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I was running XP VHD images in Ubuntu with Virtualbox. But the 30 day trial is over (actually it's well over 90 days now), so XP keeps complaining of expiry and will not allow me to log on.

I tried deleting the VM files and setting up a new one from the same vhd files but it didn't work.

How can I log on to XP?

I am using Microsoft's VHD for IE testing in which the licence adding capability is disabled

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The trail is just a trial. Now you know it works you can either buy a license and set it up properly. One license per used VM, or stop using it. –  Hennes Feb 26 '13 at 10:38
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@Hennes: Thanks for your (off-topic) reminder. License police is gooood to have on every site. –  TFM Feb 26 '13 at 15:08
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@TFM How's it off-topic? That's the most reliable way to make it work. –  cpast Feb 27 '13 at 3:46
    
I cannot see how the line "One license per used VM" is relevant. –  TFM Feb 27 '13 at 3:51
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@TFM Every VM you make needs a valid license to work in the long run. The solution to an expired license isn't a new VM, it's getting a valid, non-trial license. –  cpast Feb 27 '13 at 4:53
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1 Answer

Every time you start the image, Virtualbox is "telling" the guest OS what the current time is, so that it can sync the clock.

So even if the guest OS in your backup image file is freshly installed, whenever you start it it will expire immediately if it's gone more than the trial period. In order to avoid that, you have to stop time syncing between the host and the guest OS before starting up the image.

Check this post on SU regarding how to achieve this in Virtualbox on Ubuntu.

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