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Legal copy of Windows about to become deactivated due to running it both natively in Bootcamp and via WMWare. How can I stop this?

Posted on 2010-09-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I'm running a totally legal legitimate version of Windows 7 inside Bootcamp on my Mac, but earlier today I noticed, that I could also run my Bootcamp partition and therefore the same Windows installation through VMWare. Both ways of using Windows serve different purposes and I would really like to be able to do both. However, to my horror, when running Windows on WMWare I've just received a warning, that says, that I must activate Windows within 3 days to continue using all Windows features.

How should I react to this warning and how can I get rid of it? I can't see myself doing anything wrong by using the same Windows installation on my own computer in two different ways, and surely I'm not the only one who needs to do this. I hope someone can help me with this issue before my Windows stops working...
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Question by:leppis75
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Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 33639455
I am assuming that you are using the retail version of Windows 7 with Bootcamp.

Please update whether you have installed VMware Fusion within Mac OS X and have installed Windows 7 as a Virtual Machine within Fusion.
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Author Comment

by:leppis75
ID: 33639575
Yes, it's a retail version Windows 7 Home Premium.

I had originally installed Windows in my Bootcamp, and today when I was looking if there would be an easy way to access it through VMWare, I noticed that my Bootcamp partition was available in the Virtual Machine library, but that it was "powered off". Now I have it "powered on", which I guess means, that I have installed it as a Virtual Machine.
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by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 33639794
Legitimately, you can run Windows 7 as a Host OS and run a limited number of VM instances on the same host using the hosted hypervisors such as VMware Workstation / VMware Server / Virtual PC, although I am not able to copy the URL where I read this information.

In this case, Windows 7 is being installed as a dual boot with Mac OS X.

I am not certain whether this making the VM detect as one running on a different hardware.
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Author Comment

by:leppis75
ID: 33639879
Can you tell me what would happen, if I activated the Windows version, that's running on the virtual machine, when the same product key is already being used on Bootcamp? Could this cause both "installations" of Windows to stop working? I'm wondering if the safest thing for now would just be to "power off" the Windows 7 virtual machine.
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vmwarun - Arun earned 2000 total points
ID: 33640665
Typically speaking, if you are running Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise with software assurance, then you can run 4 VMs on the host.

In this case, you would have to power down the VM since retail versions of Home Premium do not provide you with the option of running the multiple VM instances.

If you want to run Windows 7 as a Guest OS, then you would have to purchase additional license.
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