I mostly run Linux, but had an old Win98 install i used very occasionally on a drive that i lost recently. No big deal, this time, i'll install it under VMWare player -- but it told me it expected to be on Dell Hardware. I'm not trying to pull anything, and I think its perfectly legal -- it really is the same exact box that I'm trying to do the restore to.
Is there a way to get the Dell restore disk to think its actually running on the original Dell hardware (which it is)? Does anyone know if it's just a matter of matching the same original RAM amount or.. perhaps some magic in the .vmx file?
Typically, OEM install CDs and OS recovery CDs are designed to place an operating system onto a PC with the factory configuration and defaults specific to that vendor. A VMware virtual machine provides a complete virtual PC for the operating system running in it. The vendor-specific hardware and BIOS components expected by the OEM software are not present inside the virtual machine, and the installation or restore cannot continue. This is also true for physical PCs. If you attempt to use one manufacturer's OEM install or OS recovery CD on a physical PC from different vendor, sometimes even just a different model by the same manufacturer, it will refuse to install. The best way to work around this problem is to install your Guest operating system with a full install CD, rather than using an OEM install or recovery CD.
The EULA agreement that comes with the OEM CD may contain a statement that does not allow you to install on another machine that it was not purchased with, this includes a virtual machine.
The funny thing is, I must've gotten real lucky because i did this before successfully
at work -- albeit with a newer version of Windows and ample RAM. That's why I'm wondering
if there's one magic setting that does the trick -- match the RAM quantity, the old MAC
address, or somesuch. (The MAC address seems very unlikely since that would create
a duplicate with the running system.)
Well, you one-upped me -- i only did it successfully on the Dell box itself under VMWare,
though it was Win XP or somesuch. I didn't mind calling M$ for the reactivation keys.
I still expect there's a trick to it, though surfing around the restore CD didn't get me
an easy answer from a readable .bat file or somesuch. I don't think i'll go to the trouble
of disassambly of their setup.com -- i'm sure i could spend my time more constructively,
and if not, then there's always TV.
Another way to try might be, if you have a spare HD, to load your Dell/other OEM disk on that. Then, Ghost it or P2V it into a VM. Of course, you will then have to call M$ to reactivate it. Just a thought...