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Annoyingly - if not surprisingly, after installing Windows7 and activating it with a valid product key in a Virtual Machine, running the VM from a USB drive on a computer with a different configuration (CPU) than the originating computer results in a 'major change' prompting Windows to require re-activation.

This was expected, but I would like to know if this will exhaust the number of activations of the product on the company's MSDN subscription and/or if there is a way to deactivate this behavior on the virtual machine (which is passed around as a test/debugging environment).

(I have considered forcing the VM to revert to the previous snapshot after shutting down, somewhat avoiding this issue - but it's somewhat....sub-optimal)

Thanks in advance for any tips/info!

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The ideal way to deal with perpetual activations when using Windows in a virtual machine is to set up a KMS server. Intended for volume activation, KMS can transparently activate an unlimited number of computers.

Your MSDN subscription may or may not include it for Windows 7; I don't know. However, Microsoft's documentation does specifically recommend it for testing situations similar to yours.

If you use virtual machines (VMs) in your environment, using KMS will transparently support activation throughout the hardware changes associated with moving or replicating VMs across physical systems. Additionally, using KMS activation in a VM environment seamlessly supports the use of undo disks and other reset operations.

You can find more detailed information in the Windows Activation in Development and Test Environments TechNet whitepaper.

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