Windows 10 Bootcamp VM can't validate!

Discussion in 'Windows Virtual Machine' started by imacken, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. Mike Boreham

    Mike Boreham Pro

    I set up a VM from my Win 10 Pro Bootcamp, which was activated by upgrade from Win 7 ultimate retail DVD.
    I went to activation in the VM and saw the "couldn't activate" red writing, with option to buy from Microsoft Store.
    I went along the buy from Store route to see the cost (£189). This involved signing in to my Microsoft account.
    At that point there was also a clickable link saying "I already have a valid license"
    So I clicked that and was asked for my product key.
    I entered the product key from the Windows 7 DVD ultimate retail box, more in hope than expectation.
    Then it reported "this PC is now activated using the key in your Microsoft account", or similar.
    Booted back to Bootcamp ...still activated
    Booted back to VM sill activated.
    Office 365 is also activated with no special steps.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  2. RichardJ6

    RichardJ6 Bit poster

    I'm a recent discoverer of this thread, and as a prospective Parallels customer (with the hope of using Boot Camp in both the VM and native capacity, as purported and openly advertised by Parallels as a feature) I find the experiences listed here an invaluable resource and warning. In opening, and to all involved in this thread, a thanks for your contributions.
    Thank you.
    Only upon finding this thread and information (among other limited sources) is it even apparent that there is a problem with Windows 10 in VM environments. Upon calls to both sales and support staff at Parallels, in my own experience, the common script is that there is no such issue, and that Parallels full functionality as advertised is to be expected upon install - including the full functionality of both BC VM in conjunction with the continued usage of native BC, with no mention of any Windows 10 activation conflicts whatsoever once both are running.
    Based on the experiences outlined in this thread, such continued falsehoods seem beyond reproach.
    And so, with so much ongoing mis- or dis-information circling, perhaps it would be best to begin with an updated (January 2017) question for this thread, and then a suggestion; both of which could hopefully help any other prospective (and patiently waiting) buyers/users/customers such as myself:

    Is the primary problem outlined in this thread* yet resolved?
    *(The "primary problem" obviously being the hardware-based activation of Windows 10 - apparently mainly or especially from upgrade versions as this thread would imply - being problematic, conflicted and/or impossible with a single Microsoft license under Parallels Boot-Camp-pointed VM, as I read/understand it.)

    -- If No, then --
    Throughout this thread (yes I've read it in its entirety), the only consistency seems to have remained inconsistency; inconsistency from Parallels support, inconsistency from Microsoft support, inconsistency in approach, success and failure on the parts of users; disrespected, unsupported, guinea-pig-forced users. Some users - whether by chance or through exercises in extreme patience and pain - seem to have realized successes, while others continue to head-bash solid walls of corporate apathy, incompetence, misunderstanding or downright greed deceit and denial.
    Not at all uncommon in the Microsoft and PC development world, this would hardly be the first time that knowledge of and accountability for conflicts had been blatantly denied and shifted at the corporate level, at the suffering and abandonment of end users - regardless of where "blame" truly lies. But regardless of blame and where it does belong, companies often remain shiftless in such examples as this, regardless of what end users need and cry out for. And so, in an attempt to refrain from further counter-productive finger-pointing (which the two parties involved, here, seem determined to continue to employ quite effectively as a tool to avoid responsibility, repercussion and any change in profitability much less development), I wonder if a summary page or post or poll focused on this thread's "alumni" might be constructive at this time to consolidate this ongoing volume and ordeal into something visible and consistent? A kind of "survey of the sufferers" to see where this problem currently stands?
    And so...

    Summary poll or post of this thread's users - successful or no - and key elements of their experiences (perhaps as a sticky header).
    What I suggest might be something inclusive of the following crucial and consistent information:
    - User name
    - SUCCESS or FAILURE made clear in title or header line
    - Version of Parallels used in attempt
    - Type of Windows 10 installation(s) attempted for both BC VM and native BC activations (examples: Upgrade from Win"X", Clean Win10 installation from purchase, Enterprise edition, Education edition, etc.)
    - Type of activation technique(s) used or attempted (examples: Online activation, Phone activation, Command line slui 4, Command line slui 3, Other command line(s), some combination of any/all, etc.)
    - Other anecdotal details, relevant process descriptions or content

    Invited to commit entries would be any and all who have had experience with the core activation issue(s); successful and unsuccessful alike; past or present; living, dead, departed or lost from this thread. (Especially those who have left the thread, no matter the reason. Often, stories of great frustration or great success can be the most valuable of all.) And perhaps a running tally of successes vs. failures might excite the admins as well (since none seem to frequently participate).
    I believe with this kind of summary from users in this thread who have seen success or failure, a better picture might be formed of what works and and why, what doesn't work and why; and equally importantly might represent a demonstration of end-user empathy and solidarity where it is not otherwise a current component of "support" from other sources during a time of frustration and waiting for final solutions.
    I know that I, for one, would benefit from a single-view kind of summation like this, which included users' actual successes and failures in a consolidated format of some kind.

    I also know that - based on what I've seen here - I won't be touching Parallels (trialware or otherwise) until I know this core issue is truly resolved. (And neither will I, for one, be participating in the guinea-pigging to find out if it has. I leave that to you brave and dedicated souls. If someone wants to provide a test machine I'd be more than willing and capable. But not with my currently cultivated and grass-fed setup. No way. My second unanswered question on the "will Parallels work for me" list is: "Does Parallels alter my Boot Camp installation in any permanent way, and can it be uninstalled without affect or trace, if or as desired?" Judging from experiences here I don't know that I'd trust ANY answer from support at this point. I shouldn't have to consider utilizing backups and images as a necessity just to install, run, or uninstall VM software cleanly and safely. As a precaution? Yes. As a necessity? No. The subsequent question should always be, "What's wrong with the software causing such a necessity, and is it, therefore worth installing?" )
    The ability to use Windows 10 as a VM within macOS is a powerful tool. It allows all the advantages of a great and tested Apple product to be devoted to and used with Windows OS, with little to no sacrifice in performance, and often with enhancement and improved experience with the guest machine.
    But there remains an inescapable list of reasons to continue to use and have access to Windows 10 via a solid standalone Boot Camp partition and installation as well; not least of which are full hardware and resource utilization as needed and on demand, full driver and graphics utilization without restriction, and full standalone Windows operability in general and as desired and as paid for. This is the only autonomy that matters; and expectations of settling for anything less than full functionality from great hardware because of a software or OS licensing issue is ridiculous. Mac users scoff at such notions, and pay nothing to do so - with benefits and upgrades included - and (if anyone in this pay-for-upgrades model is listening) they should.
    And, again, this ongoing issue is not only not listed as a known deficiency, it continues to be advertised as a feature.
    Maybe Parallels version 12 has resolved these issues with Windows 10 licensing activation, maybe it hasn't. But I have not yet found verification of either condition under a series of circumstances. And until I do, the prospect of using Parallels "experimentally", or by sacrificing original Boot Camp operability will remain an unacceptably restrictive approach to running Windows 10 on a Mac; and it will remain a deal breaker.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  3. Mike Boreham

    Mike Boreham Pro

    This long thread contains a lot of posts reporting activation problems, but these posts stopped in September. The only post since September is my post #161 immediately preceding yours, and where I posted success.

    Maybe Parallels or Microsoft have fixed something since September. I think you will have to try for yourself.
  4. RichardJ6

    RichardJ6 Bit poster

    @Mike Boreham
    Your post (#161) suggests you have used two license keys (Win10 upgrade license for native BC, Win7 original DVD license for BC VM) to achieve the stated goal of the thread (running BC VM and native BC at the same time).
    Is this the case?
    Mike Boreham likes this.
  5. Mike Boreham

    Mike Boreham Pro


    No, only the one license from the Windows 7 Retail DVD,

    You probably have that impression because when I found the Parallels VM was not activated, I went to the Microsoft Store just to see how much a second license would be. While doing that (and without buying a second license), and importantly signing in to my MS account, I noticed the option to click "I already have a license" and that led to successful activation of the VM with the same product key as the Bootcamp.

    I think it is important that both the Bootcamp and Parallels are signed in to the same Microsoft account and that the product key is associated with that MS account.

    What I do find now is after switching between Parallels and Bootcamp I get a message that I need to "Fix" my Microsoft Account, which just means signing in a again.
  6. RichardJ6

    RichardJ6 Bit poster

    I have that impression because you had stated that you upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10, which usually implies a "digital entitlement" process, which (I thought) required no product key for activation on the part of the user, but was still somehow signed separately at the server or Microsoft level to maintain record.
    ...Yet, a key was apparently required for your BC VM "not really buying" version of activation. Which you supplied from your original Win7 installations disc and via a "sign in" process to a Microsoft account.

    I, myself, have not created any Microsoft account to "sign in" to. Is this an unstated requirement of successful recognition of installations in virtualizations such as this? Single-license, multi-license, digital entitlement or otherwise?

    Additionally, with a stand alone Windows 10 single-license installation (not an upgrade), I find myself in a similar situation to "mgol" (see post #159 and #160). And while I appreciate the workaround apparently accommodated there (though we're still not sure it was successful, as "mgol" still hadn't attempted to boot into native BC in the last episode), I have no desire to activate my BC VM installation of Windows 10 in any other format than what it is - Windows 10 Pro (not Home, Enterprise, Education or other). Nor do have any intention of allowing remote connection to my machine by an agent. (I'm capable of any and all modifications to my system myself. Remote access not required or desired, thanks.)
    My stand alone copy of Windows 10 was obviously activated with a key. And I'm quite sure any other activation process (virtual or otherwise) for my Windows copy would also require a key. Whether it is the same or a separate/paid-again situation remains the unanswered question. Determining whether single-license activation is possible remains the primary interest I have in this thread, and I simply have to insist that that answer is acquired without a personal guinea-pigging investment on my part. (The secondary question of whether uninstalling Parallels after any failed attempts would permanently alter a native BC installation remains unanswered as well.)

    And so, I still wonder if anyone has yet found success with Windows 10 activation on both BC VM and native BC under these conditions? That is:
    - Stand alone, non-upgrade Windows 10 single-license key
    - Not requiring a "this is not the same version of Windows", or "don't mind the man behind the curtain" trick to force a second, agent-provided key (again, assuming that worked in the first place)

    (Maybe I'll search the thread again.)
  7. Mike Boreham

    Mike Boreham Pro

    I don't know whether being signed in to a Microsoft account is a requirement for having a simultaneous activation in BootCamp and Parallels, only that it worked for me. In both places the Activation Window states "Windows is activated with a digital licence linked to your Microsoft account". They were both activated with the same Windows 7 Retail DVD key which activates Windows 10 by Digital Entitlement.

    Having said that I have just tried and failed to do the same thing on my other Mac using the same Microsoft account but a different Windows 7 Home Retail DVD Product key. I initially activated successfully in Bootcamp from a local account then signed in to my Microsoft account and the Activation words changed to the above. But when I tried to activate in Parallels it failed, even when signed in. Tried lots of things.

    I suspect there are two possible reasons why it worked on my first computer but not my second:
    1. The "trick" doesn't work if there is more than one product key associated with the Microsoft account.
    2. On my first computer there was a considerable period of time between activating in Bootcamp and activating in Parallels, probably 6months to a year. I know many activation schemes have time limits built into them to prevent misuse. On my second computer I was trying to activate Bootcamp and Parallels the same day.

    On my second computer I have now activated the Parallels VM using a spare Windows 8.1 Home product key.

    Microsoft activation continues to be a nightmare.
  8. RichardJ6

    RichardJ6 Bit poster

    It would seem so.

    The most logical conclusion I can find, also. I can't see any other avenue for Microsoft to take with their current model, really. They truly seem to have painted themselves (or their user base) into a corner again. The only workaround I would guess might bypass this would be the creation of a second account. And then, would that solve the issue? Would the keys not be associated with a "previous" registration process elsewhere? Or a previous usage or usage attempt of a key? If not, "luck" prevails again?
    I keep thinking of corporate or business accounts (where VMs are paramount, IT for example) and their needs being hindered, but then remind myself that they all have enterprise accounts with far fewer restrictions and multiple allowances for physical or virtual machines.
    ...So I guess the only end users being hurt by this move are the home and home-office single-license holders. ...So, "No big deal." ?
    (What percentage of Windows sales is constituted by the latter, again? ...Maybe it is actually considerably smaller than what I imagine it to be, and thus the "we don't care" shift? ...Might explain alot.)

    I see. So do you think there is some time component involved in successful activation using this method? I.e. waiting for X amount of time or more "clears" a key for usage again?
    (Not that that is a reasonable option in any way. Just curious about your thoughts.)

    Past empathy, full sympathy goes out for ongoing issues of others experiencing this "new paradigm" of Windows authentication and security "advancement".
    So what are non-upgrade license holders doing, then, to have this functionality with Parallels? Other than calling and pleading for Microsoft mercy to get a second activation key (for a different OS?), are they actually buying second licenses (such as imacken, post #157) and paying for Windows twice?
    I can't abide this. Just so unacceptable at a fundamental level. This kind of thing, again, would never happen in Macland. Not even possible in the model. Such a contrast. ...But then, those tend to abound.
    Barring becoming part of the fleecing, I think I'll just continue to use native Boot Camp, and continue to wait and hope and search... with nice, inexpensive* words.
    *(to both pocketbook and soul)
  9. Mike Boreham

    Mike Boreham Pro

    I thought about creating a second account, but my Office 365 is on my main Microsoft account, so I wouldn't have been able to have Office on the second computer. Incidentally, under Office 365 I have five activations. The second computer (which would not activate with the Bootcamp product key, but did with a spare different product key) also requires a separate Office activation from the Bootcamp. So on computer one, Windows and Office are treated as the same installation in Parallels and Bootcamp, and on Computer two, they are treated as different machines.

    I know some software has a restriction on how many activations can be carried in a calendar period, like six months or a year. Photoshop used to be like this, and so did an earlier version of Office, 2007 or 2010. Obviously companies are secretive about the rules, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is one of the factors in our problems.
  10. Mike Boreham

    Mike Boreham Pro

    Discovered this is wrong. Office 365 sign in is not the same as Microsoft Account sign in. I have just signed out of my MS account and into a local account and Office 365, and Onedrive continue to work. So creating a second Microsoft Account for the second computer might have been an option.
  11. AndrewC8

    AndrewC8 Bit poster

    I was getting the same so thought i'd take a look here. When trying to Activate I was getting an error message saying it wasn't able to do so. If I viewed the error message it displayed that it was "DNS name does not exist".
    This article worked for me :

    First time I tried I forgot to run command prompt as Administrator. 2nd time it worked straight away
  12. NoelM1

    NoelM1 Bit poster

    Seems legit o_O
    Thats not a partner site, and I don't believe they should be selling those licences.

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