Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Posts
    272
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts

    XP License/Activation on Virtual Machine

    After months of dithering, I finally got around to installing XP on a virtual machine (VM), using the license/product key from a very old (SP1a) copy of XP, previously installed on a long-since retired notebook computer. Of course, I did not use the original CD, but a slipstreamed copy including SP3 and all the latest hotfixes, etc. I expected to have problems with activation, but surprisingly this happened very swiftly over the web with no questions asked. My next task is to copy the VM to another computer, and see if that gives any problem; I suppose at least in theory that would violate the terms of the license?

    This may be of interest to others contemplating a similar approach...

    Chris

  2. Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 931 Times in 852 Posts
    If you have 2 copies on 2 PC's using the same license, even in VMs I would think this would indeed violate the Eula.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  4. #3
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,308
    Thanks
    130
    Thanked 1,159 Times in 1,067 Posts
    Yep, it should be a license violation.

  5. #4
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    460
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 33 Times in 33 Posts
    This may be of interest to others contemplating a similar approach...
    Contemplating? I wonder how the licensing works without corporate redistribution versions? One is not deploying it to workstations but copying a single license VM to another system. So how is an additional license acquired for the second copy? Especially when there are no non-corporate distribution channels for a product that hasn't been sold in that manner for what, a couple years now at least?

    In other words, how would one license the copy of the VM running on another system and more importantly, how would one pay for the license? Does Microsoft still have a "pay channel" for individuals running XP in VM?
    Or do they sort of stonewall it with the EULA; can't copy it and can't get another license if you do? I can only find mention of the corporate-type deployment from a server to many workstations.

    I guess one could acquire another copy of XP from a third party source and try to use that but I wonder what the ratio of legitimate copies to non-legitimate copies is these days. Is it wise to take that risk anymore? Especially when there is a freely distributed VM copy of XP from Microsoft that is far less likely to cause Microsoft support issues for a product they really don't want to be dealing with anymore.

    All these questions; that's what happens when a product and EULA for that product get really old, and some parts are still supported but many other parts of the product are not supported. One can go hardline and just stick to the implied EULA, but at some point it becomes like Prohibition did after several years of attempted enforcement; untenable.

  6. #5
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    798
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 28 Times in 26 Posts
    In a corporate environment, servers that host VMs are typcially run using a Windows Data Center license, and that license allows you to run as many Windows VM as you like on that machine without having to purchase additional licenses. You can even move VMs from one Data Cneter licensed machine to another.

    If you are running something else, for example VMWare on Windows Server, then each Windows VM must be licensed and paid for separately. But usually in that case the company purchases a site license that allows them X copies of Windows.

    Retail licenses are completely different. You can only run one copy on one machine, whether physical or virtual.

    OEM licenses are even more restrictive - you are restricted to running it on the hardware it was originally purchased for.

    Of course, you can freely copy a retail licensed Windows VM and run the copy provided you have another license key and you change the license key in the copy after you start it up. So the copying of the bits isn't an issue - it's the license key used to run it that it the issue.

    And yes I agree that this licensing scheme is a dinosaur in this modern age of ubiquitous virtual machines. But getting pigs to fly has a better chance of happening than getting MS to change its licensing agreements (without MS sticking its hands into your pockets and extracting yet more $$$s). I can see it now: buy Windows 8 Ultimate and get a license for unlimited XP/Vista/7/8 VMs, only 4 times as expensive as Windows 8 Home Advanced!

  7. #6
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    460
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 33 Times in 33 Posts
    Straight line, sure, no way around the EULA, I guess my question/contemplation/surmise/postulate is Microsoft is not going to lift a finger to stop anyone from making a couple extra VM copies of XP, its not hurting their hardware installs at all (well, I guess there could be a few who go through the trouble of setting the VM up on LINUX, but is that the type who is going to pay for a license regardless? Very low percentage there.
    The other factor is Microsoft doesn't sell individual consumer copies anymore; they took the last of their profits there years ago now so its a reseller who stands to profit...or lose; so licensing XP at this point is a nuisance at best for the company. Having a new licensed copy of XP activated can only cost the company profits now if they have to provide support for it for a couple more years.

    I think its a case where the EULA for XP now has Microsoft by the tail, largely because it is/was so overwhelming popular for about 3 times the normal lifespan of the "planned" obscurity of an OS. How long have they been trying to drop support now and can't...I think its finally going to work in 2014...at about 4 times the normal lifespan of an OS!

  8. #7
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Posts
    272
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
    I have now copied the VM with the XP guest to another computer, with a Win7 host. It runs just the same as on the original XP-host machine on which it was first installed. When I first ran the copied version, it did not ask me for a new key, nor did it try/fail to activate. Although as stated this is in breach of the EULA, my defense would be that I do have another unused copy of XP, but have no simple way to install it. Further, as noted, if I did not have this spare copy of XP, how would I go about getting (or paying for) another copy from M$?

    It does seem that M$ has perhaps lost interest in this. I had assumed that when I activated the old copy of XP on the original VM, I would at least have to phone M$ to approve, given that it was originally installed on a very different machine - can't get much more different than a VM on a dual-core desktop and an ancient Pentium-based laptop (since retired). But no. the activation was immediate with no questions asked...

    Chris

  9. #8
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,308
    Thanks
    130
    Thanked 1,159 Times in 1,067 Posts
    The machine is the VM, so it's the same. The fact that MS does not sell XP any longer is no reason to violate the license with the VMs that you have now.

  10. #9
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    460
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 33 Times in 33 Posts
    No, it sure isn't, and that's not the reason given either, at least not by me, and you can say the machine is the VM all you want, doesn't change the fact that it can't run without a host. The whole point is Microsoft would like nothing better than for XP in the hands of consumers to go away, having no economic interest in it for years now; "do what you want, just don't bother us."

    Hardware installs are a different matter because they can still potentially compete with other vested interests of Microsoft even though legitimate copies are all but extinct in the public marketplace...the logic there being that if one doesn't copy a VM, its possible for a licensed copy to compete against Microsoft's present interests because they do not sell it; plus as I said, there's the possibility of added support (read cost to Microsoft for $0 return) for a couple more years.

    Still waiting for someone to defeat the logic and not stand behind inapplicable words someone wrote down in a far distant time in far different circumstances.

  11. #10
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,308
    Thanks
    130
    Thanked 1,159 Times in 1,067 Posts
    You can spin it the way you want it, using multiple VMs without unique license keys is a violation of MS licensing terms, no matter how much you convince yourself otherwise.

  12. #11
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    460
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 33 Times in 33 Posts
    Well, ok, I don't know how many times I can say I know that, its true, no doubt, agree, 10-4, roger...not trying to convince myself or anyone else at all...just want someone to put up a counterpoint to my logic...and beginning to think there must not be any.
    I guess I'm too philosophical to be understood.

  13. #12
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,308
    Thanks
    130
    Thanked 1,159 Times in 1,067 Posts
    I suppose legality defies logic, sometimes, probably more often than what we would desire.

  14. #13
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    798
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 28 Times in 26 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by wartaaids View Post
    I do have another unused copy of XP, but have no simple way to install it.
    Retail copy? If so, then simply change the license key in the copied VM to be the key on your unused copy of XP. As I've mentioned before, the CD/DVD means nothing (despite the "don't copy under penalty of death" warnings on that piece of plastic), its the license key that's important. As long as you have a retail license key, and use it on only one installed/running copy of XP, you're fine. I have 2 retail keys for XP, one I use for dual boot, the other for a VM. I also have a retail key for Vista, but it languishes in the closet, I have no real desire to set up a Vista VM!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •