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I just recently upgraded to Windows 8 and all-in-all it has been relatively painless. That is until I tried to create a VM. This is where I found out Microsoft in their infinite wisdom decided to count VMs as separate installs and thus require their own license key.

I use VMs for various purposes from sandboxing new software for testing and compatibility checking, to learning, to developing, to playing with system settings and registry hacking. All so I don't risk screwing up my system.

Is there any way or license available for me to continue working this way or do?

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i believe you are allowed to use unnactivated installs, as long as they are crack-free (trial and unnactivated OS installs) –  Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Mar 19 '13 at 1:52

2 Answers 2

There are applications (Sandboxie) that you use to isolate an installation so that it will not affect your system. This would probably be the preferred way instead of purchasing a new license. Currently, I do not know of a volume license of Windows 8 that would legally allow you to install on a bare metal machine as well as a virtual machine. Whenever I need to test software, I usually use an old Windows 7 license or XP license within a virtual machine.

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SkipRearm is a genuine technique to extend your Windows 8 activation period. Microsoft supplied the registry value, and published TechNet articles explaining how it works.

Registry Instructions to Set SkipRearm Registry Data

  1. As a preliminary experiment, check the activation expiry date with the command: slmgr -xpr
  2. Launch regedit.
  3. Navigate to this path: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform
  4. Double-click SkipRearm and change the value to 1.
  5. Run the 30 day extension command: slmgr -rearm
  6. Restart the machine. After it reboots, run slmgr -xpr and check the expiry date.
  7. Check the registry setting SkipRearm, slmgr resets the value to zero.

Note: This registry hack does not make any sense on a machine which has already been activated!

Here is an article I researched on SkipRearm.

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