Windows 11. Building another VM using physical/host OS License


MrBuilder

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Hi Guys,

Hope everyone is enjoying the festive break. I have Windows 11 Pro (version 21H2) on my computer (physical) and I want to build a VM (Hyper V) using the same Windows license that is on my computer using Download Windows 11

Can I have multiple VM machines (Windows 11 Pro) and use the same license as the physical? (sorry if this has been asked but could not find the answer).

Thank you
 
Windows Build/Version
21H2

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pparks1

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No, technically you cannot. A Windows license is good for 1 computer, or 1 VM.

You can however, download a copy of Windows 11 Enterprise which is good for 90 days. And then you can reset the counter I believe up to 5 times. So, almost a year and a half.
 

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    Mini PC used for testing Windows 11.

MrBuilder

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No, technically you cannot. A Windows license is good for 1 computer, or 1 VM.

You can however, download a copy of Windows 11 Enterprise which is good for 90 days. And then you can reset the counter I believe up to 5 times. So, almost a year and a half.

Thank you 😊for the info.
 

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cereberus

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What few people realise is that it is the virtual machine part, not the virtual hard drive itself that becomes licenced. In other words, you can have multiple virtual hard drives, each with different versions of Windows e.g. release version, dev version, , beta version and you just swap out vhd each time you use VM.

In fact, you could have all vhds attached to vm, and create a boot entry for each version in exactly same way as on a physical machine.

You only need two vm licences if you want to run two vms simultaneously.

Of course, you can run a vm unactivated and you will not be able to personalise it.

A good trick is to install OS in vm unactivated, then attach Vhd to host, personalise vhd in host, and rhen reattach vhd to vm. This works for vhdx files but, of course, only for editions for which you have a valid licence on host.

We could argue about ethics of running a vm unactuated as that technically contravenes the EULA, but many use them jist for temporary use e.g. testing latest Dev Build.

Personally I have no issues doing that but I stress each user has to decide for themselves if they are willing to run unactivated - the intent being to test OS before buying a licence.

I would however advise any user to test OS on a vm before buying a licence just to check it works ok, and performance is acceptable. No point in buying a licence if yiur hardware struggles to run a vm.
 

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NavyLCDR

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Hi Guys,

Hope everyone is enjoying the festive break. I have Windows 11 Pro (version 21H2) on my computer (physical) and I want to build a VM (Hyper V) using the same Windows license that is on my computer using Download Windows 11

Can I have multiple VM machines (Windows 11 Pro) and use the same license as the physical? (sorry if this has been asked but could not find the answer).

Thank you
The answer is in the EULA which you agreed to when you installed Windows 11, so it isn't that hard to find.

" Use in a virtualized environment. This license allows you to install only one instance of the software for use on one device, whether that device is physical or virtual. If you want to use the software on more than one virtual device, you must obtain a separate license for each instance."

Run winver, click on the link "Microsoft Software License Terms" or
 

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    Windows 11
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    Homebuilt
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    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
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    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
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    32GB
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    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
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    Windows 11 Education
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    Dell Inspiron 7773
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    Intel i7-8550U
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    32GB
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Mystere

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Most people don't know is that you can run Windows in a virtual machine without a license, you just don't activate it. It will run just fine unactivated, but certain features won't work (mostly personalization) and it will have a watermark.

Or, you can join the Windows Insider Program and have a fully activated license, so long as you are in the program.

Or, you can use a license you may have for a previous version of windows (as long as it's a retail license and not also in use) to activate your copy of windows 11.

There are many options.
 

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Slavic

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You can use the evaluation version as long as it is supported. When the version expires, you can re-download it if it has been updated or install the previous copy anew and use it again. There is no limitation for this.
 

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Winuser

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Or, you can join the Windows Insider Program and have a fully activated license, so long as you are in the program.
You still need a valid license to activate. The free Insider version is no longer available.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11
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    PC/Desktop
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    PowerSpec B746
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10700K
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    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
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    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
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    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
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    Realtek Audio
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    Logitech K270
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    Logitech M185
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    Microsoft Edge and Firefox
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    HP Envy x360 15-ds1083cl
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    AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHZ
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    16 MB DDR 4-2666
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