Move OEM Window 10 key to virtual machine

I recently bought a Lenovo laptop from a 3rd party reseller. There are no Windows disks or hard-copy product keys

It came with Windows 10 Professional, OEM_DM channel

Running the command slmgr.vbs -dlv  give information on the license, including the installation ID and activation ID.

I want to:

Install windows as a virtual machine under virtualBox hosted by Linux.

My question is whether Windows can work out that it is still on the same physical machine, even when running on a Linux-hosted virtual machine.  It's probably a common workflow for people who get a new machine with OEM Windows, who then want to run Linux as their primary OS.

Possible solution:

This support document describes a procedure for re-activating windows after major hardware changes (like motherboards). It requires linking a digital license to a Microsoft account: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change

I will try that, and if it doesn't work I'll revert to dual-boot.  I would prefer the virtual machine. 90% of my use is in Linux, only use Windows right now because Zoom has a much better windows client. 

Thank you.

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If the computer was activated there is no longer a need for a license key as long as you are installing the same version of Windows 10, Home or Pro
If asked for a key just go to the bottom of the page and click on Skip, Do this later, or I do not have one.

I do not know the status of VM.  Is it a new computer?  If so then you will need to buy Windows 10.

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Thank you for the reply!

The virtual machine will be running on the same physical machine. However it is a hosted virtual machine, meaning windows runs within a virtual hardware container created by the host OS (in this case Linux). So I'm not sure if Windows will be able to work-out if it is running in the same physical machine or not. That is the essence of my question.

I did find an support document about re-activating windows after a big hardware change (like a motherboard). It says that linking the digital license to a Microsoft account and then running the activation troubleshooter should do the trick.  ( https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change )

I will try that and update. If it doesn't work, I'll just dual-boot for now.

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Hi HopeJasen -

This is Orlando, an Independent Advisor and an expert with Windows 10.
I understand that you want to use or moved your Windows OEM key on a virtual machine OS.

OEM keys are technically designated on a specific computer hardware, its more like an embedded key on the machine, which will only run on a specific machine. If your Windows is activated, it should automatically activate your VM, just make sure to load the same Windows OS (e.g Pro or Home). Installing OEM key on a different machine might require you to check with the OEM of your computer as they need to do some changes on the key (probably changing which machine is it registered to).

If the above answer didn't worked with you, you can always do Dual Boot on your computer and install Windows OS on a different drive.

Hope this helps, have a good day.

Thanks,
Orlando Q.
Independent Advisor

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Last updated June 5, 2021 Views 1,868 Applies to: