One of the biggest issues with Virtual Machines is OEM Licensing.
Firstly Windows XP is at End of Life and Licenses are no longer sold and uneasy to come by.
Secondly because there is no easy means of converting an OEM installation to Retail without performing an in place Upgrade Install (which may result in other problems). This may be of course problematic when trying to convert a working Windows XP OEM Physical Machine with specialised software (lost installation media) to a Windows XP OEM Virtual Machine.
Fortunately a custom ROM the 6006.rom has been made. This custom ROM contains a Windows XP OEM System License Internal Code which is compatible for all Windows XP OEM installation media that contains a System Locked Preinstallation SLP key. The 6006.rom may be found here.
The ROM was obtained from My Digital Life Forums. For more details see Dell 2.4 SLIC Multi SLP 1.0 BIOS EFI MOD on MyDigitalLife forums (these forums will require a sign in for you to view the contents of the post).
Setting up your VM
You can either convert a physical machine with an OEM license to a VM or create a new VM from OEM installation media.
Converting a Physical Machine to a VM
To create a VM from a physical machine using VMware vCentre convertor see here.
Creating a new VM with Windows XP OEM Installation Media
Microsoft Generic OEM (System Builder OEM) or Microsoft Retail media does not contain a SLP key and cannot be used with the 6006.rom.
OEM branded in this case Dell OEM branded installation media contains a SLP key which is automatically input during installation.
Applying the ROM to the VM BIOS
Lets take the example of a Physical Machine (OptiPlex 390 with Windows XP Pro OEM) converted into a VM. As this conversion was carried out in >30 days I will get Product Activation issues. Pressing play:
I am presented with the nag about product activation:
The only choice I have here is to turn off the computer (VM):
Select Power Off and make sure the VM is off:
Right click the VM and select settings:
Highlight the working directory and right click it:
Copy the 6006.rom to this directory:
Next right click the VMware virtual machine configuration file and select open with…
Add the following to the bottom line:
bios440.filename = “6006.rom”
Then select file save and close down notepad.
Launch VMware Player and launch your VM:
OEM SLP will be applied and you will no longer be nagged about Microsoft Product Activation: