Windows 7 Using a Virtual Machine to test an Activation Key?

Would it make any sense to install a copy of XP Professional (retail) in a virtual machine in order to test the Activation Key for authenticity?

The reason I ask is that I purchased a used copy of XP Pro retail version for the key that I need to migrate my existing installation to the new pc I intend to build. However I am not ready to build it at this point but I still want to confirm that I have a genuine and available key. If you all think its a good idea, what would be involved in doing so, and what would I need to do to uninstall it when I am ready to reuse the key on the new machine.

If you think it's a bad idea, what would you suggest I do to validate the key?

Thanks in advance!

Do not use virtual machine to test the activation key. Use phone activation or contact Microsoft support.

Do not use virtual machine to test the activation key. Use phone activation or contact Microsoft support.
I always heard that you can't check out an activation key in any way but doing the install. Can you call Microsoft and just ask to verify an activation key?


Extraordinary Member
Using a VM to test a key loses one of your 10 activations, if the key has been used several times (I've been burned buying used XP Pro OS's with keys, twice), you can lose your last activation in doing so. Many of these keys have been activated 9 times (or more). Which will prompt you to call Microsoft anyway, unless you enjoy looking at a black screen.

Not to mention that you can only get security updates. No WMP, no Windows Live products, no MSE or Windows Defender, you get the picture. Today, unless it was someone who I personally knew, and trusted, I'd never buy a used OS again. I was fortunate that I got my money back through my PayPal protection. The sellers sold my VL keys & provided me a link to D/L the OS, which are not to be sold under any circumstances. I was unable to complete activation, and MS was unable to help me.

However, MS did offer me a full XP Pro SP3 package for $89 + tax, which I accepted. But it was not a D/L, it was sent by delivery confirmation through USPS. It arrived in 2 days. But this was in 2009, I doubt that they'd do that now. If someone who bought a counterfeit XP OS, they have the chance to "become genuine" for whatever price that MS offered the user.

I realize that this is an old thread, but my post can provide information needed to someone in the future.


Have you tried reactivating by telephone?
Activate Windows 7 manually:
1. Click Start, and in the Search box type : slui.exe 4
2. Press ENTER on your Keyboard
3. Select your Country.
4. Select the Phone Activation option, and hold on for a real person.
How to find a phone number for a Microsoft Product Activation Center

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