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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 08-10-2017, 12:18 PM   #1
a4z
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How to move a pre-installed Windows 10 into a VM


Hi,

a notebook, Windows 10 is per-installled,
in former times there has been a CD and some key, today there is nothing (at least, nothing I recognize, There is not even something on the notebook, like s sticker with some windows number)

I am going to install Linux of course, but I would need the Windows in a VM because from time to time I need the Visual Studio Compiler.
But how can I get an install media, and what is my license key?
 
Old 08-10-2017, 12:37 PM   #2
pan64
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as far as I know the install media can be downloaded from MS - if you have a license key. But I cannot give you license, you need to find one.
As far as I remember there are softwares on the net which can read/display the license key of a running windows.
 
Old 08-10-2017, 01:04 PM   #3
calvinmeadows
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get windows10 vb image at developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/.
it times out at 90 days but you can save a copy of the downloaded file (before installing on your vb instance) to use after day 91.
 
Old 08-10-2017, 01:43 PM   #4
hydrurga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a4z View Post
Hi,

a notebook, Windows 10 is per-installled,
in former times there has been a CD and some key, today there is nothing (at least, nothing I recognize, There is not even something on the notebook, like s sticker with some windows number)

I am going to install Linux of course, but I would need the Windows in a VM because from time to time I need the Visual Studio Compiler.
But how can I get an install media, and what is my license key?
There are several Windows programs on the web that will furnish you with your Windows product key.

My usual goto is NirSoft's ProduKey.

My advice, if you have enough hard disk space, is to leave your current Windows install on there (after cutting the partition size down to the minimum it will handle with a tool such as a bootable version of MiniTool Partition Wizard) and dual boot until you're confident that your VM will adequately replace the bare metal system for all the Windows software you need to run. The VM will almost certainly do the job, but it's never a waste of time taking an initially cautious approach.
 
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:02 PM   #5
jefro
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You can not move an OEM install to a VM without it messing up the hal to the point it won't authenticate usually.

The key is embedded in the OS usually in registry. The COA may not be on the device. The ability to recover may be in a hidden partition. It is sometimes possible to purchase replacement media from the company that made the system.

It is better to keep windows on a dedicated boot or wipe it out if you can live without it.
 
Old 08-10-2017, 06:04 PM   #6
Timothy Miller
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Legally speaking the ONLY way to do this is to purchase a new license. OEM licenses are use once and done. They cannot legally be transferred to another computer. They cannot be legally transferred to a VM. They are only legal to run on the computer they were pre-installed on, and that's it.

The only way around it is if you have a Volume Licensing agreement, and you register said OEM license within 45 days of first using it, then you actually can virtualize the license.

source - straight from MS licensing agreement.

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 08-10-2017 at 06:05 PM.
 
Old 08-11-2017, 01:43 AM   #7
a4z
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
Legally speaking the ONLY way to do this is to purchase a new license. OEM licenses are use once and done. They cannot legally be transferred to another computer. They cannot be legally transferred to a VM. They are only legal to run on the computer they were pre-installed on, and that's it.

The only way around it is if you have a Volume Licensing agreement, and you register said OEM license within 45 days of first using it, then you actually can virtualize the license.

source - straight from MS licensing agreement.
what? and this is legal? is this for sure?

well, in this case I will have to rely on some service like appveyor to see if my open source projects compiles also on Windows.
if not, who cares ...
 
Old 08-11-2017, 02:04 AM   #8
syg00
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I habitually keep Win on the disk just in case. And customers sometimes required it - mickey mouse "security/id" software mostly.
Win10 is just about at the point were I can happily reclaim the space without qualms. Never tried to virtualise it, but I had trouble with an XP box I still need; the software wouldn't run properly under KVM or hyper-V (XP itself did), so I gave up. The box is still in the corner.
 
Old 08-11-2017, 04:27 PM   #9
jefro
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Legal or not is only part of the issue. Most copies of MS don't transport across hardware. A VM is not the same hardware as the original host.

If you need win then keep it as it is. If you want you can buy new. If you want you can use the technet stuff maybe forever. Some live boots of windows may work for 30 minutes or so. Get windows to go on a flash drive if you really need it.
 
Old 08-12-2017, 03:54 PM   #10
jlinkels
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Converting W10 to a VM is surprisingly easy. I just did this on my Dell Inspiron 5759. But read on.

You don't write which notebook you have, which partitions are installed, if they are GPT, whether it is UEFI.

Anyway, the first hurdle is that you want to shrink the Windows partition. I had a 1 TB Windows partition, 50GB but it would only shrink 400GB. Whether or not you are converting this to a VM or install Linux next to Windows, this must be solved first.

Google for it. Unfortunately I did not bookmark the links. Skip the instructions to view in the log file and look up the error message. They won't tell you anything useful. Use for instructions how to solve it. IIRC they include disabling and deleting the swap space temporarily, remove temporary files, switch off Windows Update and delete the update files. Switch off recovery points and delete the recovery points. (You see what crap Windows is, none of these actually have to be immutable space, but they are). Anyway these articles can be found with Google. Execute them until you can shrink down to something with looks resonable to you. For a clean install of Windows 10 it should be 40 GB or so. (yuk!!)

Then download and install VMWare Standalone Physical to Virtual converter. It is free. Convert to a VMWare Player image. It will work with MSDOS and GPT partition tables. Then you have your VMDK file. It could not be easier.

Install Virtualbox and tell VB in the System -> Motherboard you have EFI.

Now the crappy part. Windows will deactivate. You still have your product key. You have your license key in the bios. (cat /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM). Windows does not activate because of different hardware. You get a telephone number in the help screen. You call the number. You receive automated instructions. At least 2 instructions contain an error(*). There are about 10 branches in the automated menu. (not exaggerated). At the very end the menu tells you that Microsoft offices are closed but you can call them between 8 am and 9 pm on working days. I called on Friday, 4 pm EST.

So I have W10 converted to Virtual. I can run it. But I cannot use it. Because of the activation. The software I paid for.

jlinkels

(*) The one I remember is this one. "Get the build version. To get the build version, press Windows key + Esc. Enter R-U-N. Enter W-I-N-V-E-R" Wrong! You should not enter RUN, but enter WINVER right after Windows+Esc. Then he refers to the Build version, but he means the Windows version number. 1511 or so. Or 1607. The build version is the bracketed number behind the version number. But in the next option you have to enter the version number. Not the build version. I listened to this more than 10 times. Sure. Windows support agents. Great.

Last edited by jlinkels; 08-12-2017 at 04:00 PM.
 
Old 08-13-2017, 02:04 AM   #11
a4z
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@jlinkels, thanks a lot!
isn't it fantastic that you need Linux installed to read the Windows license, if it is the license key, it is labled as MD5SUM.
Please keep mee up to date if you can use this to activate your Windows.

I have actualy 2 notebooks, a thinkpad t430s, came with windows 8 which has been upgraded to Windows10, so this should be my first license, but I have upgrade Windows to Linux and forgotten to backup anything ;-)
But the MSDM is still in the BIOS ;-)

and a thinkapd t460p with window10 pre installed,
the installation is somehow broken,
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/turn-w...n-or-off-blank
I wasted some hours to follow all suggestions, except new installation

It is already a dual boot pc, but since the suggestion for my problem seems to be re installation, I would like to put this in a VM.

I had a XP VM a long time since I needed it for some old legacy embedded hardware stuff, worked ok, so I think the same should be possible with Windows 10 when I just use it to compile some code from time to time.
 
Old 08-18-2017, 02:00 PM   #12
Rickkkk
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Hi a4z,

I second the recommendation to keep the Windows install - shrink it as needed. Although the solution described by jlinkels is indeed interesting, the result sounds less than 100% satisfactory given the activation issue.

Timothy_Miller is bang-on with his statement concerning licensing rights for Windows OEM installs, and this is one of the reasons it is so difficult (read: next to impossible) to accomplish what you are hoping to do. Microsoft neither supports nor facilitates the type of flexibility you are looking for when it comes to OEM installs. They have much more expensive solutions if you are really interested in going there ... ;-).

Dual-boot and save yourself a ton of headaches ...

Cheers.
 
  


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