Windows Activation and Virtual Machines ?

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by Defenestration, Sep 15, 2007.

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  1. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    How does Windows Activation work when Windows is installed in a Virtual Machine, if the version of Windows has already been installed and activated on a real machine (ie. will it see a virtual machine as being a different machine) ?

    Am I allowed to install Windows many times in different Virtual Machine's ?
     
  2. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    From what i remember, legally speaking, you need a different license for every VM you have. A copy of windows thats already been activated on a real machine won't work in a VM as it will appear as a different machine.

    What i did was download a trial version of windows 2003, install it in a vm then apply the xp conversion tool. It works great.
     
  3. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

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    Legally, no. In theory, each virtual machine needs its own copy of Windows (i.e., if you install a copy of XP on your computer, you cannot legally use that same license in a virtual machine).
     
  4. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

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    I did post an article on this a while ago which I can't find ATM.

    If I remember correctly you can install XP and some higher versions of Vista into a vm as many times as you like without the need for a seperate license.

    The article was in reply to Aigle I think and I went back a fair way looking but no joy.
     
  5. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    If you can confirm that: yippee :D
    I think there was a short period when M$ had not quite realised what was about to happen with virtualisation. that loophole afaicr has been closed :'(

    I think there are 'special' subscribers to M$ who can get multiple licences
    I think there are systems set-ups that allow virtual cloning: when you pay for it.

    There are certainly ways around -ahem- "transferring" your activation into a vm
    :shifty:

    If you just have a spare genuine install you want to transfer, then explain to M$ that you need reactivation due to new HW and there should be no problem. That would be entirely legal.

    Once the vm install has been activated; it -cough- may be possible to just copy that VM to other systems that just might have the free VM player sitting there. This would of course violate your licence.

    If there is a legal way to get a genuine install activated in a vm in addition to another system; i would like to know too.
     
  6. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I couldn't find it, but in the past the microsoft website has said separate licenses are needed. Activation will definitely detect different hardware. I have several upgrade licenses from the partners program, and what I did was use my OEM disk to install the XP but didn't activate it. Then I installed the upgrade and activated that.
     
  7. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    I have asked a tricky question and never got an answer to it:

    If you COPY your vm and use only one instance at a time, you're basically using the same "computer" and same "windows" so why should you need a separate license?

    It's no different than imaging or rollback software. You have many copies of the existing setup, but you only use it one at a time.

    Same here, you make one vm with a valid license, then you can make copies of it (for backup purpose), but use only one. If you were using several at the same time, I guess that would be unfair or something. But one at a time?

    Never got a decisive answer to this one.

    Mrk
     
  8. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Yes "partners program" is what i meant by "special subscribers"
    Exactly what is that? What do you get and how many $ is it ?

    You shouldn't.
    That would be correct. :thumb:

    Doubtless M$ legal eagles are working desperately hard to "fix" that.
    From what I have been told there is nothing within the EULA that prevents that : unless you are a M$ lawyer. :cautious:
    The M$ EULA for Windows is a rather challenging document :cautious:
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    It's a program Microsoft setup for businesses that sell their products. Whlie I don't do that I do some freebie work for a couple of non profits here.

    What you do is apply to be a microsoft partner, and if you qualify, then you are eligible for their annual subscription pack which is $299us a year. You get 4 boxes of stuff every year. Includes things like an upgrade version of Windows XP pro, XP x64, windows Vista Business, and Vista X64(both upgrade versions). Also got Microsoft Office 2007 Enterprise. Also all kinds of database and server products.

    Typically the license is good for upto 10 machines. There some license restrictions. Only can use licenses at place of business, not at home. Fortunately for me they are the same. Also the software licenses are no longer valid if you don't renew.

    It was a good deal for me.

    Pete
     
  10. tlu

    tlu Guest

    This should answer your question.
     
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