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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

We're in the process of migrating a large number of users to a newer version of an important software package that introduces a large number of system changes. We need to be able to reliably re-create (run) the old environment for certain operations. So naturally I turned to a virtual machine setup. It's perfect for this.

I used vmware converter to create a virtual machine from a Dell ATG laptop. When I boot the vm in vmware workstation Windows XP tells me it needs to be activated. Obviously I can't use the product key from the laptop, it's still in use, and I as I understand the license is tied to the hardware in any case. However we do have MS volume licensing. How can I switch the laptop-vm from an OEM license to our Windows volume license? The activation wizard tells me the VL key I'm entering is invalid. I can't logon to the vm. After entering username and password I get presented with the activation wizard.

I think I could install our VL-windows overtop the OEM-Windows, but then I run the risk of contaminating the operating environment for our application. I think the actual risk of this is low, but I would certainly have to spend hours doing Windows Updates and applying software patches to get everything up to speed again. I'm hoping to avoid that.

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marked as duplicate by John Gardeniers, Mark Henderson Mar 31 '11 at 22:33

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1 Answer 1

You can try the Product Key Updater, but I have no idea if it will work. The PK Updater was written to convert nongenuine Volume License installations into Genuine Retail or OEM installations using a Genuine Retail or OEM Product Key. It sounds like you are trying to go in the opposite direction, converting nongenuine OEM installations into Genuine Volume Licensing installations, so it's anyone's guess if it will work. Here is a link: http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/selfhelp/PKUInstructions.aspx

The only other option I can think of would be to do a in-place upgrade, backing up data first

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