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Virtual PC 2007 on Vista Host - XP Activation Loop

Posted on 2007-03-28
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have Vitrual PC 2007 loaded on Vista Ultimate OS. I have several OS's already in use (Windows 2003 Server and Knoppix-STD). I am trying to get XP Pro working and I am running into an activation iussue.

I have activated the software, but every time I start the OS I get the dialog box that says I need to activate the software. When I say YES it eventually tells me I have already activated the software and logs me out (starting the loop). If I say NO it immediately logs me out (again, the loop).

I've tried copying a wpa.dbl from another working XP machine and get the same results. I've tried the registry hack to re-activate the OS. Again, same results.

How do I successfuly activate my version of XP Pro in my Virtual PC 2007 environment on a Vista Ultimate Host?
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Question by:ckd1191
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by:maninblac1
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Assuming you legally own a copy of XP pro, Microsoft provides a free download of XP pro for Virtual PC for the "purposes of testing with IE6 and/or IE7".  How legal is it to use this, i don't know, what are the limitations, i don't know.  But it will "likely" do what you want.

You can get the VHD from microsoft here.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=21EABB90-958F-4B64-B5F1-73D0A413C8EF&displaylang=en
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by:ckd1191
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Yes I have a legit copy of XP, and I need this setup to work long past the VPC experation date. I want to thank you for finding this work around, but it doesn't actually resolve my issue.

I am downloading the VPC now and will test it soon. How do I actually resove my activation issue?
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by:KCTS
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After activation make sure that when you save or switch off the Virtual PC you select the option to 'Shut down and save changes'.
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by:ckd1191
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I don't even get to that option. The system logs you off (not shuts you down) and logs you back on after activation. This is when the loop begins.

It continues with any reboot, restart, etc.
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Author Comment

by:ckd1191
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I downloaded and tried the Microsoft provided Virtual PC Image, and it will not work for my solution. It is SO limited in scope that I simply cannot use it. I went out to my MSDN site and they don't even have an image there that I could use.  :-(
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by:Alan Henderson
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Hello ckd1191,
I have XP Pro running under VPC 2007 on Vista Business.
I've had no problems whatsoever. Perhaps you have a corrupt installation.
Suggest you run System File Checker on XP and if that doesn't work start again with a new virtual machine installation.
I don't know whether or not it's relevant, but I always shut XP down (Winkeyy + U + U) from within the VM rather than closing the VM Window.

Good Luck.
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by:ckd1191
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I have re-installed multiple times, from multiple XP Pro discs. I have blasted Virtual PC 2007 and the virtual XP instances. All to no avail.

Care to FTP me your working copy?  :-)
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by:Alan Henderson
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Sorry, a 16GB .vhd file ftp is a bridge too far for my anaemic broadband service.  :o)
I've searched around, as you no doubt have. Can't find any reference to similar problems. It's a weird one.
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by:ckd1191
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I think I am just going to GHOST a working image, load it in LOCAL ONLY mode (as not to conflict with actual PC). I'll end up having to drop it into a workgroup, rename it, erset it to BRIDGED and have it join my domain (to reset security identifiers).
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by:Netman66
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The only time I've heard of this is when using a Vista Upgrade disk that requires XP to be installed - it invalidates the key once you upgrade it - making your XP key useless.

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by:Alan Henderson
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Sounds like the sort of sneaky trick MS would try Netman66, but my installation of Vista Business is an Upgrade and it didn't zap my XP Pro product key.
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by:LeeTutor
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When I took off my WinXP from my old pc, bought a new pc with Vista Ultimate on it, then wanted to reinstall XP as a virtual OS (using Microsoft's free download of Virtual Pc 2007), I figured that I would need to activate by phone in order to explain that I was reinstalling my retail version of XP on a new computer, so I went that route.  As it turned out, I never even talked with a live person; a "robot" led me through the steps, including the typing in of a 40 hex digit activation number.  No problem at all...

See this MSKB article and click on the link for How to Activate Windows XP by Phone, at the top:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307890
How to activate Windows XP
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Author Comment

by:ckd1191
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Well, I've never actually had a problem activating XP Pro. I can activate it all day long. Trust me, I did one day.

What I have a problem with is the aftermath of activating XP Pro in Virtual PC 2007...as detailed above in pretty specific terms.
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maninblac1 earned 168 total points
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What about importing the "activated" registry key from a current XP install.

Or try this,
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/312295
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by:LeeTutor
LeeTutor earned 166 total points
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I'm just saying that a personal call to Microsoft to activate XP may be of help (perhaps only if you don't get a "robot" that leads you through the activation process.)
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Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 166 total points
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Since you have access to MSDN use the Corp install of XP pro that is available.. or ahem use a corp key and you will have your activation problems finished.
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