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I usually use the Virtual PC .vhd from together with Windows 7's Virtual PC to emulate an XP machine, so as to run any XP software or do software testing with Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8 (for browser compatibility testing).

But often, I may want to keep the image and I can actually use an older serial number of Windows XP I had to activate it (or else the image may expire within a couple of months), but if I follow the method of activation here it will say the Windows XP is already activated and so there is no way to let the .vhd not expire. Is there a way to make it not expire?

(I often use the newest .vhd because those are the most updated images and also I don't need to waste 30 to 45 minutes installing Windows XP from a CD and then run all the SP2 and SP3 updates, especially if I need to do it at the work machine, and then at home on the desktop, and then on the notebook).

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I don't think so. These images are now available on and the license there explicitly forbids activating the image. When it expires you download a new image which has its timer reset, or create a snapshot before using to rollback to.

  1. NO ACTIVATION. To prevent its unlicensed use, the software contains activation enforcement technology. Because the software is licensed for testing use only, you are not licensed to activate the software for any purpose even if it prompts you to do so.

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