OEM Virtualization

I have a BDR.  Its been backing up my Windows 7 Pro OEM computer for 9 months.  In an emerency, how can I virtualize that (OEM) computer?  


(I tried this once on a 2003 Server OS and it wanted a Product Key before I could login.  Its OEM, so I dont have a key it liked.  What happens with Windows 7/8)
howmad2Asked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You cannot make a virtual machine that works and runs using an OEM Windows 7 that is always running. That would be 2 uses of one license and is not permitted.

I think you can convert a physical machine to virtual. That ditches the physical machine permanently. Now you are back to one license. The OEM license might complain about the hardware change.

I have any number of virtual machines and I use retail licenses for them. No issue that way. But then it is a different machine.

For you make Ghost backups on a USB hard drive. Use Ghost or comparable product.
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howmad2Author Commented:
How do you convert a physical to virtual?  Have you every done this before.....tried to virtualize OEM Windows 7 or 8?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If it is VMware Workstation you wish to use, you can get VMware Converter from www.vmware.com and install on the machine you wish to convert. Then you need to convert it to a target machine that has VMware.

If you are going to do this, you need to (a) backup the machine you intend to convert and (b) read the documentation carefully.

I have used Converter to resize a virtual machine, but I have not converted a real machine (no need).
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Interesting question this.....

Technically *ANY* Windows Physical machine can be converted to a virtual machine.....

if however, the license or software is OEM, it may need Re-Activation.....

and you may need to use a Retail or Volume License on the Virtual Machine....

BUT THIS DEPENDS on your COUNTRY or Origin....

In Europe Microsoft LOST in the Courts, and OEM does not apply......

So feel free to P2V, and ring Microsoft, and they'll re-activate your license!

and I've seen P2Ved OEM versions, and on the VM, Re-activation is tried and it works!!!!

It's been discussed on EE many times!

Please see my EE Articles

HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

However, you still cannot run both computers concurrently with a single license!
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howmad2Author Commented:
I am in the US.

How do I re-activate?  I have a computer purchased from Dell.  It has an OEM license.  If I go to System, my product ID is 88789-OEM-091823-09283409.  Theres a product key on the machine.

After I virtualize I can't login.. It wants a key.

Are you saying to call Microsoft to activate using the product key on the box?  

Or are you saying to virtualize the OEM windows 7  machine, and when locked out, buy a Volume license and  call it in to Microsoft to Activate?  Will this work even though the 'media' used the install the OS was OEM?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Are you saying to call Microsoft to activate using the product key on the box?  

Yes. (but as I mentioned, depends on your Country of Origin!)

Or are you saying to virtualize the OEM windows 7  machine, and when locked out, buy a Volume license and  call it in to Microsoft to Activate?  Will this work even though the 'media' used the install the OS was OEM?

You will need to use a retail or volume media, and perform a repair/re-install using that media and product key.

This is how Exchange Experts members have worked around this issue in the past.
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howmad2Author Commented:
to clarify.

I can virtualize Windows7/8 by calling in to microsoft using the product key off the box, then I can activate.


When would I use the repair install method?  What does the repair install do?  Is it usually successful?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I can virtualize Windows7/8 by calling in to microsoft using the product key off the box, then I can activate.

If they agree to help you! In the UK, they accommodate your request.

When would I use the repair install method?  What does the repair install do?  Is it usually successful?

To replace/repair/upgrade the OEM version with Retail or Volume, because you cannot Activate an OEM version.
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