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Windows 7: Home Premium 64 bit physical machine to 32 bit VM

04 Nov 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Home Premium 64 bit physical machine to 32 bit VM

I've see a lot of threads that hit around my question but haven't yet found the one that answered it completely.

About 6 months ago I bought an HP laptop that came with 7HP 64 bit. I dual booted it with Linux and everything worked great until... Last week Windows crashed. Linux still worked fine and I was able to pull all of my documents off of the Windows partition and save them on the Linux partition. I tried everything I could to recover Windows. The HP discs that I purchased with the laptop, the Macrium disc I made, the HP recovery partition, anti-virus rescue discs, Hiren's BCD and a Windows 7 HP disc I borrowed from a friend. Nothing would repair it.

Now I'm at a crossroads. I primarily use Linux on this machine and would like to simply run 7 as a VM. When I try this it will only run as 32 bit and the activation code will not work. Since this is on the same physical machine that 7 originally came on is there any way to activate my copy of Windows on the VM? I'm hoping to not have to buy a $100 license when I just bought a new laptop that came with 7HP.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2012   #2

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and numerous virtual machines

Hi and welcome to Seven Forums Howard.
A couple of questions, is the version of Linux 64 bit? If the host OS is 32 bit then you cannot install a 64 bit Virtual Machine. As far as I am aware the keys for Windows are the same regardless of 32/64 bit. Therefore I suspect HP Windows OEM Home Premium may not like being a virtual machine as it is expecting HP hardware and is reading virtual hardware so will not activate. I'll ask someone to see if they can help you reinstall your Windows 7 should you wish to do this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP


To start Win7 you need to Mark Active Win7 partition or it's 100mb System Reserved partition (preferred if you have it) then run Startup Repair - Run up to 3 Separate Times.

Then Dual Boot - Windows 7 and Linux - Windows 7 Forums following this method.

You can also get the superior Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 .

Since you're on the exact same hardware then I don't see why the VM won't activate with the Factory OEM Product Key however I don't use virtual machines so you'd need to ask someone who does like Brink.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Dec 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Since you're on the exact same hardware then I don't see why the VM won't activate with the Factory OEM Product Key however I don't use virtual machines so you'd need to ask someone who does like Brink.
The problem is OP most certainly has got a modified HP specific OEM version of Windows 7, which only runs and can be installed on specific HP computers.

A virtual machine uses its own emulated hardware. Trying to install an OEM version to a virtual machine, the Windows setup sees this emulated virtual environment as a completely different hardware setup and installation wont work.

Installing a manufacturer and hardware specific OEM version on a virtual machine would need so much hacking it would be totally against EULA, if not outright illegal.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Home Premium 64 bit physical machine to 32 bit VM

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