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.