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 » 9. Sep 2011, 12:39

juliemckean wrote:If I could Move the Licensed and activated VM back to the newly re-imaged Host, I'd stand on my head and eat bug

That will never work. The hardware of your physical PC and your VM is radically different, the cumulative changes are bound to trigger a reactivation. This is under Microsoft's control: you would have to approach Microsoft if you want them to change their policy (and I wouldn't hold your breath while waiting for a positive answer).

I suggest you use something like Acronis if all you need is a drive image backup tool.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby juliemckean » 11. Sep 2011, 18:59

Alrighty then... I've been trying to add the VM uuid per previous posts. I'm seriously stuck. I can't manage the Guest VM from RDP in the Host. I've read about managing headless servers etc. 'Can't figure out what's wrong. Thanks.

Installed:
VirtualBox-4.1.2-73507-Win.exe
Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.1.2-73507.vbox-extpack
Guest Additions

RDP Setup:
Host and Guest:
Remote - Allow Remote Assistance
Remote Desktop - Allow connections from computers

Virtual Box:
Network -
Attached to: Host-only Adapter
VirtualBox / Display / Remote Display / Enable Server

Host:
cmd:
mstsc.exe

192.168.56.1 (host IP)
192.168.56.101:3389 (guest IP) this one used

RDP connection is successful

command issued in remote desktop dos window:
VBoxManage modifyvm Testing --hardwareuuid 05f2222c-9697-485b-b105-267a36c401fc

Error message:
c:\user\vboxmanage modifyvm 'vboxmanage' is not recognized as an internal or external command
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mpack » 12. Sep 2011, 11:08

What does this have to do with Windows reactivation?

This is not a discussion thread, it is intended for posting facts about VM changes which are known to provoke reactivation. Start a new topic if you wish to discuss something, especially if it's something totally unrelated!
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby juliemckean » 12. Sep 2011, 23:38

It has everything to do with Windows Reactivation. I'm trying to follow the information in previous posts to edit the VM UUID. I can't get the any of the commands to respond which tells me I'm not connecting or I need another extension pack installed. If I knew what was going on, I wouldn't be asking for help. If you prefer this post to be in another topic, I will. It seemed appropriate to me since many others have discussed editing to maintain activation.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby Perryg » 12. Sep 2011, 23:49

You need to be in the directory that actually has VBoxManage.exe to run that command or add that path to your environmental varibles.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mpack » 13. Sep 2011, 13:24

juliemckean wrote:It has everything to do with Windows Reactivation. I'm trying to follow the information in previous posts to edit the VM UUID

As I said before, this is not a discussion or support thread. The facts about the importance of the VM UUID were given: the detailed "how" of modifying it is a separate discussion which you should have elsewhere. If this thread becomes bogged down with peripheral trivia then all the useful data will be hidden and useless. I hope therefore that Perry's answer is enough for you.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby juliemckean » 13. Sep 2011, 22:52

Thanks perry. As I said I thought this was the correct thread and asked if not which is the best. I guess mpack thinks I'm trying to ruin his day. I'm just trying to learn.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby judyparfitt » 23. Sep 2011, 01:24

I activated Vista 32 bit, and set the hardward uuid = VM uuid as reported by VBoxManage list vms. I started cloning Vista and set each hardware uuid = its new unique VM uuid. Each would be activated. I only need one activated VM, however, I am curious why setting a hardware uuid to each subsequent VM uuid does not trigger reactivation. From the previous posts, I would have thought the first activated VM's hardware uuid would be used for all cloned VMs. But, it seems like once activated, the VM uuid = Hardware uuid in each VM. If this is true, why?
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mpack » 23. Sep 2011, 12:18

Why do you think that Vista cares about the VM UUID? XP certainly doesn't. This thread has only mentioned its importance to Win7.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby cioma » 19. Dec 2011, 12:10

I use Windows 7 x64 Ultimate OEM as a guest in RAW mode under Ubuntu 11.10 x64 (so I boot the same Windows image both directly and from VB).
Adding the following parameters to *.vbox configuration file made it not complain about registration:

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/ahci/0/Config/Port0/FirmwareRevision" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/ahci/0/Config/Port0/ModelNumber" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/ahci/0/Config/Port0/SerialNumber" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiBIOSFirmwareMajor" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiBIOSFirmwareMinor" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiBIOSReleaseDate" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiBIOSReleaseMajor" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiBIOSReleaseMinor" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiBIOSVendor" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiBIOSVersion" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiChassisAssetTag" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiChassisSerial" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiChassisVendor" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiChassisVersion" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiSystemFamily" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiSystemSKU" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiSystemSerial" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiSystemUuid" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiSystemVendor" value="value"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion" value="value"/>


I'm sure some (or most) of these parameters are not necessary but I didn't care to test it and just put everything in.

These links were extremely useful:
https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch09.html#changevpd
https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch09.html#changedmi
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby casolorz » 19. Dec 2011, 17:58

Just to add more info on this, recently I discovered that office 2010 activation can be affected by the hard drive serial number. Adding serial numbers on the vbox keeps reactivation from happening when copying the vm to other machines. I am not sure what else triggers it, all my hardware is identical but I do move vms around a lot.

<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/ahci/0/Config/Port0/ModelNumber" value="VBOX HARDDISK"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/ahci/0/Config/Port0/SerialNumber" value="VB35eb8g57-4c63b685 "/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/ahci/0/Config/Port1/ModelNumber" value="VBOX HARDDISK"/>
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal/Devices/ahci/0/Config/Port1/SerialNumber" value="VB42327376-0ege322d "/>

--Carlos
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mike_hore » 14. Feb 2012, 07:33

Just an update here -- apparently under VB 4.1 new VMs get an explicit machine uuid, different from the HD uuid. I regularly clone my VMs for backup, and I think what I did recently which triggered reactivation of WIndows 7, was that I actually started up one of my backup clones so that I could check some files. I then shut it down and went back to my regular VM. I guess that I should have disconnected the internet when I started up the clone, so Windows couldn't tell Microsoft anything...
Anyway, now I've reactivated WIndows and noted the machine uuid (I just opened my Windows.vbox file in a text editor to see the xml). I see that when VB clones a VM, it gives a new machine uuid and HD uuid (which makes sense, since that's how it keeps track of things). So now if I need to restore one of my backups to become my main VM again, after doing the restore, and with VB closed, I'll try restoring my saved machine uuid before launching the VM again. Hopefully that will work.
-- Mike.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mpack » 14. Feb 2012, 13:26

mike_hore wrote:Just an update here -- apparently under VB 4.1 new VMs get an explicit machine uuid, different from the HD uuid.

That has always been the case, there has been nothing new in that regard in VBox 4.x. Lots of managed objects are (and have always been) identified using UUIDs, including VMs and hdds. It should be obvious that a VM may have several disks - all of which have different UUIDs, and in any case you are allowed to swap disks - so the VM obviously needs a separate identification mechanism for itself.

The only recent change in the significance of the VM UUID (*) was not in VirtualBox, it was in Windows: specifically Windows 7 treats a VM UUID change as a major hardware change most probably triggering reactivation, which previous Windows versions did not. Previously, e.g. in retail XP, the hd UUID had a moderate influence on reactivation.

(*) And of course, VirtualBox did not support cloning prior to v4.1, so the side effects of cloning would naturally have been less visible.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby mike_hore » 15. Feb 2012, 08:48

mpack wrote:That has always been the case, there has been nothing new in that regard in VBox 4.x. Lots of managed objects are (and have always been) identified using UUIDs, including VMs and hdds. It should be obvious that a VM may have several disks - all of which have different UUIDs, and in any case you are allowed to swap disks - so the VM obviously needs a separate identification mechanism for itself.

Thanks for the clarification. Cheers.
-- Mike.
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Re: Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?

Postby DWade » 20. Mar 2012, 19:00

Ref: Editing UUIDs
Please note Libre Office or even the old OpenOffice edits the Virtual box files and xml just fine. If you change a machine UUID in the Virutal box file that runs the VM, you must also change that ID in the hidden folder in .virtualbox VirtualBox.xml.
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.

Also Reactivation can be done sooner than 120 days, it just requires a long time on the phone with Microsoft, you don't normaly have to explain why, but if you do, tell them the truth you changed your hardware.

I am going to see if my windows 7 32 bit vm can come on my windows laptop from the mac with out reactivation. it been some time since I tried, I just don't like to spend time with microsoft.
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