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Troubleshooting activation prompts for a Boot Camp partition in Fusion (1004917)

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You are prompted for a Windows activation in VMware Fusion after you have already completed activation in Boot Camp.


This article provides information on troubleshooting Windows activation in Fusion.


The Boot Camp partition's operating system must be activated twice. Once while the Mac is booted into the partition natively, and once while it is running within a virtual machine. Windows Vista and Windows 7 require an additional activation key, which must be obtained by contacting Microsoft; see Activating Windows Vista and Windows 7 (1015925) for details.

If you are still having issues with activation:
  1. Edit Fusion's .vmx file for the Boot Camp partition to include this line. To locate the .vmx, see  Locating a hosted virtual machine's files (1003880)

    SMBIOS.reflectHost = "TRUE"

    For more information, see Editing the .vmx file for your Fusion virtual machine (1014782).
  2. Launch your Boot Camp partition in Fusion.
  3. Uninstall VMware Tools. For details, see Uninstalling and manually installing VMware Tools in VMware Fusion (1014522).
  4. When Windows has finished restarting, go to Virtual Machine > Install VMware Tools.
  5. After VMware Tools installation, reboot Windows once more and try activating the operating system again.

Additional Information

In some cases when boot camp activation does not stick between reboots its because the windir registry key is not set correct. You may resolve this issue using these steps: 

Note: This procedure modifies the Windows registry. Before making any registry modifications, ensure that you have a current and valid backup of the registry and the virtual machine. For more information on backing up and restoring the registry, see the Microsoft article 136393
  1. In Windows, click Start > Run.
  2. Type regedit and press Enter.
  3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\vmrawdsk\Parameters.
  4. Check that the windir key exists and is set to C:\windows or c:\windows\.

Note: If the key does not exist, you must create it. If it is incorrect, then edit it to match the example above.  

See Also

Update History

12/01/2012 - Added additional information on editing the registry. 09/4/2013 - Added Fusion 6.x information.

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