I have Windows 7 (professional OEM) installed in Boot Camp. Not thinking about it, I activated it running in VMware Fusion.

Now in Fusion everything is fine, but when I run it directly it says it needs activation.

I read that one actually needs to activate it directly first, and afterwards in Fusion.

How can I fix this situation?


Install the VMWare Tools to avoid this - one of the features of VMWare Tools is to help avoid this situation - you'll need to activate in Boot Camp, then activate in Fusion with VMWare Tools installed.

See the following KBase articles at VMWare for more information:

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Call up Microsoft and pay for a second license for the second activation.

Better yet, don't activate the same install in Fusion. Windows sees completely different hardware when booted as a virtual machine than it does when booted on bare metal (eg, via BootCamp), so may make changes to your install that will require "fixing" when you try to boot to it directly.

Ideally, you'd want to run separate Win7 installs in Fusion and BootCamp -- obviously this will take up additional drive space.

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  • ideally I just want to have the same windows in bootcamp as in my VM. And ideally I only want to pay the license once (which seems fair since it really is the same windows, on the same machine, which I can not run both at the same time.). Are you saying this is not possible? – durkadurka Jan 3 '10 at 13:38
  • i'm saying "ideally" because WinXP had a habit of rearranging (uninstalling some, installing others) device drivers for whichever system it was booted on, each time you rebooted into a different system ... so booting into BootCamp used one set of drivers and a VM used another (and anytime you switched, the system reconfigured itself). it made a WinXP install somewhat schizophrenic. Win7 may not suffer this technical problem, i'm not sure; but that's why you'd want 2 installs. otherwise choose Fusion or BootCamp and don't use the other one. – quack quixote Jan 3 '10 at 14:00
  • regarding the license, AFAIK, it's Windows policy that the retail Windows license applies to one machine only. you get to pick whether that's a hardware (BootCamp) or software (Fusion) machine. if it's an OEM license, the license is tied forever to the hardware it was first installed on. any other usage is in violation of the license. but IANAL, and i could be wrong about the Win7 license terms. – quack quixote Jan 3 '10 at 14:02

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