Why does XP think the Hardware has changed?

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by Sculler, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. Sculler


    I have had this happen twice. Set up a valid version of XP as a virtual machine and used it for days or weeks ( both ) then bring it up and it decides that there have been significant hardware changes and wants to reactivate with Microsoft.

    Why does this happen? Is there a fix for it?

    So far my solutions have been to either revert to an earlier clone of the same system or as in the most recent setup revert to an earlier snapshot. I'm really not interested in calling Microsoft to reactivate.

    Regarding the snapshot, it seems to be ok now that it is up. But I don't know that it won't do this again the next time I start up.
  2. Sculler


    Microsoft Reactivation required?

    I think I have found at least part of the problem. I have both a Windows 2003 server and Windows XP set up as VM in Parallels. Both are legal systems. If I start the 2003 server first, it takes over the CD-Rom and some other resources. If I then start up the XP system I get a dialog box from Parallels stating that the CD isn't available. I select OK and then log into Windows XP.. At this point Windows XP decides that the hardware has had to many changes in the past 30 days and wants to register with Microsoft.

    The network setup is probably disrupted at this point. The Windows system for going to Microsoft and registering gets locked in a loop looking for Proxy settings and never manages to contact Microsoft.

    I suspect that the network problem is what triggers this. A CD-rom change should not trigger the hardware change issue while a network change carries more weight in this regard.

    If I exit the routine, shut down the 2003 server and roll back the XP system the XP system goes back to work and the Hardware change issue goes away. As long as I start up the XP system first, both the XP VM and the 2003 VM work properly and every thing is ok.

    So the new short question. Is there any thing I can do so that the XP system can be started after the 2003 server system without falling into this problem?

    The current Parallels build is 5160. MS patches on XP and 2003 are up to date. both systems are allocated as 512 MB ram on a 2 Gig Mac. The Mac disk has 56 Gigs free and the 2003 system has 20 Gigs of free disk. The XP VM has 50 Gigs of free disk.


  3. Archy

    Archy Super Moderator

    Hello Sculler,

    Unfortunately I can't give you any workaround at this moment.

    I'll try to reporduce your problem on my own Mac and talk with developers about causes of this problem.

    Please help me to investigate and answer two questions:
    1. What are your network types in both VMs: bridged, shared or host-only?
    2. Please disable CD-ROM in XP VM configuration and try again. Does this problem still occur?

    Thank you.
  4. Sculler


    Hi Archy,

    The network is setup with one adaptor in Shared mode.
    The current setting for the CD are enabled, connect at startup. I disabled it and that change was enough to triggered the windows error. In this case this was the only VM running so I didn't bother with the server.

    I rolled it back to the image create 9/24, reconnected the CD and the system came up. ok.

    I then set it up to Not reconnect the CD at startup and brought the system up and this change triggered the error.

    I rolled it back again. Put the settings back to the original. CD-rom, connect at startup. Booted the system and it came up no error.

    So it appears that as long as I bring this system up first and don't make any changes it should be OK. To verify that it is still viable, I started up and shut it down several times. As long as I don't mess with the CD and bring it up first it seems to be ok.

    When I first set this VM up I gave it 768 Mbytes ram. I reduced it to 512 to better share the resources among the mac and other VMs. This may be a contributing factor in the MS hardware calculation.


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