*sigh* Even when I have legal copies of Windows XP, it still seems to enjoy aggravating the hell out of me.
I use a Mac Pro at home. I've written in the past about how great it was and how I could run Windows XP in a virtual machine so well that I never needed a separate PC anymore. I'd been running XP happily in the virtual machine for several months, using a legal, registered copy of Windows XP, that I bought just for this purpose. I never had a problem with this setup. A couple of days ago, I decided to take the next step. That's when the fun began.
The next step that I decided to take was to use Boot Camp to install Windows XP on a separate hard drive. This would allow me to reboot into full Windows XP whenever I need to, and have full access to all the computer's resources in XP. VMWare Fusion has the ability to take a BootCamp partition and run it as if it was a virtual machine from inside OS X. I figured this would give me the best of both worlds. I could run full blown Windows in Boot Camp if I needed more power, and I could run that same copy of windows in VMWare Fusion whenever I just needed to do something quickly.
I ran the BootCamp Assistant and was able to easily install Windows XP to the spare hard drive. Leopard's install DVD even contains a program that autoinstalls Windows drivers for all the hardware on the Mac Pro. Windows XP is up and running perfectly. I then spent the rest of the evening reactivating that copy of XP (to replace the one I had activated in the virtual machine), installing updates, installing software etc. I spent hours setting this thing up. It was running perfectly.
Last night I decided to try running the BootCamp partition in VMWare Fusion. Here is where XP ruined my day. XP's activation system is based on doing an inventory of the hardware on your machine. If a lot of hardware changes, it decided you must have changed computers or perhaps installed a second copy on another computer. If it detects too many changes, it deactivates your copy of Windows and gives you three days to reactivate. This is exactly what happened to me when I ran it in BootCamp for the first time. XP's activation system noticed I was running in 'different hardware' now (i.e. VMWare) so it deactivated itself and told me I have to reactivate. This reactivation is a slow, annoying process you need to do over the phone.
So assuming I reactivate XP in VMWare, then it will work. The problem is, as soon as I go back to running it in Boot Camp, it will detect hardware changes again and deactivate itself again! In other words, everytime I switch between running it in Boot Camp and running it in VMWare, I'll have to reactivate it again!
Screw this crap! I'm going back to my VMWare virtual machine I had before and wiping that hard drive! ARGH!