still remains in your exported VM folder and can be re-imported as often as you want to.

    Copying the VM (yellow highlight) creates a new machine ID and VM will not be activated.

    Question about licence/activation on a VM-image.png

    Import Hyper-V Virtual Machine in Windows 10

    Kari
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 56,050
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #19

    hsehestedt said:
    I've done some experimentation with this and found an easy way to reactivate a newly installed VM. Note that this requires that you previously have legitimately activated a previous VM!

    If you want to be able to keep your activation status on a newly installed VM, this is super easy to do in VMware. It can be done in Hyper-V as well, but the process is not nearly as simple. I'm not posting the Hyper-V method here because frankly, I still need to test with it further before I know that it really works reliably, but in theory I have a framework laid out.

    For VMware Workstation, here is an outline:

    1) Install Windows 10 in VMware.
    2) Supply a proper license key and activate Windows.
    3) Save a copy of the VMware .VMX file for this Virtual machine. Technically, the only thing you need is the line within that file that starts with "uuid.bios". It will look something like this:

    uuid.bios = "00 11 22 33 44 55 66 77-88 99 aa bb cc dd ee ff"

    If you ever need to reinstall that VM again from scratch, follow these steps:

    4) Create a VM but don't yet install Windows to it.
    5) Open the current .VMX file and replace the "uuid.bios" string with the string that you saved previously.
    6) Install Windows on the VM as usual. It should be able to activate.

    NOTE: I have a limited number of machines for testing so it's possible that there could be limitations to this method. I was able to create a VM on one machine and save the uuid.bios string. I destroyed that VM and decided some time later that I wanted to recreate that VM for further testing but on a different physical machine. Using the above procedure it worked fine, but be aware that your milage may vary as they say. I don't know if going to a machine with vastly different hardware may break this.
    Just tried your .vmx method. Worked like a charm. Thanks!

    Question about licence/activation on a VM-2019-12-31_15h24_34.png
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 24,542
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #20

    Kari's Hyper-V method works like a charm too. I've used it myself.
      My Computers


 

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