Windows activation, moving VMs between computers

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by firestarter, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. firestarter

    firestarter Bit poster

    OK, I'll only be using Parallels at home, and only want to run a single Windows. I do have more than one Mac though, and if I store the VM hdd on a fileserver, then I was hoping that I'd be able to boot it as a guest OS from different machines.

    I'm happy to buy multiple copies of Parallel's software to do this (I think the price is a bargain) but wouldn't be keen on buying multiple XPs. And of course, having a different XP on each machine would invalidate my whole idea.

    So can XP see out of the VM, and detect if it's running on different hardware? Or does the inside of the VM look the same to XP, no matter where it's running?

    I did some searches for 'activation' but couldn't find an answer to this specific question.

  2. tgrogan

    tgrogan Pro

    XP can only see the virtual machine, so using a VM on different computers will not be detected by XP. You should be able to get away with updating too on a single copy. I do it with Office 2003 with no problems. I think from reading the Parallels license that you can use it at home however you want as long as it's not for business use. You would without a doubt be violating an XP license - but who cares - one billionaire who spends his time trying to bilk the world out of his next billion? You can never tell when he might be logging onto your virtual XPs thru his cleverly hidden back door and planning to sue you for $200 to add to his extream wealth. ;<)
  3. RandyS

    RandyS Member

    Well, I'll disregard all the ethical / moral parts (and expressly not state whether or how much or with which parts I agree or disagree) and just report that one person over on the Apple Boot Camp discussion forum said that they were able to activate the same XP serial number under Parallels and under Boot Camp. And obviously those two are not going to generate the same system identification signature.

    However, they did have to use phone-based activation. When they explained that they'd be using XP on a single computer in two different ways (and by definition could not be using both at the same time), the Microsoftian with whom they were speaking agreed that it was an acceptable use and provide the activation codes for both environments. Apparently there was a great deal of transcribing of long strings of numbers and letters.

    So if two different installations or invocations of a given Parallels VM will generate the same signature, then a single activation will suffice (technically), and I'd say you're within the spirit of the thing to use it this way. And again, it cannot be used simultaneously (unless you clone the disk image, but no one would do that, right?) by two users, so it seems to me to be "no harm, no foul." And if you did clone the disk image, then it's between you and your conscience. That probably wouldn't fly from a terms-of-use standpoint, it seems to me.

    Randall Schulz

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