I have downloaded win 8 pro and did a clean install on a vmware 8.
I have a license for win 7 ultimate. Is it possible to activate windows 8 without first installing windows 7 on the vm. It seems that the win 8 is only an upgrade.
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The way the upgrade process works in Windows 8, from my experience is basically, when you purchase the "upgrade" they send you a product key via email to activate Windows 8, regardless of whether or not you have Windows 7 installed already. I'm not saying that's how it always is, but in my upgrade scenario (Windows 8 RP>>RTM), that's how it happened.
As most of us know, when Windows 7 came out, there were all kinds of discussions about how activation works and what was and was not legal. It seems Windows 8 will be involved in the same situation.
But for me, on a normal install, I needed a prior OS drive available for the install to see. I installed to to a new drive, but it would not activate until the other OS was present during the install. It is an upgrade, and your Windows 7 license will be sacrificed, legally at least.
I don't run VMs, but Microsoft considers that a separate computer for installation. I would have to guess you would need another OS present to activate, and the legal requirements of a prior OS, I assume, still hold.
What type of message are you getting when you try to activate?