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Dazzathedrummer
Contributor
Contributor

Trying to activate Windows 11

Hi,

Not sure if this is in the right group...

I'm trying to activate my Windows 11 Arm. I bought an OEM license but the key doesn't work.

What's the best way to go about this? ...do I need to call MS to get this working or is there another issue?

I'm on the MS Insider program - would be better to download an insider version?

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scott28tt
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

I'll take a guess that you're using VMware Fusion?

There's an excellent unofficial guide which might help you: https://communities.vmware.com/t5/VMware-Fusion-Documents/The-Unofficial-Fusion-13-for-Apple-Silicon...

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Dazzathedrummer
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks - I'll check it out.

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Technogeezer
Immortal
Immortal

Other thoughts.

Have you seen the following Microsoft article on errors in activating Windows: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/get-help-with-windows-activation-errors-09d8fb64-6768-48... . Specifically what error is being given when you try to activate?

It would be better to use a release channel version of Windows 11 ARM using either of the tools in the unofficlal guide that @scott28tt has linked to. Preview releases are really not necessary for the vast majority of Windows users (they're designed for developers and enterprises to test new Windows before release and to comment back to Microsoft on new features being considered for Windows).

I haven't heard whether OEM licenses will activate Windows 11 ARM. But there are posts in the Microsoft forums that say OEM licenses will activate anything that retail licenses will. It's just that OEM licenses are locked to the system.

What version of Windows is that OEM license for? There are articles that say that some Microsoft is refusing to activate a freshly installed Windows 11 system with Windows 7 or 8 licenses.

If you didn't get this license from Microsoft or an authorized Microsoft distributor, you should check the source where you got it from to make sure the license is legitimate.

- Paul (Technogeezer)
Editor of the Unofficial Fusion Companion Guides
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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

> It's just that OEM licenses are locked to the system.

An OEM license can be locked to specific hardware. Seen it in the past, it would only activate on the hardware it was intended to run on. But I've also have seen OEM licenses, directly bought from a licensed Microsoft supplier - not bundled with hardware -, activate without any issues.

FWIW, by definition an OEM license is not valid by Microsoft's terms for a brand new VM on when running on top of macOS. The hardware didn't come with an OEM MS license after all.
An end user is not a "Original Equipment Manufacturer". It has always been puzzling to me why you can buy these licenses outside of B2B channels.

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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Dazzathedrummer
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for all the responses.

In the end I broke the VM and couldn’t get back into to so I ditched it and started again.

I’m now using the W11 Arm insider release with the VM Tech Preview.

Oddly, it’s running perfectly, I had all sorts of issues with black blocks on the screen and things not working properly nut this is working amazingly well …and I was able to activate it with my (newly purchased) OEM license.

It’s also now spreading across my two screens perfectly - I thought that wasn’t possible on ARM!

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ColoradoMarmot
Champion
Champion

So that release will expire and you'll have to rebuild the VM again.

And - highly recommend using the tech preview, not fusion 13 for Windows arm, and following the instructions in the unofficial guide, not the official ones (which are out of date).

 

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