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Windows 7: Virtualizing Windows 7 Home OEM

19 Aug 2012   #1
sfeg

Win7 Pro x64
 
 
Virtualizing Windows 7 Home OEM

I have a laptop running Windows 7 Home OEM, and I'm considering the following configurations (whichever is possible... advice is appreciated):

  1. BASE = Dual Boot of Win7 OEM + Linux
    • Plus a Windows 7 VM inside the Linux side
    • But will I be able to use my OEM key twice, as long as they are not ever running at the same time?
  2. BASE = Linux
    • Plus a Windows 7 VM inside
Will I be able to install the Windows OEM as a VM from my recovery disks? Or do I need to create the recovery media onto a USB drive?


Or will I have to actually create an image first?


Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Aug 2012   #2
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

If we're talking legally, it does depend on the country you're in and where you purchased Windows. In general, though, OEM licenses are licensed on the machine they were first installed and activated on, and can't legally be moved other than with the entire PC (again, depends on your country of origin - there are a few countries in the world where this is NOT true). Moving to a virtual environment would be a replacement of the motherboard (technically, as the VM is it's own machine, and not considered, at least by the "hardware", to be the same PC), which would invalidate the OEM licensing agreement in (most) countries.

Now, as to whether or not you *could* do this, it is of course possible. But to answer your question, officially this would not be OK in (most) countries as per the licensing agreement you made with the OEM and Microsoft when you purchased that PC with the OEM license of Windows on it .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2012   #3
sfeg

Win7 Pro x64
 
 

I'd be okay with removing the Windows 7 OEM from the base HD, installing Linux instead, and running the Win7 OEM as just a VM. I don't think Toshiba would care as long as I'm running it only once on the machine. My warranty is over, so I'm not going to be calling them anyway.

However, an IT colleague told me that the VM won't be able to recognize my OEM Windows, which is configured for the Toshiba motherboard, as most OEM Windows are. The VM won't be able to see the motherboard, supposedly. Any idea whether this is true?

I supposed I could try all this, but I'd rather not semi-trash the drive only to realize it's all for naught, and I'm not even sure that my recovery disks for the OEM will be able to reinstall to a wiped drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Aug 2012   #4
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there
Since VM "Hardware" is pretty standard - you'll certainly be able to install your OEM disk (lucky you got one - these days you very rarely get a Windows physical disk any more).

It will (but not necessarily so) ask for activation -- then you *could be* hosed up .

If it won't activate automatically (it might !!!) what you could do is activate by phone -- just tell the operator you had a mega machine crash and are re-installing -- even for an OEM license this should work -- people are allowed to add memory disk drives etc to OEM machines without requiring a new license. They will usally allow activation -- but only activate after you've decided on your base VM configuration.

You can create your VM from an ISO image too if that's easier -- Use the VM software's "Create Virtual Machine" Wizard.

If you don't have a proper Windows install disk then use something like VMware's Create Virtual machine image from physical machine (FREE) or use ACRONIS to create an image and restore to your Virtual machine using the Universal restore feature - this allows restoring an image to different hardware.

Here's how to create a VM from your physical machine.

http://www.addictivetips.com/windows...ox-virtual-pc/

(In the VM set the Bios to boot from the restored image when creating your VM).

Now as to whether any of this breaks the EULA -- that's a question between you and "your maker".

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2012   #5
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Why don't you just leave Windows where it is and run Linux in the VM? Most versions of Linux such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint run very well in a VM. Also Linux in a VM will run with fewer resources allocated to it than Windows in a VM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2012   #6
sfeg

Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
Why don't you just leave Windows where it is and run Linux in the VM? Most versions of Linux such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint run very well in a VM. Also Linux in a VM will run with fewer resources allocated to it than Windows in a VM.
A Linux colleague told me that it is safer to run Linux as the base with Win7 as the VM. Because the VM's data still gets passed through the base OS somehow (I can't remember why or how). Can you confirm?

So when it's Win7 as base and Linux as VM, the security flaws of Win7 continue to have a prominent presence.

Nevertheless, the ideal scenario IMO would be a dual boot machine, then add a Win7 VM on the Linux partition, as well as a Linux VM on the Win7 partition. So 4 OSs one computer. But I don't know if the OEM Win7 key can be used twice... maybe as long as I never run them at the same time? or extend the 30-day trial period... it can be done for up to 120 days, supposedly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2012   #7
sfeg

Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
Since VM "Hardware" is pretty standard - you'll certainly be able to install your OEM disk (lucky you got one - these days you very rarely get a Windows physical disk any more).

It will (but not necessarily so) ask for activation -- then you *could be* hosed up .

If it won't activate automatically (it might !!!) what you could do is activate by phone -- just tell the operator you had a mega machine crash and are re-installing -- even for an OEM license this should work -- people are allowed to add memory disk drives etc to OEM machines without requiring a new license. They will usally allow activation -- but only activate after you've decided on your base VM configuration.

You can create your VM from an ISO image too if that's easier -- Use the VM software's "Create Virtual Machine" Wizard.

If you don't have a proper Windows install disk then use something like VMware's Create Virtual machine image from physical machine (FREE) or use ACRONIS to create an image and restore to your Virtual machine using the Universal restore feature - this allows restoring an image to different hardware.

Here's how to create a VM from your physical machine.

AddictiveTips » Blog ArchiveConvert & Use Your Physical Machine In VMware, VirtualBox & Virtual PC

(In the VM set the Bios to boot from the restored image when creating your VM).

Now as to whether any of this breaks the EULA -- that's a question between you and "your maker".

Cheers
jimbo
I actually don't have the Win7 Home OEM disk. I had to create recovery software (from the recovery partition). It is on 4 DVDs right now... will that work? There is the alternative option to create them onto a backup flash drive instead, so it's one file.

But for a VM install, is recovery software going to work as well, i.e. be the same as installing Windows7? What about installing an image instead, as you imply?

I know how to create an image using the Windows "backup image" creator. I also like the link you provided which gives the option to convert your base OS into a VM. Either way, Imaging would certainly save time compared to a fresh install (lots of my programs need configuring).

"VMware provides a free utility called VMware vCenter Converter for physical to virtual machine conversions. It has the ability to create a VMware Disk image of the entire system, including installed drives, local drives, configured hardware and software components, installed applications and more."

Do the sizes of both images need to be the same? I always had the impression that images took up the same disk space as their original. If so, one would need first to shrink the base OS's C partition, in order to make a smaller image. (For example, shrink from 500GB to 200GB then image). Then re-install that to your Win7 base after re-extending its C partition to larger (up to 300GB or 500GB again?), or install to a separate larger Linux partition. What do you think?

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2012   #8
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sfeg View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
Why don't you just leave Windows where it is and run Linux in the VM? Most versions of Linux such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint run very well in a VM. Also Linux in a VM will run with fewer resources allocated to it than Windows in a VM.
A Linux colleague told me that it is safer to run Linux as the base with Win7 as the VM. Because the VM's data still gets passed through the base OS somehow (I can't remember why or how). Can you confirm?

So when it's Win7 as base and Linux as VM, the security flaws of Win7 continue to have a prominent presence.
There are a couple of points of contact between the host and the VM. The first is the internet connection which it shares with the host. The second is any shared folders you may set up. The main reasons Windows gets more viruses than Linux is that viruses tend to be targeted at Windows. A decent AV and firewall will protect you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2012   #9
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Linux (any distro) being more secure than Windows is determined more by the user or admin using it, and what you do (or do not) install on it. Out of the box, most Linux distributions, be they server or workstation installations, are no more secure than recent (Vista/Server2008+) versions of Windows. However, Windows has a FAR larger installed base, and a user base that large does have it's share of .... vulnerabilities. Couple that with the fact that good malware targeting Windows can now attack 90+% of the worldwide installed base, and you have the usual "Windows is insecure!" knee-jerk reaction.

As someone who works every day with Windows, Linux, BSD, and Unix installs, security and usability have trade-offs. Any can be made secure, and if you're more comfortable with one or another, that's the one you're likely going to be able to secure best. Consider your own skills when choosing an operating system to secure .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Virtualizing Windows 7 Home OEM




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