I have been running XP (WinXP Pro, SP2, retail version) under Parallels for a bit, and decided I wanted to give the Boot Camp with Parallels option a try. After finding some rather lengthy and questionable instructions on moving a Parallels image to a Boot Camp partition I decided to go the clean install route.
I deleted my Parallels XP image (and subsequently ended up wishing I hadn’t) and used the Boot Camp assistant to set up my hard drive and install XP. I got XP set up and running, but had to call Microsoft to get it ‘activated’ since it saw it as a new install. Once that was taken care of I installed Office, and got the same kind of headache there – where the key wouldn’t work, because it said it had been installed on too many machines. I decided to leave that be for the time until I felt like waiting on the MS phone queue again.
I rebooted into OS X and loaded my now ‘active’ and ‘valid’ Windows XP under Parallels. As soon as it booted it gave me the message that I had 3 days to activate it as the hardware had changed significantly and it was no longer valid. I ddn’t feel like fighting it so I closed down Parallels and rebooted into XP where, surprise, I got the 3 day warning again!
So not only does loading the same image in a VM result in XP thinking it isn’t a valid copy, but it changes something in the registry somewhere, so that booting back into natively results in the same thing. I thought the concept of hardware profiles would help with this sort of thing, but apparently not. This is something that MS needs to address sooner rather than later as multicore machines make virtualization more common and loading a native image in a VM becomes a more common way of doing that.
An interesting side note: I got fed up with the whole validation issue and removed the XP partition and re-installed XP under Parallels the same way I did originally. I expected the phone calls for the XP key and the Office key etc, etc – but, it just accepted the keys and validated no questions asked.
Technorati Tags: Boot Camp, Parallels, XP, OS X