Monday, February 14, 2011

P2V Conversion of OEM Windows Systems

A physical to virtual conversion of a machine running an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Windows license will not be without hiccups.

Because the OEM validates the product key against the hardware itself, after the conversion process, the validation program will not find any OEM hardware thus rejecting all keys, even the standard ones. This is true for desktops, laptops and servers.

If you don't know what OEM is, it's similar to buying a Lenovo laptop with Windows preinstalled on it. In this case, all the hardware was provided by one manufacturer and the operating system (OS) will validate against the OEM hardware only.

The only solution is to obtain a Volume Licensing media of the same OS and a product key for it, then perform an OS repair (not using the recovery console).

Simply put, you boot up from the media, proceed as if you want to install, then select the partition that has been detected to have an existing OS and select Repair rather than a fresh installation.

All your settings and configurations will be preserved for your programs. You may need to reinstall certain hot fixes or a service pack.

Note: If setup cannot see the SCSI hard disk (in case of Windows XP), see this KB.



Anonymous said...

I'm having a horrible time with P2Ving some ancient OEM boxes, the P2V process seems to work fine.

But then you have to re-activate windows, which fails.

I've even done with 'Repair' option with valid VLK license keys for the same OS and service pack, but IE is hopelessly broken.

You can't run windows update, you can't browse web pages, seems if you have IE7 or IE8 installed on a win2ke OEM box and do the 'Repair' option you are screwed.

I wish Microsoft would help us virtualise their old OEM boxes without having to go through all this rubbish, surely a bootable ISO could be produced that permanently just activated the damned server.

Would allow me to spend more time about implementing 2008 R2 as opposed to worrying about servers and apps welded onto ancient crusty old boxes!

MBH said...

I feel your pain!

I think it's quicker & better in terms if VM performance if you do a fresh OS installation then move the data/profiles across.

There are tools that can migrate profiles between systems.