When P2V Prompts for Windows Reactivation


A teammate had virtualized a server using the VMWare Converter Standalone and when he went to log into the VM he found himself prompted to re-enter the Windows Activation key. Attempts to do so failed. Attempts to reactivate over the internet failed. Attempts to work with MS Customer Service to resolve the issue failed miserably and left the CSR crying. Turns out the issue was that the server was originally installed using an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) copy of Windows, which is bound to the hardware and cannot be transferred. When the server was virtualized it recognized the hardware change and triggered the re-activation.


To solve the problem I simply performed a repair of windows, which prompted me to enter a new license key.

Interestingly enough, when I tried this I was told that the disk could not be found, which is not a problem with a basic install.  To get around this I had to download the VMWare SCSI Disk Drivers, which can be downloaded here.  It comes in FLP format, so I had to mount a virtual floppy drive, then select F6 during the initial setup to specify the SCSI drives I wanted to use during the repair.

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