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 TeXnik » 23. Mar 2017, 11:56

I converted a running Win7 to a VM. Of course that triggered activation. I was not able to activate online. Only the phone option was working. When I told the employee of MS my intention to move Windows to a virtual machine and not using a physical PC anymore activation was possible.

Several updates of virtualbox caused no problem. Only the last one to 5.1.18 r114002 (Qt5.5.1) triggered activation again. I assume the issue is with the virtual drivers, which can be seen as hardware change.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby The Nostalgia Master » 17. Jan 2021, 02:46

I know these VMs are actually VMware, but the following would apply to VirtualBox as well:

I converted an old af Windows XP laptop into a VM. It asked to be activated within three days. I went to activate Windows online and it worked. For real. That was over a month ago and Windows did not ask to be activated since then.

As for my Windows 7 laptop, it ended up saying "this copy of Windows is not genuine" after a while. Internet activation did not work, (Mod edit: ixnay on the ack-cray uff-stay) I felt kinda bad about having to resort to that.

A few things to note:
- I increased the RAM on my Windows XP VM. Did not trigger reactivation.
- I increased the RAM AND number of cores on my Windows 7 VM. Did not trigger reactivation either.

There are other factors which came into play but I will not mention them here as they are VMware-exclusive. What I noted here is either applicable to Virtualbox or a universal thing with VMs.
Last edited by scottgus1 on 18. Jan 2021, 00:09, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: removed reference to getting around activation
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby scottgus1 » 18. Jan 2021, 00:14

Nostalgia, I tweaked some stuff in your post. We don't allow discussion of bypassing licensing terms here, it tends to irritate the licensors' lawyers, and we don't want to rile up the lawyers.

As for the laptop not activating that's probably expected. Laptop OS's are usually OEM licenses which are only supposed to be activated on the original hardware. Some manufacturers even lock the OS to the BIOS so it won't even boot if not on the original hardware.
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