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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 27. Dec 2015, 11:30
by mpack
HeadScratcher wrote:I have copied the 50+ gig VB directory to backup media, and could copy it back over to a new HDD if my current HDD were to fail.

Would this trigger a call for a Windows reactivation?

No, it wouldn't. Win7 would only want reactivation if the machine UUID changes, which won't happen as long as you keep the .vbox and .vdi files together. If you clone the VM (not the same as copying) or use the export/import feature then the VM UUID changes, and the machine UUID along with it... unless you have overridden the default machine UUID with an explicit UUID.

HeadScratcher wrote:A related question: let's say the SSD fails instead, and I install a slightly newer version of VirtualBox -- 5.0.12, say, instead of my current 5.0.2 -- on the new SSD, then try to point it to the VB directory on the HDD.

Would that trigger reactivation?

No. Updating software never affects data. In this case the VM UUID stored in the data file is not affected.

HeadScratcher wrote:I found a post elsewhere suggesting that I first fire up VBoxManage on the command line, then add a new hardware ID to my current installation through the command:

VBoxManage modifyvm --hardwareuuid


This new hardware ID will supposedly allow me to copy the VB folder without triggering activation calls. Sounds like an interesting experiment, but I'm worried that I'll trigger an activation call by adding a hardware ID that wasn't there before.

The whole point is to add an ID that was there before, so that it becomes explicit, not a variable default. The explicit setting is hopefully retained by cloning (I've never actually tested it, otherwise you'd have to correct the .vbox file manually).

If I was you I'd pick a VM where activation isn't an issue, say a Linux VM. Then I'd experiment with how to set an explicit hardware UUID such that it appears how I want when read by a DMI tool inside the guest. If you can do that you can do it for a Windows VM too.

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 27. Dec 2015, 12:32
by loukingjr
FWIW, I've been moving Windows guests back and forth between various hosts and as mpack said, as long as you keep the .vbox and .vdi files together, (I move the entire VM Folder), you won't need reactivation. I never have.

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 30. Dec 2015, 05:06
by HeadScratcher
Thank you!

loukingjr wrote:FWIW, I've been moving Windows guests back and forth between various hosts and as mpack said, as long as you keep the .vbox and .vdi files together, (I move the entire VM Folder), you won't need reactivation. I never have.

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 30. Dec 2015, 06:29
by loukingjr
welcome.

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 10. Jan 2016, 23:10
by Pipppero2007
Hi all,
I had a Win 7 that is activated.
I made four clones of it ("complete clone") and that four clones result all still correctly activated.
Why?
According to my reading of this topic W7 clones should want to be reactivated!
Maybe I need to to something to trigger the reactivation (Windows Update?).

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 11. Jan 2016, 00:19
by socratis
@Pipppero2007
There are some Windows distributions that are "pre-activated" and do not need activation. Where did you get your installation media from?

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 11. Jan 2016, 11:09
by mpack
I don't think I've heard of preactivated Win7s. I'm sure our IT guy told me you couldn't get site licenses for business etc anymore (post Vista) - obviously I don't buy site licenses myself, so I have no first hand knowledge. I too would be interested to know where this Win7 came from.

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 11. Jan 2016, 23:26
by Pipppero2007
socratis wrote:@Pipppero2007
There are some Windows distributions that are "pre-activated" and do not need activation. Where did you get your installation media from?

You are right and I will explain me better.
My host machine is genuine (original product key activated) but my VMs are activated with [REMOVED] (I use them a couple of days then I delete, I use them for experiments).
SO, I have a VM, I activate it with the loader and then I clone it many times.
The VM results all activated.
It's a normal behaviour?

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 11. Jan 2016, 23:31
by Perryg
@Pipppero2007,

No discussion on ways around legitimate installation or activation are allowed.
We can not be seen talking about or condoning such action.

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 12. Jan 2016, 00:00
by socratis
Well, thanks for the laugh in any case. I've seen a lot of people trying to bypass the activation for obvious reasons, but you got to be the first one that is looking on how to deactivate their Windows ;)

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 12. Jan 2016, 10:57
by mpack
The thing that throws me is, why come and admit to using a cracked version of Windows, and then ask why the cracked version doesn't need to be activated??? Say what?

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 12. Jan 2016, 21:55
by Pipppero2007
Sorry everyone, but as I told you a have a bought and paid version of Windows in every of my PCs.
On VB I use VMs that I use for a couple of days for experiments.
My was a curiosity about the activation made "in that way".
Anyway sorry, but also think, that who use VB is generally someone that make test on software to avoid to destroy the ordinary OS that contains precious data.
Sorry and thanks for this forum and for the excellent VB that help me everyday.

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 13. Jan 2016, 11:21
by mpack
The fact that you also own legitimate licenses doesn't make cracking a legitimate act. Depending on what legal jurisdiction you're in, it may still be an illegal act.

In any case, IME Windows gives you a period of grace before activation becomes mandatory - that period should have been plenty for quick tests, so that part of the story makes little sense to me.

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 20. Jul 2016, 03:41
by mingle
> There are some Windows distributions that are "pre-activated" and do not need activation. Where did you get your installation media from?

Yep, for my work I installed Win XP and later, Win 8.1, using a "Corporate Edition" distribution - no activation required.

Mike.

Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

PostPosted: 22. Jul 2016, 08:11
by ZeroEpoch
mingle wrote:A bit of an old thread, but one which I stumbled across while looking for solution to a recent problem I ran into with Windows 10...

Here's a summary of the issue I have:

I successfully upgraded my WIndows Guest from 8.1 to 10, I then created a 'backup' of the newly upgraded using the "Export Appliance..." option - all good.

Once I had a safe copy of my Windows 10 Upgrade, I then ran a clean install of Windows 10 onto of the Windows 10 Upgrade I just performed - all went well.

Both the Windows 10 Upgrade and Windows 10 clean-install activated successfully.

I then created another 'backup' of the clean Windows 10 Guest (I am a bit fussy when it comes to backing up after major changes to the system!) also using "Export Appliance...".

Then I completely removed the Windows 10 Guest from VirtualBox (Machine>Remove>Delete all files) so I could import the Windows 10 Upgrade Guest again (using "Import Appliance..."

It imported successfully.

However, once I booted into the Windows 10 Upgrade Guest, Windows 10 was no longer activated.

The questions I have are:

1: Is the "Export/Import Appliance" option the best way to create a 'backup' of a guest?
2: Is there any way to prevent the 'de-activation' of Windows after the "Appliance Import?""
3: Would it be better to use the "Clone" option, or to use an image backup program like Acronis True Image, from within the Guest, to create a safe backup?

Any suggestions or comments greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Mike.


This is exactly what I did! I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10, then reinstalled (clean install) by just replacing the drive with a new empty drive image. It was activated then I exported/imported after reinstalling Fedora and it became not activated. The only option it gave me was to change the product key, not the phone activation or something else. I guess that's probably due to the digital entitlement activation.

In my case I'm running Fedora 24 now as the primary OS on a computer that came with Windows 7 which I installed in the above mentioned VM and upgraded to Windows 10. I was able to recover activation on my own pretty quickly by just telling it to change the product key and providing the Windows 7 key under the battery. You need update 1151 or higher I think to use a Windows 7 key. I have no idea if it considered it a new upgrade or just found everything to be close enough to let it activate. Anyways I'd recommend anyone who upgraded then made the mistake of exporting/importing to try entering the original key again as a product key change and it should hopefully work.