Our QA team requires Vista VMs for testing (installers, features, performance general compatibility, etc.). Physical PCs with Vista installed don't cut it since they make it difficult to roll back to specific points in the process.
The problem is that Vista's activation model is completely incompatible with this model. I haven't traced down exactly what causes Vista to deactivate itself, but it seems related to moving VMs between workstations. This happens a lot for us. It also seems to deactivate if we upgrade VMWare Workstation (unconfirmed).
We are an MSDN partner so we have plenty of product keys for Vista, but it's a huge pain to keep reactivating it. Even moreso since we make heavy use of snapshots (ie, reactivate it in one snapshot, then roll back to a different one and you have to reactivate again).
Has anyone found a way around this, or does VMWare have some tool I'm overlooking to keep Vista from panicking every time the desktop machine changes?
Finally, has anyone had this issue in ESX 3+?