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The scenario I have in mind is:

  1. Install Windows 8 on a separate partition via Boot Camp.
  2. Create a virtual machine in Parallels based on the installation in step 1.
  3. Create a new virtual machine based on the one on the Windows partition, but existing independently.

Am I going to need to activate Windows three times? Or once for the Boot Camp installation, and once for the virtual machine in step 2, with the second virtual machine not re-triggering the need for activation? And does it matter whether I activate Windows in the VM first or on the Boot Camp installation?

At what step in the process do I install Parallels tools?

Thanks in advance!

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You will require 2 separate Windows licenses to do this. The process of creating a virtual machine image from a physical machine is easy enough, well documented, but by doing so the virtual machine instance will require a separate license. You can make unlimited copies of a virtual machine image since there is limited usefulness by doing so. You have a lot of questions that are sort of trivial and can easily be researched ( i.e. "When do I installed the Parallels tools"). –  Ramhound May 25 '13 at 5:34
    
That multiple licences would be needed was my first impression from reading some of the documentation on the net, but the Parallels documentation explicitly claims that a second Windows licence should not be required to create a virtual machine based on a Windows partition: kb.parallels.com/en/9703. The presence of such contradictory information is what prompted me to ask my "trivial" questions in the first place. –  user17777 May 25 '13 at 17:24
    
I never said your activation question was trivial, your question of wen to install the tools, that's trivial. You have your answer, because of the way Parallels works, if your running the virtual machine through boot camp, your fine. –  Ramhound May 25 '13 at 19:29

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