Yesterday I installed Slysoft's Virtual CloneDrive in order to mount an iso for some software installation on my host system (XP Pro SP3)
This morning I fired up VMware and made a linked clone of an existing XP vm in order to do some software testing. This is the sort of thing that I do all the time, and the base XP vm that I clone was activated a long long time ago.
The surprise today was that the newly cloned vm was no longer activated and XP cited major changes in hardware as the reason. I repeated the test with a full clone of the base system and got the same message.
I then started up my base vm and it seemed to be activated, yet another vm (which I fully cloned from the base vm a long time ago) now started reporting that XP was not activated.
At this point I guessed that Virtual DriveClone might have been the source of my hardware differences so I uninstalled it and rebooted. After this I made a new linked clone and full clone of the base vm and XP did not complain about not being activated. So I seem to be back to where I was before installing Virtual DriveClone with the exception that that one particular XP vm continues to complain about activation (even though 4 or 5 other XP vm's are fat and happy)
Now to my questions:
Why would adding Virtual CloneDrive to the host system affect XP activation on the vm's? From their point of view I would have thought that the environment had not changed as I had not enabled any new hard drives in their systems. Or is adding a hard drive to the host system enough to upset XP activation?
Since this event, one of my fully cloned vm's is still reporting that XP is not activated even though I have removed Virtual CloneDrive. Is there anyway to convince XP that it is on the same system as yesterday? Or are my only options to do an activation or restore the vm from a previous backup?