Windows 10: VM Tips and Tricks?

Discus and support VM Tips and Tricks? in Windows 10 Virtualization to solve the problem; Hello, When I purchased my recent laptop, I had it come downgraded to Windows 7 Pro on a junk drive. So I essentially had a Windows 7 key and 8 key.... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Virtualization' started by GatsbyGlen, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. VM Tips and Tricks?


    Hello,

    When I purchased my recent laptop, I had it come downgraded to Windows 7 Pro on a junk drive. So I essentially had a Windows 7 key and 8 key. I replaced the junk drive with an SSD and installed Windows 8 using the key in the BIOS. Today, the laptop is on Windows 10 Pro.

    I'm now setting up a VM inside of the Windows 10 using Hyper-V, and created a Windows 7 Pro VM using the key that came with the junk drive.

    Some questions:

    Can I make repeated VMs using the same key? I thought about getting a base VM configured, and then saving that off, and then just importing that base VM additional times if needed. For example, 1 VM for 1 customer and other for a different customer, etc. Furthermore, is it possible to upgrade the base VM to Windows 10 and accomplish the same duplication?

    I thought I had seen a tutorial or post about that here ...

    Thanks!!

    :)
     
    GatsbyGlen, Sep 24, 2015
    #1
  2. rlulin Win User

    Cumulative Update for Windows 10 (KB3097617) - Error 0x80004005

    The Catalog did not like Edge. Worked fine with IE.

    Thanks for the tip.

    The settings-update had been going smoothly on various win10 pro (x32, x64) systems, either on metal or VM but went awry on an x64 Oracle VirtualBox win10x32 VM.

    Now that one is OK.

    Thanks again
     
    rlulin, Sep 24, 2015
    #2
  3. Re-Activating Windows 10 On a VM On a New SSD

    I recently replaced the SSD on my MackBook pro. I re-installed Windows 10 on my VM but I am unable to re-activate Windows on it. Before I replaced my SSD I deactivated the license so I could transfer it to my new VM. When I run the troubleshooter to try
    and find the device linked to my Microsoft Account it cannot find it yet when I log into my account through a web browser I can see the device listed. Anyone have any tips to reactive my Windows 10 device running on a VM?
     
    Niitz0fK0Lumbus, Sep 24, 2015
    #3
  4. VM Tips and Tricks?

    No. That is not possible. Having multiple activated copies running at the same time will get flagged.
     
    logicearth, Sep 24, 2015
    #4
  5. Thanks. I wish I could find that thread now - I thought I read something different *Smile
     
    GatsbyGlen, Sep 25, 2015
    #5
  6. Question. I'd like to save off the VM in it's initial state. Is it better to just make a copy of the vmcx, vmrs, and vhdx? Or is better to do Export?

    The win 7 key wouldn't activate. I can only guess it's because it was an OEM. Technically, two keys were in the BIOS with the laptop (Win 7 and Win 8), but I suppose I can really only have 1 activated at a time. I ended up activating the Win 8 key.

    Anyway, I have another Win 8 key I can use. I created a VM with it and Windows activated. I'd like to update it to Win 10, and then save off that state of the VM, in case I ever need to go back to it - accessing it from the same laptop.

    Any suggestions or ideas on what people turn off on their VMs? I turned off OneDrive, because I don't want it syncing all the files. I can get access to the OneDrive directory on the host machine when I remote desktop into the VM.

    Thanks for any suggestions you might have *Smile
     
    GatsbyGlen, Sep 26, 2015
    #6
  7. lx07 Win User
    Assuming you are using Hyper-V then export is easiest - it will put all the files it needs together in one folder. When you import it take the option to keep the same ID (either restore or register in place but not copy) and you'll not have any problems with activation. If you are using VirtualBox just copy the whole folder and if you are using VMWare copy the whole folder and say "I moved it" not "I copied it" when you start up the copy.

    If you want multiple activated VM's on one key you can export to different places. You could make a base install and export it, install one set of programs and export it somewhere else. Import the base and install other things... You can only run one at a time though.

    If you use VHDX you can also boot it as VM and as Native boot and both will be activated as the native boot will pick up the HWID of your underlying OS.

    In most VMs I uninstall all Windows Apps (except for store and calculator) and delete their packages from C:\Program Files\WindowsApps. I leave OneDrive because I use it.

    You can further reduce size by setting Compact /CompactOS:always and compacting "Program Files" and "Program Files (x86), turning off system protection and reducing size of page file to 400 MB. This makes my base Windows 10 install VHDX about 7GB - 4.1GB when zipped up which is pretty easy to store away.
     
  8. VM Tips and Tricks?

    Yes, I'm using Hyper-V. Thanks for this info. It's really helpful! I may have more questions *Smile
     
    GatsbyGlen, Sep 26, 2015
    #8
  9. lx07 Win User
    If you wanted VMs for different customers you could make a folder structure like:

    D:\Hyper-V\Base
    D:\Hyper-V\Customer-1
    D:\Hyper-V\Customer-2

    and export the machine to the relevant place.

    Then if you wanted to load up a specific one just delete the one you have, go to import and say register in place. As it doesn't copy the VHDX it takes seconds and it is always activated as the machine is always the same - only the contents of the disk are changing.

    i.e.


    VM Tips and Tricks? [​IMG]



    VM Tips and Tricks? [​IMG]
     
  10. Thanks for the info. I'm hoping I understand this correctly.

    Create Base VM
    Install Apps A for Customer A, Export
    Delete existing VM
    Import Base VM
    Install Apps B for Customer B, Export
    etc. ...

    But when importing, keep in mind to Register in Place. Additionally, I can only run on VM at time.

    Thanks!
     
    GatsbyGlen, Sep 26, 2015
    #10
  11. lx07 Win User
    I just tested this and the delete option deletes the machine so this is not a good solution. I have exported lots of copies but I keep them on backup drive and copy the folder to my SSD when I want them so I didn't really notice.

    For your situation a better solution would be to delete and then restore the VM (second option in the screenshot above - not register in place). This will copy it to the default Hyper-V location and when you delete it you have the original exported copy to restore next time.

    Another option is to do this:

    • Create base VM with disk called Windows.vhdx, export (this is for safe keeping). Shut down machine.
    • Copy Windows.vhdx file to Windows-Customer-A.vhdx and change the disk in Hyper-V settings. Install Apps etc.
    • Copy Windows.vhdx file to Windows-Customer-B.vhdx and change the disk in Hyper-V settings. Install Apps etc.

    Then to swap between them just do to settings and change the attached disk only. The machine ID will stay the same so activation will persist.


    VM Tips and Tricks? [​IMG]


    The only advantage of doing this over the import restore method is you don't need to copy it so it is quicker, conversely you'll need the local disk space for all your copies. If you use them rarely you might find it better to export them to external drive and just import the one you want.

    Either way you can only run one copy at a time (per valid key) as if you run 2 instances concurrently your key may be blocked. Hyper-V will not let you register 2 VMs simultaneously with the same hardware ID anyway so you needn't worry.
     
  12. Kari Win User
    I am a fan of Hyper-V checkpoints, see the tutorial: Hyper-V Checkpoints - Create and Use in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    This is how I do when installing new OS on a Hyper-V vm:

    • Install, create the initial user, boot to desktop
    • Create a Checkpoint
    • Install Software, add other users
    • Create a checkpoint
    And so on. Always when making any changes to the vm, I create a checkpoint. Now I can always go back to any of my Checkpoints simply by applying it.

    VM Tips and Tricks? [​IMG]

    (Click to enlarge.)

    That won't work. You can go back to Windows 8 the first 30 days after upgrading to Windows 10. If done later, the Windows 8 product key is already used and reserved for the upgrade and won't activate anymore.

    This is how it works:
    • You activate your Windows 8 vm
    • You upgrade to Windows 10, the Windows 8 product key is reserved
    • Withing the first 30 days after the upgrade you can launch the vm and select going back to Windows 8, in which case the Windows 8 product key will be released and you can use it to reinstall Windows 8
    • After 30 days the Windows 8 product key is forever gone. You can reinstall Windows 10 clean and it will be activated but trying to use the original Windows 8 key for reinstall will no longer work as the key is seen as used
     
  13. VM Tips and Tricks?

    Kari - thanks for the info. I'm not planning to reuse the Win 8 key. I'm upgrading it now to Win 10 and will use that.

    Halasz - your second option makes the most sense to me. I like the idea of copying the disk, and just change the disk pointer when needed.

    Thanks!
     
    GatsbyGlen, Sep 26, 2015
    #13
  14. Kari Win User
    I very strongly disagree.

    I have had no issues in using checkpoints in a Hyper-V virtual machine for instance for this:
    • Install Windows XP, install software
    • Create a Checkpoint
    • Upgrade to Vista
    • Install more software
    • Create a Checkpoint
    • Upgrade to Windows 7
    • Install more software
    • Create a checkpoint
    • Upgrade to Windows 8
    • Install more software
    • Create a Checkpoint
    • Upgrade to Windows 10
    • Install more software
    • Create a Checkpoint
    Now I have one vm, depending on which Checkpoint I apply it's running XP, Vista, Seven, Eight or Ten. Now I can use any of the operating systems, then restore another OS when I want to in a few seconds. Very practical, works without issues. One vm, five operating systems. I have just reinstalled and not yet restored all my virtual machines, can't get a fresh screenshot but this a bit older one shows what I mean:

    VM Tips and Tricks? [​IMG]


    All I have to remember is to create a new Checkpoint when something is changed. For instance, if I apply the Vista checkpoint and install new software, I need to create a new Checkpoint for Vista before applying another OS Checkpoint.
     
  15. lx07 Win User
    Everyone knows checkpoints work. Please look again at the original question..
     
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