Transplanting Windows 10 Pro OEM License to KVM

Hey Guys,

Has anyone managed to transplant an OEM Windows 10 License to a KVM Virtual Machine?

I have an old Laptop that came with Windows 10 Pro OEM License, was wondering if anyone has successfully done this.

My understanding is, you need the following

  • DMI Strings (Table 0 & 1)
  • SLIC and MSDM ACPI Dumps
  • Serial Number of Old Hard Drive

Upon boot, Windows Installer shouldn’t even ask you for a key.

All of this is hypothetical and will never, ever, under any circumstances actually take place.


I have never done this, but I have turned a MS Windows partition to a VHD and run it in Virtual Box. I would assume that you can do the same thing with KVM.

In my case, did not have any issues with needing to register the system. Are you talking about essentially just spoofing the information so that you can run that “system” virtually in more than one VM instance?

He’s talking about copying the embedded BIOS SLP (system locked preinstall) and SLIC (system license internal code) so Windows is automatically activated because it thinks it’s running on a Dell or whatever.

While I don’t have any moral problems with it myself as you do technically own the license, this does technically break their license terms, even if it’s running on a VM on an actual Dell, and it sounds like it would be pretty tough to do. Seems like a lot of work to save thirty bucks, but it could be a fun project.

I haven’t messed around with this stuff myself to any great degree because I don’t pirate my OS and again, it’s only thirty bucks.

Anyway, the site on the internet for Windows activation questions is the MyDigitalLife forums. Suggest asking there.


Yeah this is what I plan on doing, I’m not too worried about what happens there as I’m not using the Windows VM for anything business related, only Gaming / Dynamic Reverse Engineering, for fun.

I agree, it’s super easy to buy a Retail Windows 10 Pro license for like 30 pounds, it’s more the project/principal.

Remember, All of this is hypothetical and will never, ever, under any circumstances actually take place. *Slowly Winks

My rig arrives in a few days, I’ll report back here if it’s successful, you’d think Microsoft would have tied the key/license to the TPM or something that can provide attestation, maybe Intel SGX or something, not ACPI ?

Either way, I’ll let y’all know how it goes in a few days.

Honestly, this doesn’t fall into violation of any rules, per my interpretation. It’s the same as using the secret code to allow osx to run in kvm when you own a Mac.

You own the license, you can use it, imo. It frustrates me that Microsoft won’t let you transfer licenses.

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i’d disagree. the license terms are quite clear. the OEM license is for one particular hardware instance. unless your KVM virtual machine is running on that specific hardware i’d say you’re in violation of the license. MS sell retail copies that are more expensive that you can virtualise.

just like macOS is not licensed to run in a VM unless that VM is running on mac hardware. ownership of a mac is not enough. the OS is licensed to run on “an apple branded computer” only.

Now all this is aside from the technical discussion, but i’d consider hacking it to work to still be looked at the same way as piracy, so just pirating whatever copy of windows would be legally equivalent. ergo - why bother?

running unactivated windows would be legal tho.

back to the tech stuff. if that OEM key (its been a while, do you still get a unique key for each OEM box?) has ever been activated, it will be tied to the BIOS UUID, the NIC’s MAC address, the CPU type and various other things. KVM virtual hardware will be sufficiently different that even if you spoof the BIOS, you may still trip up on activation. But there’s one way to find out i guess…

@SgtAwesomesauce - i think you’re confusing ownership with right to use. when you buy a mac or a copy of windows you are given a license to use it under specified conditions in the EULA. You don’t own the software, just like you don’t own the copy of whatever music you have in your CD collection. You have a right to use. You do not for example have a right to broadcast or use in your own videos, etc., that’s a different license.

Morally, i’d agree that sure you should be able to run it in a VM instead of the hardware you bought it with. but morally and legally are two different things.

Yeah, I definitely was.

This whole discussion is why i detest M$ with a passion.
Who the hell pays 100 dollar license for the right to use, that’s just a low blow.
If i pay 100 bucks(the price where i live) for anything i expect to own it, and not some redicules wording in a eula, where M$ just makes your iq drop from just reading it, written by lawyers.
If i were you id just try cloning the harddrive to a VHD file, and try a virtualbox vm first. I had a free license from back in the days when i studied, and the cloning confused the hell out of the license system since it was a approved/active license/system but it didnt recognise the hardware all of a sudden, but it worked, even though it said it wasn’t activated it still had all features available, like remote desktop and kvX.


I mean, it’s not the price that bothers me, since I think the price is fair. It’s a genuinely okay product that provides a lot of features, like the ability to use a computer for basic tasks.

It’s the “right to use” component. You should have the ability to use, irrevocably, the tool on a single computer at a time. Meaning, one install, wholly transferrable, to another computer of the same architecture. (only limiting arch because I know the amount of work that can go into building software for a different arch can be significant)

Because essentially all “Hakers, Krakerz” that “Crack” Windows would surely be loaded with Malware, plus this is just more fun.

I wanna confirm this, I have a feeling it’s just ACPI Tables, Drive Serial and DMI Strings, but we’ll see! It sucks because I wanted to pass the entire SATA Bus to the VM, but if they are using the Drive’s Serial, I’ll have to use a qcow2 image and change the serial.

Indeed they are, as a Linux user, I haven’t touched Windows for like 10 years? So I don’t really care, If I were using it for business related purposes I’d go legit, but this is just for Gaming / Malware Analysis.

In my head, it comes down to a

If you can figure it out, and do it technically, you deserve the license.

Sort of approach

if it’s for gaming just stick with linux, with lutris, and steams advances, theres, really not a whole lot M$ has to offer.
And it’s only getting better, from my game library sofar i think FF9-10-15, witcher 3, are the only ones steam havent run, and lutris atleast ran witcher 3 with no prob, havent tried the others.
for malware you can easily load up a vm with a non license with what ever malware you wanna, doubt they check for M$ licenses before infecting.

100s of millions of Windows users, every company, etc.

Any purchaser of media (either digital OR physical), etc.

We pay tens of thousands of dollars for the “right to use” things like Autocad, our ERP, etc.

This is the way software and intellectual property works. You never own the software or the media or the technology, you’re granted a right to use it under some specific conditions.

Just the same as Linux. I do not own the copy of Linux running on my computer. i have been granted a right to use it, modify it, and copy it under specified conditions. But i definitely do not “own” it.

Me? I’m pissed because the retail copy of Windows 10 i purchased can’t be transferred to my new motherboard… but then i’ve essentially abandoned Windows at this point. Outside of throw away VMs for work (remote admin stuff).

Witcher 3 for me runs (through steam) just as well as on windows, if not faster. Vega using open driver…

I’ll be keen to see what you find.

I am pretty sure it does check the MAC address and other motherboard identifiers to build a “score”. I.e., you can change one or a couple of the factors, but too many and it goes into re-activation required.

It totally works.

All you need is the SLIC ACPI Table, Original Serial of the Drive & UUID.

When doing setup, hexdump MSDM and use that as the Product Key.