Virtualizing old Windows XP PC into VMware ESXi Virtual Machine licensing question.

Hi All,

I'm planning to deploy Windows XP VM on my current VMware ESXi server and I wonder what sort of license do I need to use ( strictly one Serial number per VM ).

This plan is for replacing all of the old desktop PC that is now used as test PC into Virtual Machine. When I contacted my Reseller, they said that Windows XP is no longer available all around the world so buying OEM Windows 7 license and adding VECD (Virtual Enterprise Centralized Desktop ) subscription is the way to go here. (URL:

I heard that by P2V convert those old PC and attaching the OEM sticker on the server is not valid ?

can annyone shed some light here please ?

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Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
The same licenseing applies to a virtual machine as it does a regular machine, so yes one key per VM.

I would use your OEM license key, just convert the pc, i'm not sure if you are supposed to but for conversions it may be ok, maybe not for rebuilds.

Regarding OEMs see this blog entry:

Transfer rights and OEM software are two  topic that have been discussed here on the Blog quite a bit over the  years, so I thought I would put this post together to directly address  this question on OEM Windows licenses and transferability.; Bottom line  is, no, OEM Microsoft Windows licenses do not have any transfer rights  and live and die on the original computer they are shipped with and  installed on, period.

(Except in Germany: Yes, in Germany specifically, OEM  licenses can be transferred.; This does apply to Germany specifically  though, so everywhere else it holds true that OEM licenses cannot be  transferred to a different computer.)


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Tolomir is correct; you cannot use your OEM for a VM, unfortunately. That license stays with the OEM (physical) machine and cannot be transferred. You would have to purchase a separate license per VM to be compliant.

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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Tolomir is correct, you can't transfer OEM licensing.  In addition, when you P2V you will not be ablet to activate unless you do a repair with a VLK CD and a VLK license.
Regarding buying windows XP:

you get them as used for $58 and new for $71....

And this is a 1st example....

Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
Good article Tolimer, I wonder how many people actually relicense or just use carry on using the OEM keys.

jjozAuthor Commented:
Wow, thanks guys for the quick response.
@Tolomir, how come there is a second hand / used Windows XP license available ? sounds not valid since license cannot be copied or transferred without the sticker ? sounds to good to be true to get those licenses to be used as VM.
cmiiw guys I'm confused that is why I post this in this forum.
Not sure about those used OEM licenses.

It should be safe though to get used full versions and new oems.

jjozAuthor Commented:
All i want to do is Virtualizing the old hardware (Windows XP only) not Windows 7 or migrating the license.

Today I spoke with my reseller to get the VECD/VDA license but then it seems they're not sure if the existing Windows 7 can be down graded into XP ?

so in this case i shall get the new OEM license of Windows XP and then covered with the VECD agreement ?
How about this:

Microsoft Extends  Windows 7 to XP Downgrade,8090.html


jjozAuthor Commented:
wow, i shall get the Windows 7 and VECD license soon :-)
i guess my reseller must read this topic.. LOL
or he should subscribe to this site ;-)
Btw. I also think that getting windows 7 licenses now is a better idea then investing any money in windows xp.

If you downgrade to windows xp that is no financial issue you can always dump those old versions sometimes and use the windows 7 licenses instead.

jjozAuthor Commented:
Yes Tolomir,
you're right, the only reason I install XP is that the current test machine before going to production is using old Win XP desktop (P4) therefore I still need to maintain the Windows XP in my current environment.
jjozAuthor Commented:


yes it is sounds cheaper by paying the subscription only (assuming the bare metal PC use VMware view 4 ?)

If we get Windows VECD/VDA then we dont need to have Windows7 as the OS ???.

my understanding is that VECD/VDA is the full L+SA, meaning we dont have to have a full underlying OS on the device. VECD/VDA is all that is needed for a device not covered with SA ?  
Sorry I'm not familiar with VECD license conditions.
TolomirAdministratorCommented: all can do is think and guess, but this might be not enough for a reliable answer....
jjozAuthor Commented:
ok, thanks to all for the reply

this is what my reseller suggest:

Legalisation product - allows seamless upgrade to genuine version, can be used for Home or Pro Contains 1 x COA label, 1 media & 1 EULA    

jjozAuthor Commented:
Thanks mate !
jjozAuthor Commented:
Can we say that connecting to the Windows Vista VM or Windows 7 VM using old Win XP laptop covered by the VDA licenses is called VDI ?

I wonder if that is the most common and valid deployment in using VDI with the VECD/VDA license.
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