RipVega
Contributor
Contributor

XP Installation on Macbook Pro

I've just purchased a copy of WIndows XP Pro and before I install it I have a question about the Microsoft licence.

If I install under bootcamp the licence will 'register' the installation with a snapshot of the hardware so that it can't be instaled elsewhere.

If I create a new VM instead, will the hardware snapshot be the same so that I can then install under bootcamp if necessary, and vice versa, or do I need 2 XP licences?

Thank you.

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6 Replies
asatoran
Immortal
Immortal

Fusion has a mechanism to deal with using a Boot Camp installation of Windows XP or Vista in a virtual machine. So you don't need to have two copies of Windows. I believe that only XP & Vista 32bit are supported (Whatever Apple supported in Boot Camp. Correct me if I'm wrong.) The catch is applications that detect hardware changes (e.g.: MS Office 2007) will require reactivation and are NOT handled by the mechanism in Fusion. Take a look at this post for the steps to do when installing and activating.

RipVega
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you for the reply.

I have installed XP, without activating, as a new VM (no bootcamp) and the programs I need to run all work great (in fact, better than they did on a PC!).

So, I don't really want a bootcamp installation now. Is it OK to now activate XP Pro with my key?

If I decide to create another XP Pro VM, will the key work again for activation?

I've still got 13 days before I need to activate.

Thanks for your help.

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asatoran
Immortal
Immortal

Since you have not activated the key yet, you may reinstall Windows using the same key. Wherever you decide on your final installation, that's when you activate Windows. Once you've activated the key, then you cannot (legally) install and activate that new installation of Windows again, unless you delete the previous installation.

Simple answer, install Windows as many times as you want with the same key. But you can only activate one of them. All other non-activated installations can be used for 30 days (for XP, 45(?) for Vista.)

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WoodyZ
Immortal
Immortal

If I decide to create another XP Pro VM, will the key work again for activation?

Unless you have a Volume License Key then that Product Key can only be used on one install of Windows XP at at time. Meaning without a VLK multiple installs using the same Product Key while maintaining previous installs, physical or virtual violate the EULA and can cause WPA issue depending on the version of Windows.

If you want to run multiple installs the you need a VLK (used up to the number of seats it's valid for) or separate Product Keys for each install.

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RipVega
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the responses. I'm almost clear now.

If I activate my VM install, the activation will record the hardware configuration.

If I subsequently delete that VM and create another one, will the activation see the same configuration or will activation fail as it it thinks it's a different machine?

Alternatively, could I create a bootcamp install with minimal disc space and then creat multiple VMs using the bootcamp install for the OS? (I'm not clear how to do that part - bootcamp I can handle).

Thankks for all the help.

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asatoran
Immortal
Immortal

That's not the way Windows activation works. MS stores whether a particular CD key has been used or not. If you try to activate a key a second time, activation will fail because MS records that you've installed Windows more than once. What the hardware thing is all about is Windows will attempt to contact the activation servers again when it detects that your hardware has changed by a significant amount.

Think of it this way. If I build 20 identical machines, install Windows with the same CD key and try to activate them all, the activation servers will fail the last 19 because I'm only allowed to use the key once. It doesn't matter that it's "the same hardware." It's the multiple activations that make you l"ook like a pirate." Or if the activation servers receive a request to activate twice, but each request has different hardware, is that one installation, where I replaced the motherboard? Or is that someone installing twice with the same CD key? (IOW, pirated copy of Windows.) The activation servers have criteria to determine if it will allow the second activation or not.

The exception is to install WIndows in a Boot Camp Partition, then use Fusion to run the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine. This is allowed because you didn't really install Windows twice. (Think of it like physically moving one hard drive between two different physical computers. That's just one installation of Windows since it can't be used on both computers simultaneously.) In all other examples you cite, you're installing multiple instances of Windows, which is why you cannot reactivate legally, unless you delete the previous installation. However the additional activations may require a phone call to Microsoft.

So the simple answer is you cannot activate the CD key more than once without deleting previous installations. You need mulitple licenses to legally install and activate Windows in mulitple virtual machines or physical machines. Multiple license are either multiple CD keys or a volume license.

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