Make Viboot open an existing Virtual Machine


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Danskeman
Danskeman
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I posted here as Viboot Section does not have a wish list.

One minor issue with Viboot is that when it opens a backup/clone of a Windows 10 image, the opened image is unactivated which limits some features.

I actually have a couple of legitimately licensed HyperV virtual machines.  I never set up a new VM but just change the virtual hard drive which is perfectly legal of course (Windows 10 licence is for device not the drive).

So a REALLY GREAT feature would be if you could select an existing VM and use that rather than creating a new virtual machine, attaching new vhd to the existing (licensed) virtual machine.  That way, the Viboot would be running activated version.

Of course, you should give a warning if existing VM has an attached VHD, but no big deal detaching an existing VHD so long as it is not deleted, as it can easily be reattached.








jphughan
jphughan
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I’m not sure, but I don’t think attaching a VHD from a completely different system to a VM that was previously activated is going to sidestep activation issues. A while ago a client who had 10 identical PCs had a motherboard failure on one of them. They were out of warranty and he didn’t want to buy a replacement board, so he told me to just transplant the SSD from the failed system into one of the systems he had bought to have spares. So I did that. The SSD contained an activated Windows installation, and I had previously activated the spares on their own. All systems used the same version and edition of Windows. Despite that, the Windows environment on the transplanted SSD would not reactivate in the new system. The activation wizard actually showed me an error saying, “We found a Windows license for this PC, but we can’t reactivate this specific installation. You will need to reinstall Windows.”

If what you were proposing were possible, Microsoft would essentially be allowing VM users to maintain an unlimited number of separate Windows environments so long as they don’t use more than one at a time, and I’m not sure that’s the case.
Edited 31 May 2021 1:31 PM by jphughan
Danskeman
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It works 100% and is perfectly legal.

I just took the differencing disk from viboot, merged it with parent and attached the merged disk to an activated vm and it ran fine and vm was activated.

Windows 10s digital licences are tied to hardware id  of mobo (for a vm this is an emulated hardware id).

I am not talking about moving licence to a new VM and trying to transfer a licence but merely changing the hard drive on an activated VM.

There is no restriction what is on the vhd and how often this is done, and it will activate if it is exactly the same edition as the digital licence.

Even with a physical machine it is totally in compliance with the EULA to replace a drive.

If you think about it that is exactly what  Reflect does if you clone drives. 

You can clone drives at different stages and swap them to your hearts content.

You can put in one from another pc, using Redeploy, and it will activate. 

There is no limit to how many disks you can have, where they were sourced, if a complete reinstall etc.

The only EULA constraint is that you may only have one instance of Windows installed at any one time.

So, my request is 100% legal and would be a really great development.

Basically all you would have to do is point to an existing vm, rather than creating one from scratch (detaching any existing drives to comply with EULA), and it would just work.  I do not think this would be that difficult to implement but would be a great development.

This would be a great development.











jphughan
jphughan
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I’m not speaking to the legality of this strategy. But sometimes license enforcement mechanisms don’t perfectly align with legal restrictions. Some illegal operations may be allowed, while some legitimate uses may be blocked. I just told you about my experience of a scenario that was legal and should have worked, and yet it didn’t. I can’t speak to how likely that may be to happen if Macrium implemented this capability.
Danskeman
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jphughan - 31 May 2021 7:44 PM
I’m not speaking to the legality of this strategy. But sometimes license enforcement mechanisms don’t perfectly align with legal restrictions. Some illegal operations may be allowed, while some legitimate uses may be blocked. I just told you about my experience of a scenario that was legal and should have worked, and yet it didn’t. I can’t speak to how likely that may be to happen if Macrium implemented this capability.

I can assure you I am an expert on licensing, and your statements above are not relevant to my request.
  
Regarding licence transfer, it very much depends on source and target devices.  What is little understood is the licence transfer mechanism was introduced to enable users to transfer licences to a new motherboard in event of failure of existing mobo.  It was not to allow wholesale transfer of licences to a new pc like a retail licence.  So if the new device is to different to the original, MS refuses to transfer the licence. i.e. it is likely to refuse transfer between a laptop and desktop.  You certainly cannot transfer between a physical machine and a virtual machine.
In the end, it is very hit or miss.

Also, people do not realise it only works if you use same MS account on both devices and are not using local accounts,

Anyway, I am not talking about licence transfer but merely attaching a virtual hard drive to an existing device.  As I said the only EULA restriction is you are not technically permitted to have two installations on same pc without a separate licence for each.  However this EULA constraint predates Windows 10 digital licences, and it is absurd, because if you install a second instance, it activates automatically i.e. you are not given an opportunity to enter a licence key for the second installation.

In other words, MS's design means you cannot comply with the EULA even if you tried!!! 

As I said, there is no restriction on how many times you change the drive - you are just required to have a valid digital licence, and only one installation at a time.  Thus I can ensure you my request is totally legal, 100% EULA compliant (if you remove existing OS drive) , and totally within the spirit of digital licences.

Thus, I repeat, it would be a great development to be able to select an existing licenced VM.  Otherwise, the usefulness of Viboot is limited.


jphughan
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Again, I’m not disputing your interpretation of the legality of what you’re requesting. I’m merely pointing out that the actual activation process may or may not enforce it perfectly, based on my experience. I’m also not saying that this wouldn’t be a useful improvement in some scenarios. Although come to think of it, have you tried just examining the path to the viBoot VM’s virtual disk and copying that ofer to some other VM of your choosing to achieve your desired end result?

My understanding of viBoot has been that it’s meant for very short-term use or for system continuity in enterprise scenarios. In the former case, even a system that falls out of activation may still serve the intended use — that’s been true for my own uses — and in the latter case, enterprises often have KMS or MAK licensing models where this doesn’t come up. So the question is, how many people will use viBoot in a way that is outside the two scenarios above AND will have a Windows license associated with a VM? I suspect that number will be rather low, but again, I’m still not saying that there isn’t some scenario where the functionality you described could be useful — IF it works reliably. According to you, it does. According to my experience, Windows activation has not allowed every scenario that complies with a EULA to operate as it should.

But I’m still curious about what happens when you manually attach the viBoot VHD file to the VM of your choosing.
Danskeman
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This whole discussion on licencing is 100% irrelevant!

I am NOT talking about activating an unactivated vm in any way but JUST opening  up a vm that is already legitimately activated.

I have already told you that I attached the viboot vhd differencing disk to an existing activated vm and it simply worked fine, and it said in activation menus, it was activated and I was able to personalise the installation as I wanted.

NOW HERE'S THE THING!

Technically, users using Viboot and creating an unactivated vm are not complying with the EULA unless they subsequently licence the VM! 

This would be absurdly expensive if using Viboot multiple times. 

So, the option to select an existing licenced vm would be a great feature as it enables users to comply with EULA!


















jphughan
jphughan
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I think we're just talking past each other at this point, so I'll drop out now.  Hopefully you get your wish.

GO

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