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Windows 7: how many virtual machines can you run

25 Jan 2011   #11
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
If your Virtual Hardware / Virtual BIOS is IDENTICAL then you can create / clone as many copies of your VM as you want since the activation is only needed ONCE.
While you can clone them, if you are running them on a network, you may run into issues since the GUID's and such are exactly the same on all of these clones as well. Therefore, it might be necessary to run something like sysprep to remove that uniqueness...which would then require activation.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
MS is a bit cagey on this one -- in fact MS is a bit cagey on the whole idea of running Virtual Machines at all on normal Consumer desk / laptops.
Of course they are cagey, they want you to purchase licenses for each and every copy of XP you are running.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
I can't really see this as being a problem since most people use VM's for testing - but if you were to say have 4 or 5 XP virtual machines running genuine Productive work CONCURRENTLY with the same key then that IMO is against the EULA.
Without a doubt this would be against the EULA. If you cannot run all of the software on 1 machine...then you need more licenses to run the software.

I think those who are IT types who would be most likely the ones doing testing requiring concurrent VM's would also have access to volume license software, MSDN software and TechNet software...which does provide the multiple licensing and such necessary.

I don't really see where an average home user, who purchased Windows 7 Professional, would "really" need more than 1 copy of XP Mode running to run their legacy software and hardware without new driver support.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jan 2011   #12
pallesenw

Windows
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
While you can clone them, if you are running them on a network, you may run into issues since the GUID's and such are exactly the same on all of these clones as well. Therefore, it might be necessary to run something like sysprep to remove that uniqueness...which would then require activation.
Mark Russinovich has some words about that:

The Machine SID Duplication Myth - Mark's Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2011   #13
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pallesenw View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
While you can clone them, if you are running them on a network, you may run into issues since the GUID's and such are exactly the same on all of these clones as well. Therefore, it might be necessary to run something like sysprep to remove that uniqueness...which would then require activation.
Mark Russinovich has some words about that:

The Machine SID Duplication Myth - Mark's Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs
And he covers the exact issue at the very bottom that I have...with the machine showing up properly in WSUS. That's why I make sure to make the machines unique with Sysprep when I use an image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Jan 2011   #14
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
If your Virtual Hardware / Virtual BIOS is IDENTICAL then you can create / clone as many copies of your VM as you want since the activation is only needed ONCE.
While you can clone them, if you are running them on a network, you may run into issues since the GUID's and such are exactly the same on all of these clones as well. Therefore, it might be necessary to run something like sysprep to remove that uniqueness...which would then require activation.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
MS is a bit cagey on this one -- in fact MS is a bit cagey on the whole idea of running Virtual Machines at all on normal Consumer desk / laptops.
Of course they are cagey, they want you to purchase licenses for each and every copy of XP you are running.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
I can't really see this as being a problem since most people use VM's for testing - but if you were to say have 4 or 5 XP virtual machines running genuine Productive work CONCURRENTLY with the same key then that IMO is against the EULA.
Without a doubt this would be against the EULA. If you cannot run all of the software on 1 machine...then you need more licenses to run the software.

I think those who are IT types who would be most likely the ones doing testing requiring concurrent VM's would also have access to volume license software, MSDN software and TechNet software...which does provide the multiple licensing and such necessary.

I don't really see where an average home user, who purchased Windows 7 Professional, would "really" need more than 1 copy of XP Mode running to run their legacy software and hardware without new driver support.
Hi there
I've often run 6 or 7 Identical XP VM's under vmware -- you do need to change the Computer name but no activation has been asked for.

Testing different programs running on a VM is a perfectly valid mechanism for software development -- I agree of course that running these CONCURRENTLY might be against the EULA but testing individually -- how is this a problem since the VM has identical "Hardware" and all you are doing is trying out the machine with different applications installed.

Incidentally once you power on a "Cloned" VM under vmware it usually presents you with a screen asking if you "Moved" the VM or "Copied" it so I assume vmware takes care of things like the GUID.

I've never had a problem with activation of "Cloned" XP VM's - even when running the SAME VM under Windows or Linux.

In fact I even do this for W7 -- anything I install on a W7 system I test FIRST on a W7 VM system. I use a Basic CLEAN W7 VM system to install the software on -- test it and then migrate it if its OK.

I then delete this VM and use a clone (image) of my base W7 VM to test further software. Perfectly valid and I can't see MS complaining either -- I have a 2nd W7 licence for my VM.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2011   #15
Kari

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
I'll forget XP mode for this dicussion since this needs to be installed on a specifically licensed version of Windows 7 so you will have problems running more than one copy anyway unless you have multiple licences for W7.
Just to correct one misunderstanding here:

There's nothing in license agreement that stops you for running multiple copies of Windows XP Mode. Personally I have had three XP Mode vm's for instance on this rig since the early beta days, each having its own purpose. I have never had any validation or activation problems with my multiple XP Mode vm's.

XP Mode uses by default two vhd's, a base vhd containing the core system located in Program Files, and a "personal" vhd located in respective user's folders. All user specific changes, customization and personalization is saved on this "personal" vhd, while base vhd contains the part of XP needed for XP Mode to run.

This system makes it possible that every userprofile can have a personalized XP Mode. They share the core, the base vhd, but each user can have his / her own user specific part of XP Mode stored in userprofile. In this sence I could say I have six copies of XP Mode on this rig; all four userprofiles having their own, plus additional two copies I have created to my userprofile.

As long as you only have this one single base vhd that every XP Mode vm share, there's really nothing to stop you from running multiple copies of XP Mode. It's far more "legal", valid and in accordance with EULA to use as many copies of XP Mode as you wish in Virtual PC (Microsoft has licensed it to be used in Virtual PC on computers running 7 Pro or better), than hack it to be used in VMware or other virtualization application.

Virtual XP Machine - Copy

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2011   #16
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there
agree its not legal to "Hack" XP mode to run on vmware etc. I was referring to a LEGALLY purchased copy of XP which I installed as a SEPARATE VM using vmware.

Thanks also for the info on "multiple XP mode" -.

I agree with ALL the sentiments about using ILLEGAL / PIRATED Software or using "Hacks" to avoid activation issues.

My point was that there IMO is totally no difference in running an IDENTICAL XP VM with a different application installed to booting up an instance of W7 on a REAL machine with different applications. So long as your hardware is "reasonably" identical you can make different images of your W7 system and boot up whichever you need at the time.

Both are 100% legal -- ONE LICENSE per machine.

The bit that IS against the EULA is the CONCURRENT use of these - (separate XP systems not XP mode).

My point also is that I was referring to SEPARATE XP installs using the full LICENSED RETAIL version rather than using XP Mode.

Just to re-iterate again I certainly do NOT condone hacking software to get round activation / licensing issues as I'm sure do most people on this Forum.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2011   #17
Kari

 

Jimbo, no problems. I understood your post, and basically all you said is true. I just wanted to tell this about using multiple copies of XP Mode when you have Win 7 Pro or better, in which case there are no license related limitations how many copies you can run. The deciding factor is the base vhd; as long as there is only one base vhd and all copies of XP Mode are using it, running multiple copies is OK. There's nothing in EULA against that.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 how many virtual machines can you run




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