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I think I am not doing anything wrong, but to test our website on IE 7, 8, I am using VirtualBox 4.0.6 on Mac to run the VHD image from Microsoft:

but it keeps on asking me to "activate" Windows XP... oh well... is there a way to activate it? Can I use any special key to do it? Or what if I use my own key of my retail box of XP... but won't that affect my activation if I need to install that XP on another VirtualPC later on? I am trying to help make the website work better on IE 7 and 8... really a thing good for Microsoft, and it is making it so hard to run an expiring OS (expires on May 18, 2011) on a virtual machine.

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It seems as though the images only allow you to restart windows 3 times before you get locked out. When locked out out of my XP/IE6 image today, I:

  • "Do you want to activate Windows now?" - Yes
  • "Yes, let's activate now" → Next
  • Activate online
  • "Do you want to Register?" - No
  • At this point my copy surprisingly registered itself!

If you find that registration fails you may be able to:

  • "If you believe you have received this message in error" notice
  • → "Microsoft Activation Assistance Web Site"
  • This might give you access to an IE window
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You are correct that using one of your keys will affect your own activation (or just won't work).

Microsoft will most likely release new editions after the activation date is passed, alternatively, I would recommend you simply run them - boot up and go in to Windows then take a snapshot so you can easily go back to them.

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I think the OP will still need to configure the GetHostTimeDisabled settings. – Alain Pannetier May 3 '11 at 23:07

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