Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Discussions about using Windows guests in VirtualBox.

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mpack » 20. Mar 2012, 19:57

I don't understand with this bit ...

DWade wrote:but you can copy the files [VBoxManager] to folder or directory which ever you use,
from Oracle\Virtualbox\ and it's these files VBoxDDU.dll, VBoxRT.dll, VBoxManage.exe that are needed.


... is all about. It isn't relevant to the question of VM or hd UUIDs. In any case you should not copy VirtualBox executables around your PC. That only causes problems when you update VBox and forget to update the copied executables, then you come on here with some weird error symptoms that we will be completely unable to reproduce.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby Lauscher » 25. Mar 2012, 10:05

I found some interesting information about how Windows Vista counts hardware changes: Vista: Toleranz der Aktivierung bei Hardware-Tausch.
-------------------------------------------------
Festplatten-Seriennummer (VSN) 11
BIOS-ID (Mainboard) 9
IDE-Adapter 3
Hauptprozessor 3
Soundkarte 2
Netzwerkkarte 2
SCSI-Adapter 2
CD/DVD-ROM oder CD-RW 1
Grafikkarte 1
Ram amount 1
---------------------------------------------
Needed minimum 26
Possible Maximum 35

With ervery change of hardware, you loose some points. Whether you have less than 26 points, you have to reactivate. Windows 7 works similar, I think, with other amount of points und maybe some other hardware parts. Your experimentals in the posts before seems to show, Windows 7 counts more points on Bios-ID than on the VSN.

Once Windows 7 lost its activation, it don't come back giving it the old hardware.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mpack » 25. Mar 2012, 12:40

Lauscher wrote:Once Windows 7 lost its activation, it don't come back giving it the old hardware.

That seems to contradict the findings of earlier participants in this thread. It seems sensible to me that Win7 will record the hardware signature at last activation. So, and long as you don't reactivate with a changed signature then you should be able to go back to the original hardware recipe without having to activate again.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby Lauscher » 25. Mar 2012, 13:40

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
long as you don't reactivate with a changed signature then you should be able to go back to the original hardware recipe without having to activate again.

There was a test with a physical installed and activated Windows 7. After running it in VirtualBox, it reclaims reactivation because of changed hardware. It became virtual activation. After that, of course, it reclaims reactivation in physical mode (but didn't get it). Than running again in VirtualBox, it doesn't reclaim. Than running again physical, it does. Than running again virtual it does, too!
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mpack » 25. Mar 2012, 13:44

Sorry, I don't know what you mean by "reclaims activation". But of course, if you switch the same Win7 image back and forth between physical and virtual hardware then you'll keep getting the activation message on whichever side is not a match for the last activation.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby Lauscher » 25. Mar 2012, 14:01

Hello mpack, sorry, my english speaking ist not the best.
With "reclaims activation" I mean, Windows wants to get activated.
Switching between virtual and physical mode means, Windows is physical installed and runs in VirtualBox using raw disc access. So the same installation can be booted physical and virtual, like in this thread: Windows 7: In both VM and native (using Linux as host OS) -- VirtualBox 3.x
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mpack » 25. Mar 2012, 14:13

Yes, I'm aware of the scenario being considered. If Windows is prompting for reactivation when you switch between the two modes then Win7 is seeing hardware differences. I don't try to boot Windows from a physical partition, so I don't know how complete, accurate and up-to-date the linked "Howto" is.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby LenW » 20. Apr 2012, 01:23

I activated my Win7 guest (under vbox on a Linux host),
and there are NO files C:\Windows\System32\wpa.*
(I even checked that %WINDIR% is indeed C:\Windows .)
Does Win7 have similar files somewhere else?
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby Lauscher » 20. Apr 2012, 10:39

LenW wrote:I activated my Win7 guest (under vbox on a Linux host),
and there are NO files C:\Windows\System32\wpa.*

The wpa.*-files only exists in XP.

Does Win7 have similar files somewhere else?

Yes; but it's not enough to copy them. If you copy them back, Windows will be "angry".
You can use Advanced Tokens Manager to make a backup of your activation.
I don't know how good this program works, because I don't have Win7; it would be nice if you tell me whether it works for you.

## * Windows Vista: (Die Dateien sind versteckt; Option `Versteckte Dateien anzeigen` im Explorer aktivieren)
## * '''C:\WINDOWS\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareLicensing\tokens.dat'''
## * '''C:\WINDOWS\system32\spp\tokens\pkeyconfig\pkeyconfig.xrm-ms'''
## * Bei der 64-Bit-Version außerdem '''C:\WINDOWS\SysWOW64\spp\tokens\pkeyconfig\pkeyconfig.xrm-ms'''
## * Windows 7: (Die Dateien sind versteckt; Option `Versteckte Dateien anzeigen` im Explorer aktivieren)
## * '''C:\WINDOWS\ServiceProfiles\NetWorkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\tokens.dat'''
## * '''C:\WINDOWS\system32\spp\tokens\pkeyconfig\pkeyconfig.xrm-ms'''
## * Bei der 64-Bit-Version außerdem '''C:\WINDOWS\SysWOW64\spp\tokens\pkeyconfig\pkeyconfig.xrm-ms'''
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby PNutts » 10. Jun 2012, 06:39

Lauscher wrote:You can use Advanced Tokens Manager to make a backup of your activation.
I don't know how good this program works, because I don't have Win7; it would be nice if you tell me whether it works for you.


I use Advanced Tokens Manager on my host (Win 7 x64 Ulitmate) with no issues. I've not tried it on a Win 7 guest and now you have me curious so I'll give it a try. If you are a do-it-yourselfer there are Windows 7 Enterprise 90 day trial downloads.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby Lauscher » 10. Jun 2012, 11:55

PNutts wrote:[

I use Advanced Tokens Manager on my host (Win 7 x64 Ulitmate) with no issues
.
Thank you for your replay! Did you only used it to make a backup or did you ever used it to recover a lost activation on your system?
I've not tried it on a Win 7 guest and now you have me curious so I'll give it a try.

I think, if it works on a physical installed Windows, it should work in VirtualBox, too.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer there are Windows 7 Enterprise 90 day trial downloads.

I don't have an activation code, so I cannot test whether it works myself ;-) (I only have XP with activation code).
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Re: Activation issues with Windows guests.

Postby Moose_Valley » 21. Oct 2013, 04:50

Sasquatch wrote:Windows XP VLK doesn't have activation. I have one thanks to my school and installed it on several systems, never got an activation question after installation, or a few years running. So trying to trigger one with that will of course never work.


Same here (I'm also a teacher). None of my Windows XP installs (numerous PCs, laptops, VMs, etc) have ever required activation.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mpack » 21. Oct 2013, 13:02

In the XP era, it's basically only retail XP that always requires activation. Some OEM XP images (main royalty branded ones such as HP, Dell) are node locked to a particular BIOS and will give you the activation message if used elsewhere (and likely cannot be activated). OTOH the OEM XP Pro SP2 license that I bought to use in VMs has never asked to be activated.

Not sure about Vista, but for Win7 and later it seems that all Win7 images need to be activated, regardless of marketing channel. And they also seem prone to suddenly deciding that your Win7 VM is not running genuine Windows, despite it being a completely genuine install. I shudder to think what Win8 is going to be like.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby j.ledun » 23. Oct 2013, 10:37

[Moved to "Discuss the 4.3.0 Release" topic]
Hey !

I'm working since more than 1 year with my Win7 64 bits guest (arch linux 64 bits host). I originally activated it with the activation code provided for my Laptop, I've never had trouble with that.

And now, after VirtualBox 4.3 update, my Win7 guest is asking me to activate it again. What's happening ?

I've updated virtualbox + extension pack + guest additions on all my machines.
Last edited by j.ledun on 23. Oct 2013, 13:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mpack » 23. Oct 2013, 12:01

Sorry, that question is off topic. This thread is about deliberate changes and their effects, your issue is a bug or design change that looks like it's present in VirtualBox v4.3.0. New release bugs should be discussed in a version specific discussion forum (I just created one for 4.3.0).
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