Take Control of VMware Fusion 2 Series: Windows Activation

Cover_vmware_fusion_2 In this week's installment of our Take Control of VMware Fusion 2 blog series, we are going to talk about Windows Activation and Boot Camp. If you are new to the series, the ebook Take Control of VMware Fusion 2 by Joe Kissell, teaches you all the fundamentals of VMware Fusion 2, as well as tips and tricks to get the most out of running Windows on your Mac.

Here is this week's excerpt from Joe Kissell's new book Take Control of VMware Fusion 2:

Windows Activation

Unlike Mac OS X, Windows requires a serial number (called a product key) as well as an online activation process that ties your product key to one particular hardware configuration. When you purchase and install a retail copy of Windows for the first time, activation is simple. The Windows installer normally prompts you to activate at the end of installation; if it doesn’t (or if you ignore the prompt), you’ll see a pop-up notice in the system tray (in the lower-right corner of the screen) saying that you must activate the product within 30 days. Click this notice, and then follow the instructions to activate Windows. (After 30 days, you won’t be able to start Windows without activating.)

Behind the scenes, Windows records several pieces of data about your hardware, as well as your product key, and sends that data to Microsoft.

If you later try to activate a copy of Windows with the same product key but on substantially different hardware, Windows prompts you to reactivate. It overlooks certain minor hardware changes, and in some cases you can easily reactivate after adding, removing, or upgrading hardware. But if Windows suspects that you’re trying to violate your license agreement by reusing the same product key in two completely different places, you’ll be forced to call Microsoft. If you can convince the person you’re speaking to that you haven’t circumvented your license, you’ll be given a long code that you can enter to reactivate Windows.

A copy of Windows running under Boot Camp sees your Mac’s actual hardware, but Windows running Fusion sees the virtual hardware that Fusion creates to simulate a PC. So, if you activate Windows under Boot Camp and then try to use the same copy (with the same product key) in Fusion, you’re prompted to reactivate. See the section “Use a Boot Camp Partition in Fusion” for details.

To learn more about the book Take Control of VMware Fusion 2, or buy it, click here.


8 comments have been added so far

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  2. > Click this notice, and then follow the instructions to activate Windows.
    Do the instructions involve calling Microsoft? I ask because I am unable to speak due to a stroke. I do use Proloquo (a speech program) along with the iVox voices to speak on the phone to my friends. However, as stated, those are my “friends” who take the time to understand me and are patient with me. I do not know if a person from Microsoft would take the time to understand me (I have been yelled at from other customer service persons when I called some other companies. Because they had no patients, the customer service person would yell “Don’t call here anymore! I can’t understand you! You make no sense!” Not a nice feeling at all. If I do have to have call Microsoft, I am hoping that you can tell me what has to be said so that I can program it in ahead of time before calling.
    Gino J. Piazza

  3. Jim: yes, the book covers running both Vista and XP on the Mac.
    Gino: the activation usually involves calling Microsoft. I would guess Microsoft provide alternative ways of activation, though. It’s worth checking their web site for support options.

  4. Gino,
    I had to phone Microsoft to activate Windows XP a second time, however I didn’t actually have to speak to anyone; it was an automated process where I entered information using a touch-tone phone.

  5. You actually allow it to be seem easy with your own presentation however I uncover this topic that they are really anything which I’m sure I would not understand. It appears too complex along with extremely broad to do. I’m impatient for the next post

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