How to keep activation when moving XP from laptop to Virtualbox?

Discussion in 'Virtualization' started by pierdon, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. pierdon

    pierdon MDL Novice

    Jan 27, 2014
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    #1 pierdon, Jan 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
    I have a retail XP Pro installed on my laptop (I formatted and installed over the original OEM XP Home), but the video board failed so I moved a copy of the drive image to another PC in a Virtualbox VM where I had to reactivate.

    Now a few weeks later, I have repaired the laptop, but I haven't reconnected to the internet yet because I don't want to have any conflicts with XP activation. Now that I've moved and reactivated XP in Virtualbox, I assume that my previously activated XP system on the laptop hardware will be deactivated when I connect. Is that right or how does that work?

    I have an activated wpa.dbl and wpa.bak on both systems now as long as one of the systems stays offline. If I only use one system online at a time, will they stay activated or will they phone home every time I connect to the internet and deactivate?

    I do want to go back to using my laptop system as my primary XP system, but I would like to keep the Virtualbox active while I'm syncing the data and to keep as a backup in case of another hardware failure.

    Is it possible and what's the best way to clone the laptop activation hardware hash, so that I can occasionally run the Virtualbox system and keep the same activation without having to reactivate either the Virtualbox or the physical hardware every time I switch between the two?

    (Worst case, I can probably do a fresh install of my old, original OEM Home disc, but I have so much installed and configured on my XP Pro system that it would be difficult to migrate and some of the installed software may not move.)
     
  2. urie

    urie Moderator
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  3. pierdon

    pierdon MDL Novice

    Jan 27, 2014
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    Thank you. Will these methods work with my current Retail version install or only OEM?
     
  4. urie

    urie Moderator
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    #4 urie, Jan 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
    You can convert your current pro installation on laptop to OEM:SLP using VLK-and-OEMBIOS-changer and keep you retail version on VM or you can convert both and and then you will have spare retail key that you can use again. But you will need to look at VirtualBox-SLP-amp-SLIC
     
  5. pierdon

    pierdon MDL Novice

    Jan 27, 2014
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    Ok, thanks again. I'll read through those links to see which is the best option for me.
     
  6. kelorgo

    kelorgo MDL Addicted

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    #6 kelorgo, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
    What urie is recommending does not address your situation directly. Those methods are generally applicable for activating XP without a proper license (ie. pirate). Since you do have a valid retail license, let's discuss that in detail.

    First, from a legal point of view. As you probably know, a retail license is transferable, i.e. you may move it between computers as many times as you want, as long as you only use it on one computer at a time. In principle you can install it on a different computer every few hours, as long as you uninstall from the previous one each time.

    Now from a practical point, how Microsoft enforces this. The activation servers have an undisclosed limit on how many times they will activate the same license in rapid succession on different computers. Some people claim it's 5, some claim it's 10. Also, after a certain time (rumoured to be a year), the count is reset. Microsoft doesn't give exact details.

    In Windows XP a new activation, if successful, does not deactivate a previous computer. Once activated, a system stays activated forever, and there is no online check to see if there are subsequent activations.

    There is also genuine advantage (otherwise known as validation), which is required for some online services such as some downloads from Microsoft. As far as I know, this also does not check for the number of machines activated, only to see if your product key is blocked or not.

    Finally, you can't share the activation data between different computers.

    In conclusion: if your key is only used on two computers, they will both stay activated. This is technically against your license, but possible in practice. What you shouldn't do is repeatedly and several times alternately activate on two computers, for example due to multiple reinstalls or frequent hardware changes.
     
  7. pierdon

    pierdon MDL Novice

    Jan 27, 2014
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    #7 pierdon, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
    (OP)
    Thank you for the helpful advice, kelorgo. In this case, it sounds like I shouldn't worry about the physical laptop system being deactivated due to the temporary Virtualbox activation. I suppose the best option to keep both systems active is to re-install my unused original OEM Home version on my laptop and try to migrate as much as possible. Otherwise, it may be better just to keep the virtual machine as an offline backup in case I have another hardware failure.
     
  8. kelorgo

    kelorgo MDL Addicted

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    You can just use both the laptop and the Virtualbox VM, they will both stay active.
     
  9. urie

    urie Moderator
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    @ kelorgo, thanks for your input but I still don't see the line when you talk about pirated and activating a retail licence on two machines same thing.

    I know if retail you can transfer licence to another machine and officially old machine should be scrubbed and reinstalled with other licence.
    They way you have worded this is as if you can install windows xp with retail key on any number of machines and you will not lose activation.

    But then you mention do not change to much hardware that eventually requires reactivation.
    Anyway the pros and cons don't matter all I was saying is pierdon has a machine with branded machine that can activate via OEM:SLP I would rather rely on that than wondering whether I lose activation because another machine is using my retail number.:rolleyes:
     
  10. kelorgo

    kelorgo MDL Addicted

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    Sure, installing the same retail key on two machines simultaneously is piracy too, as it's against the license, you are absolutely right about that. I merely wanted to explain to pierdon what his options are with his retail key (which are simple), before he goes reading up on OEM:SLP activation etc. (which can be complex).
    That is correct. In theory, you can activate your retail key on any number of machines, if done slowly enough (over years). Old machines don't get deactivated just because of the new activations.
    Yes, because if you do something to an old machine that makes it require a reactivation, that reactivation may not be possible at the time (if you reach the limit).

    Example:
    Let's assume that Microsoft allows 5 activations with 1 retail key in rapid succession. I could activate it on 5 machines, A, B, C, D and E, and they would all stay activated, as long as I don't touch them. However, if soon after activating E, I change the hardware on A so that it requires reactivation, it won't be possible, because it's perceived as an activation attempt on a 6th machine.

    So what I was saying is this: if you activate two machines, and don't fiddle with their hardware, they will both stay activated. If you fiddle with their hardware, so that they require reactivation, you may end up hitting the limit on the number of activations.
     
  11. urie

    urie Moderator
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  12. pierdon

    pierdon MDL Novice

    Jan 27, 2014
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    Thanks again to both of you for the conversation and links. Now I have enough information to plan ahead and avoid this problem in the future.

    When my laptop video board failed I had file and image backups and the drive itself was still working, but I hadn't prepared the system to move to a virtual machine. Without video, the system wouldn't even boot to allow remote access, so I had to convert the existing drive image to run in Virtualbox.

    Now that my laptop is actually running again, I know I should also backup as much of the bios and hardware details as I can. I'll keep the activated virtual machine image as a backup because if the hardware fails again and I have to convert a newer drive image that would mean yet another activation. I'd like to avoid that and as long as my laptop is running I'll only be using one system.
     
  13. urie

    urie Moderator
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    #13 urie, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    Yet another activation that is why I pointed you to OEM:SLP activation doesn't matter hardware changes as long it is branded motherboard i,e, Dell, HP, Asus for example and you have that already in your laptop.

    And if you patched Virtualbox bios then no problems what so ever just a shame you do not use VMWare there is an easy to use patcher available on MDL Modded-Vmware-Workstation-Player-Multi-Brand-Bios-Installer or even without patching VMWare bios you can add string to vmware..vmx file
    Code:
    SMBIOS.reflectHost = TRUE
     
  14. kelorgo

    kelorgo MDL Addicted

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    It is a lot easier to use an SLP string and SLIC table on VirtualBox than on VMware. On VirtualBox, you can simply add them in the VM's configuration file, no need to modify any binaries. It is a shame that so many more people prefer to use VMware when achieving OEM:SLP activation on VirtualBox is so much easier.
     
  15. GDVX

    GDVX MDL Novice

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    But, if you must use VMware for some reason . . . is there a good guide on what we need to do ?
     
  16. kelorgo

    kelorgo MDL Addicted

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