What problems have you faced when registering and activating Windows XP under VirtualBox or similar?


The standard XP activation rules apply (Ars Technica had an article on XP activation rules back-in-the-day). The best thing to do is to set up your virtual machine as required (RAM, main HDD) before activation, then create a snapshot of it; for any subsequent changes (eg, extra disks), revert to that snapshot.

If VirtualBox supports any differencing mechanisms, utilise those, too.


No full DirectX support.

  • 1
    I thought the latest versions of VirtualBox (and VMware) supported hardware acceleration now? – moobaa Jul 16 '09 at 0:59
  • Not DX10 and its still loosely emulated, no full support. – Daniel A. White Jul 16 '09 at 1:03
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    Before your comment it had never occurred to me the idea of even wanting DX10 on a VM... And given that I don't use it even on real hardware ... well, let's say that isn't a concern, for me . – voyager Jul 16 '09 at 1:07
  • Ah - I'd not thought of DX10. But, like voyager, I've no reason to :} – moobaa Jul 16 '09 at 1:15
  • 1
    DX10 is Vista-only anyway, so a moot point for XP in a VM ... – Joey Aug 8 '09 at 11:32

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