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My notebook came with Windows 8 Pro. It never booted Windows, I erased it and installed Fedora on it.

I have to use a Windows system now, and I'd like to run the Windows 8 Pro inside Virtualbox on Fedora. Two things come to my mind:

  1. Is it legally possible? I'm using the software on the same hardware, but Windows could complain finding other hardware because it is installed in VirtualBox.

  2. How should I activate the Windows licence, given that I have access to the right installation disk/iso/usb? I heard that since Win8, the key is in the UEFI/BIOS. I know I can read it plain text if needed. Could it fail?

marked as duplicate by and31415, Iszi, Dave M, Kevin Panko, Excellll Aug 6 '14 at 20:07

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  • As for the latter... – Daniel B Aug 1 '14 at 21:21
  • That works indeed. Can Microsoft complain if I use that? – rubdos Aug 1 '14 at 21:25
  • Not sure if this is true for Windows 8, but I know earlier versions had different images for OEM & Retail packages and you couldn't use the key for one with a disc made for the other. – Iszi Aug 1 '14 at 21:43
  • Partial answer: I tried to install an OEM disk in VirtualBox and I activated it via the licence found in the BIOS. It said the activation was succesful. Only the legal part is left. AFAIK there are two opinions here: yes it's legal because you're using it on the same hardware (which is my opinion) and no it's illegal because virtual hardware counts as different hardware. – rubdos Aug 2 '14 at 9:34