Windows 10 activation issues with Boot Camp and Parallels

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by MarkN8, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. MarkN8

    MarkN8 Bit Poster

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    I have Windows 10 Pro installed on Boot Camp on my MacBook Pro. Yesterday, I downloaded the 14 day trial of Parallels. I tried the feature where I can run my Boot Camp Windows within Parallels (without importing it to Parallels). When using Windows within Parallels, Windows reports that it is not activated. Microsoft says that I can use a product key for only one device for Windows 10, and that a VM and Boot Camp count as two devices.

    So - is there a way to activate my Parallels Windows? Do I need to choose to have either a VM or Boot Camp, or can I have one key activate both? If I must choose one or the other, is there a way in which I can import my Boot Camp partition into Parallels, delete the Boot Camp partition to save space, and use my product key in my new VM?

    Thanks!
     
  2. AJ@Parallels

    AJ@Parallels Kilo Poster

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    Hello MarkN8, Windows activation is completely with Microsoft licensing policy, As Microsoft informed that your license key can be used only in one device then you can import the boot camp partition into Parallels completely and then delete the Bootcamp partition ( refer to https://bit.ly/2QWpEFM for assistance ). For activating the virtual machine you can reset the key either login to your Microsoft account and reset the license key or contact Microsoft support for assistance.
     
  3. PaulA2

    PaulA2 Bit Poster

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    I found that Windows sees a Bootcamp activated Windows 10 installation as one set of hardware, and a different set of hardware when run through the Parallels VM process. Although it will throw the not activated error, Windows 10 will still be functional, and when you return to booting directly into Bootcamp from Mac restart, it will reactivate. I like to run pure Bootcamp for Windows applications I need some horsepower from, but also like to be able to quickly pop into that same Win10 install direct from Parallels to go do something lightweight, activation warnings be damned!

    Paul
     
  4. kavyaM

    kavyaM Kilo Poster

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    Please follow the steps in the article https://kb.parallels.com/9703 to resolve the issue.
     
  5. SWANDY

    SWANDY Kilo Poster

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    I read the article BUT, I am seeing what PaulA2 also sees - Windows 10 Home shows as ACTIVATED properly when booted directly to the BootCamp installation after an iMac restart but if I am on the MacOS side (Catalina and Parallels 15 both completely updated) and start Windows 10 under Parallels, it shows as not activated. And your article does not address how to correct that - it instructs how to do an activation, which I have already done successfully BEFORE setting up Windows 10 BootCamp to run via Parallels.
     
  6. SWANDY

    SWANDY Kilo Poster

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    I re-read the article but what happens if I have already activated the BootCamp partition? Your instructions seem to indicate to avoid this "issue" you have to install and activate Windows 10 first using the Parallels access to Windows.
     
  7. PaulA2

    PaulA2 Bit Poster

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    Seems to not be a critical issue, more of an annoyance. Windows 10 seems to be happy to run unactivated, but I think you lose the ability to set a custom desktop theme or picture.

    Paul
     
  8. SWANDY

    SWANDY Kilo Poster

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    Well I also installed ICloud for Windows to be able to see various docs and files that I have on the Mac side in Windows and everytime I start Windows with Parallels I also get error messages from that. And the next time I use Bootcamp to get to Windows the Bootcamp tray icon is missing and I have to reinstall the Apple Bootcamp drivers. Just not worth the inconvenience.
     
  9. MorningA

    MorningA Bit Poster

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    I tried the feature where I can run my Boot Camp Windows within Parallels (without importing it to Parallels). When using Windows within Parallels, Windows reports that it is not activated. Microsoft says that I can use a product key for only one device for Windows 10, and that a VM and Boot Camp count as two devices.
     
  10. JamesH44

    JamesH44 Bit Poster

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    I have the same issue. Seems Windows 10 thinks I have a hardware change when I run the Boot Camp partition in Parallels. There's no problem with activation when I boot directly from Boot Camp, and no way to resolve this issue from what I've read here and from the Windows troubleshooting work I've done that is provided by M$. I activated Windows from the iso file installation so there is no product key.
     
  11. Maria@Parallels

    Maria@Parallels Kilo Poster

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    Hello guys, did you check this KB article?
    Please let us know if it's not that case.
     
  12. JamesH44

    JamesH44 Bit Poster

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    The article pointed to having a license key, which I said I do not have. My license is a digital license.
     
  13. Maria@Parallels

    Maria@Parallels Kilo Poster

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  14. JamesH44

    JamesH44 Bit Poster

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    Finally got it to work. It took many tries. Thank you.
     
    Maria@Parallels likes this.
  15. Maria@Parallels

    Maria@Parallels Kilo Poster

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    Thanks a lot for share your results and please let us know if you have any additional questions.
     
  16. WalterR7

    WalterR7 Bit Poster

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    Microsoft license policy is that you have to pay the full price Windows license for every virtual machine you have, no matter how long it lasts.
    Seriously, I checked with them to confirm this when I realized the meaning of the license terms.
    It is common for me to want to create customized virtual machines configured to match the software that someone else has, and then to throw away that VM after I have finished with it. Microsoft says that I have to pay the Windows license fee for each and every one of those.
    The Microsoft solution to this problem is to get yourself registered under something like Open Value Subscription (minimum order 5!), which can be configured to be licensed to the person -- allowing that person to use the tools on any system (and therefore on multiple virtual machines.)
    The least expensive price I was able to find for the program was, if I recall correctly, $CDN13000 for two years. And, IIRC, it did not cover use of Office (which, by the way, also considers each different VM to require a separate license.)
     
  17. WalterR7

    WalterR7 Bit Poster

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    In practice, Microsoft appears to key off of the MAC of the "first" Ethernet interface. You can configure the MAC of your VM specifically under the Hardware configuration tab, Network, advanced properties. The default is to "share" the network with the host, but that does not use the host MAC. If you turn off "Share" then you can see the MAC, and it will have been randomized when the VM was created; you can change it to any MAC you want... other than all-zero or one of the multicast MAC, and advisedly not the same as the MAC of the host (that leads to subtle errors.)
    That is, as best I can tell, if you create two VM with the same MAC, then Microsoft will still ask you to activate each of them, but when you activate the second with the same license key used for the first, it will not complain that the activation is already in use.
    However, because you effectively cannot use the same MAC for VM and host, you need a separate license for booting directly into Bootcamp than for your VMs.
    Also, you cannot have two simultaneously-active VMs with the same MAC.
    Thus, the number of licenses you need appears to be:
    • one for booting directly to bootcamp (for performance reasons. Or to access a GPU. Or to play games that are not supported by Parallels.)
    • one for each simultaneously-active Windows VM
    I am not currently aware of any way to use the same Windows license for direct booting to bootcamp together and also running a VM under Parallels.
     

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