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Clone VM and switch license RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have Win7 Home Premium (GFC-00019) running in VM Workstation. It takes me a lot of time to get the system configured just right, so I'd like to clone it and run another copy simultaneously (instead of starting from scratch with a fresh Windows installation).

    I assume I'll need to buy another copy (GFC-00019), and enter in the license key on the cloned VM somehow? Is there a guide out there or can someone walk me through the steps?

    Is it possible to buy just the key? Google shopping shows some ~$30 results for "windows home premium license key", but I'm guessing these are not legit?

    Thanks!


    • Edited by glle1 Saturday, October 1, 2011 4:01 AM
    Saturday, October 1, 2011 3:58 AM

Answers

  • You need to read up on what differencing disks are before assuming that running differencing disks simultaneously is not allowed.  In fact, that is just what differencing disks are for.  Different people can run their own child disks (which are based on the same parent) or the same person can run several children.  The parent is licensed but the children do not require any additional licensing.  See:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/windows_vpc/archive/2009/11/24/virtual-hard-disks-vhds-in-windows-virtual-pc.aspx 

    If you copy a vm and run both the original and copy simultaneously you will have issues.  That's why you need to use sysprep.  Once again, I remind you that there is more involved than just the license.  Anything that needs to be unique to a computer (Security ID, MAC address, etc) becomes a problem when trying to run clones.  Again, I strongly suggest you use the forum for this at

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itprovirt/threads


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Saturday, October 1, 2011 4:14 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • "glle1" wrote in message news:ac2fdae0-303f-416a-96c6-c736b5114086...

    Hi,

    I have Win7 Home Premium (GFC-00019) running in VM Workstation. It takes me a lot of time to get the system configured just right, so I'd like to clone it and run another copy simultaneously (instead of starting from scratch with a fresh Windows installation).

    I assume I'll need to buy another copy (GFC-00019), and enter in the license key on the cloned VM somehow? Is there a guide out there or can someone walk me through the steps?

    Is it possible to buy just the key? Google shopping shows some ~$30 results for "windows home premium license key", but I'm guessing these are not legit?

    Thanks!


     
     
    Do NOT attempt to purchase cut-price Keys – they are almost all counterfeits or stolen MSDN Keys, especially from places like eBay and Amazon Marketplace.
     
    Since you say that you are running in a VM, you should have differencing available to you, and  therefore don’t need a second virtual  installation of Windows.
     
    Your only need is for the host OS to be licensed, and the VM to be licensed with a different Key.
    What WM software are you using?
    In VPC I make the VHD file read-only once I have an install I want to keep, and therefore have to change that before saving changes to the drive.
    In VirtualBox,  differencing is a lot simpler to implement safely
    I’m not familiar enough with VMWare to be able to comment – Colin may know more (he used to be a VPC MVP)

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Saturday, October 1, 2011 9:20 AM
    Moderator
  • You can purchase a genuine "Full Version" Windows 7 license from the Microsoft Store.  Then see: Update your Windows product key
    Carey Frisch
    Saturday, October 1, 2011 12:04 PM
    Moderator
  • "Carey Frisch" wrote in message news:8e8a0b8e-7edf-4697-8d91-e8a359a94692...
    You can purchase a genuine "Full Version" Windows 7 license from the Microsoft Store.  Then see: Update your Windows product key
    Carey Frisch
     
     
    ....and how does that address the OP’s actual questions?

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Saturday, October 1, 2011 12:37 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes it does.
    Carey Frisch
    Saturday, October 1, 2011 1:07 PM
    Moderator
  • Carey assumes that the OP will proceed as in his original question (cloning).  He may not have read your reply.  A lot of folks skip the intervening replies.  FWIW, the poster should sysprep before cloning as well should he go that route. 
    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Saturday, October 1, 2011 1:20 PM
    Answerer
  • It is not possible to legitimately buy just a key.  Websites purporting to do so are selling fraudulently obtained MSDN, TechNet, and other programmatic keys.  These keys are only valid when used by the subscriber.

    The price of a legitimate key is exactly the same as the entire copy of Windows.  If you think about your question you should see why.  The product key is the only unique portion of a copy of Windows.  The software is the same across copies of the same edition.  What you are really buying is the license.  Microsoft owns the software in any case.

    Microsoft requires that the key be sold with the software so you simply buy a copy of Windows even though you are providing the software yourself.

    It is easy to change the product key at the bottom of the system properties page.  However, more than the product key needs to change.  Especially if the old and new vms will be on the same network.

    If you are using the vms on the same computer then the parent/child format of differencing disks will, as Noel says, save you buying another copy of Windows.  For that reason you should take this question to the forum at

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itprovirt/threads

     


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Saturday, October 1, 2011 1:31 PM
    Answerer
  • Since you say that you are running in a VM, you should have differencing available to you, and  therefore don’t need a second virtual  installation of Windows.

     

    Thanks for the answers everyone!

     

    I don't think differencing (I think what VMWare calls Virtual Clone) is allowed if I run the machines simultaneously (I want to run them both at the same time). Is that not correct?

     

    Unless I'm wrong about that, it seems like my best bet is to Clone and do Update your Windows product key as Carey suggested. If I run into problems with that, I'll try Sysprep first as Cbarn suggested.





    • Edited by glle1 Saturday, October 1, 2011 4:12 PM
    Saturday, October 1, 2011 4:08 PM
  • You need to read up on what differencing disks are before assuming that running differencing disks simultaneously is not allowed.  In fact, that is just what differencing disks are for.  Different people can run their own child disks (which are based on the same parent) or the same person can run several children.  The parent is licensed but the children do not require any additional licensing.  See:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/windows_vpc/archive/2009/11/24/virtual-hard-disks-vhds-in-windows-virtual-pc.aspx 

    If you copy a vm and run both the original and copy simultaneously you will have issues.  That's why you need to use sysprep.  Once again, I remind you that there is more involved than just the license.  Anything that needs to be unique to a computer (Security ID, MAC address, etc) becomes a problem when trying to run clones.  Again, I strongly suggest you use the forum for this at

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itprovirt/threads


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Saturday, October 1, 2011 4:14 PM
    Answerer
  • Thanks, will try that forum.
    Saturday, October 1, 2011 4:17 PM