VM Win7 off Bootcamp - Activation and other potential problems

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by arbi, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. arbi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #1
    I am seeking advice or comments from anyone with any experience with this type of setup.

    Ideally, I would like to be able to alternate between booting Windows from the bootcamp natively and booting the same Windows via a VM of the bootcamp. But I just may give up this ideal if it proves to be too problematic.

    I have two main worries/concern about this setup.

    1) Possible activation issues when alternating between booting from the bootcamp and booting via a VM of the bootcamp.

    2) Potential problems from Windows seeing alternating "hardware" all the time and making changes to the system. For example, the VM might make changes to Windows to optimize it for the VM but when I boot natively from bootcamp those settings would be at a sub-optimum state for, say, 3D-intensive applications or games while running off bootcamp natively.

    I have yet to decide which VM software to use but it should probably be either Parallels 5.0 or VMware Fusion 3.0 depending on various factors including how well it caters to my described situation.

    I will be installing 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate (RETAIL Version) hence the activation worries.

    Specs of the new system I will install on when I receive it in a few days:

    15" 2.8Ghz MacBook Pro
    8GB RAM
    256GB SSD (Factory - Unknown Brand)
    Snow Leopard
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    The activation issues have been largely under control for some time with both Parallels and Fusion.

    I'm running W7 Ultimate x64 on my box (similar to yours w/HDD instead of SSD) and alternate between Boot Camp/Fusion 3.0 without activation issues. Both are activated and show up as different hardware configurations on the same box. (Think laptop docked and undocked).

    I do have one problem which I can live with in that the the VMWare tools printer drivers have essentially killed the print subsystem under Boot Camp. One of these years I'll get around to fixing that.

    B
     
  3. arbi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #3
    Thanks so much for your reply. I was almost ready to buy two copies of win retail (so expensive) and installing each completely independent of each other to avoid problems. After your comment I guess I'll save myself one copy of retail and try "sharing the boot camp".

    Your "laptop docked/undocked" analogy helped me understand how it can work better.

    As for your printer driver issue: Does that mean you can't print anything from bootcamp at all and can only print via a VM session?
     
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #4
    Although native and virtual Installations are different they are still on the same machine. Legally Windows can be activated twice therefore. It is also not very economical to use Retail copies. System Builder is exactly the same without Microsoft support (which is useless on a Mac anyway). Also the money for Ultimate is largely wasted. Professional has everything you need on a Mac.
     
  5. arbi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #5
    I need Ultimate because of the Multilingual User Interface Pack. Professional doesn't seem to have it. As for using OEM/System Builder the EULA says:

    "USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system."

    I'm also worried that by using different VMs my virtual "hardware" changes very often, and hardware for OEM installations aren't supposed to change.

    BTW, what did you mean by "Legally Windows can be activated twice"? I thought it can be activated an unlimited amount of times as long as you uninstall it off the previous machine (or VM).
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    Yes, currently. Though the workaround is to remove the VMWare Tools portion that prints through to the Mac installed printers, which I would never use. (My home printer is networked).

    gugucom is right that System Builder/OEM is functionally equivalent to full retail for fresh/new installs, and even though it may not be licensed that way on paper it will work fine. However, Microsoft is quite clear about it now that it is NOT licensed to the end user, but to the system builder and ONLY for resale to a third party.

    OEM/SBE doesn't come with explicit transfer rights in the license granted from the system builder to the end user, and you seem to have found some restrictions on virtualization as well. (i.e. you can't remove and reinstall OEM/SBE, unless Microsoft is feeling generous and gives you rights beyond the EULA).

    EDIT: FWIW on my MacBook I have been running Vista SBE/OEM in both Boot Camp and VMWare 2.x with no issues.

    Also FWIW I don't see the virtualization language you brought up in the current System Builder License. Here: http://oem.microsoft.com/downloads/Public/sblicense/2008_SB_Licenses/FY08_SB_License_English.pdf

    B
     

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