Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to I maintain activation from native boot to VM?

  1. #1


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    How to I maintain activation from native boot to VM?


    I am running 8.1 Pro in a VirtualBox VM on a Mac host. It is a legit copy and activated fine. What I want to do is sometimes boot natively and sometimes run it as a VM. The disk is a partition which I can boot from normally. When I run it through VirtualBox I attach the same partition as a RAW disk. Never is more than one instance running and always it is the same physical hardware so this should be possible right?

    Whenever I do this though it sees the hardware has changed (which it hasn't - it is just it sees the real hardware rather than the virtual hardware) and I have to phone them up to reactivate which is getting very tiresome.

    How can I preserve the activation (and for office also I suppose) so I don't have to phone them every time I switch from one way of running to another?

    Note I'm not looking for ways to crack activation at all - which is all the "solutions" I can seem to find seem to suggest.

    Any ideas?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Adam, you can backup and restore activation with this tool...

    Windows 9 Product Key Viewer
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Thanks. I see it makes 2 files key.dat and tokens.dat. Do I want 2 copies - one for VM and one for native boot or can I use the same files after it detects the hardware change?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    It's per PC/VM...I doubt you will be able to transfer unless each has similar H/W ID's.

    The tokens.dat stores the response from activation server from the PC/VM the request is sent.

    It's like a database of activation responses... It will even recognise and activate offline a previous key.

    I'm not sure why he backs up the key as it's not really needed for restore but it doesn't hurt to keep them together.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    OK so my plan should be:

    1. Save VM tokens.dat to C:\VM\tokens.dat
    2. Boot same disk from PC and activate by phone.
    3. Save PC tokens.dat to C:\PC\tokens.dat

    Then after booting from whichever, PC or VM, restore the tokens.dat from the relevant folder.

    It would be a damn sight easier if your activation could optionally be tied to MS account or something rather than hardware though for a retail key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

How to I maintain activation from native boot to VM?
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