Windows – What will happen if I activate the Windows XP VM


I made a Windows VM with Virtualbox in Ubuntu linux. I used the install disc that came with my laptop (I have a paid license for Windows XP). When I started my VM for the first time, it asked me to activate Windows, and said it will stop working in a month if I don't do this.

Is the a maximum number of times I can activate a VM?
Am I legally allowed to run Windows in a VM with my laptop's license?
I have a dual-boot set up–if I activate my VM, can I continue to use Windows natively?

Best Answer

  • You can activate Windows XP a handful (between 2-5, I have had different results) of times on different hardware or a generous amount if on the same hardware as the last activation (I did it at least 10 times without a problem.)

    If you have a genuine reason for doing it and reach the limit, ring Microsoft on the free number and they are more than happy to allow you to continue / reset the counter. Activation is annoying and I am against it, but Microsoft have a better implementation than a few other companies and they will only block keys that are massively and obviously abused / overused.

    That being said, if it was an OEM edition that came with your laptop and not a fully licensed copy, it would not be allowed for you to install this on a different machine - unless the VM is on the original machine (I guess - as it is running on the machine it was licensed for)... That being said, licensing drives me crazy and I do not know the finer details.