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At the moment I am running Vista 32 bit and use VPC 2007 a lot. I have several Windows 2000 Virtual Machines set up with complex software configurations. For me, one of the advantages of working with VPCs is that a Virtual Machine can easily be copied to another PC (like a notebook). Also, when I move to a new PC, I can immediately work with my existing Virtual Machines without the need to reinstall all applications.

I am thinking about buying a new pc with Windows 7 64 bit pro, and using the XP-Mode Virtual Machine that comes with Windows 7. The advantages would be support for more memory (so being able to run more Virtual Machines simultaneously) and having a licenced XP Virtual Machine.

I would like to know if you can transfer a VHD that is based on the XP-mode VHD to another machine without Activation issues. The other machine will of course, also be running Windows 7. I would guess that this would not be a problem.

However, I did read about a guy who had to reinstall his Windows 7 because of a harddisk failure, and could not access his XP-mode VHD anymore because it demanded re-activation.

So can you transfer a Windows 7 XP-mode VHD to a new PC without the need for reactivation?

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2 Answers 2

Absolutely.

If you can emulate the exact same environment you had before, you will not be prompted to reactive. Windows only asks you to reactivate if there were serious hardware changes, which could include any combination of switching your motherboard, processor, RAM, hard drives, etc. Because you have a VHD, all of this information will remain the same unless you decide to modify your virtual environment (i.e. add more processor cores, change the RAM, etc.)

Once you are up and running and have tested without any activation issues, save a backup and then try to increase your RAM. (I am assuming that you will have more memory in the new computer and would want to do this.) If that is all you change, you shouldn't have any issues.

(Other thoughts - I have been unable to locate any language on Microsoft's website to concur with this, but I can say that I have moved VHDs dozens of times between computers without a problem.)

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Should work. Due to windows activation, it will not work to use virtualbox instead of virtual PC though, due to different hardware. A call to MS should help this though.

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