Activating Windows or an application needs to be performed repeatedly
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Activating Windows or an application needs to be performed repeatedly


Article ID: 319505


Updated On:


VMware Desktop Hypervisor


Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, or other applications need to be activated when they are first installed on a new computer. They also need to be activated after certain changes to the computer hardware (such as a new hard drive or new network adapter, in some cases).
This article details the process of troubleshooting activation issues for Windows, Office, or another application if you are prompted for activation every time you restart your virtual machine.
However, note that the total number of allowed activations depend on the software package and the licensing agreement for the software. If you have previously activated this software on another computer (or in a Boot Camp partition), or if you exceed the number of activations allowed, you may have to contact the manufacturer to request an additional activation or license.
Note: Because a virtual machine consists of virtual hardware, this hardware is always different from the Mac's hardware. Even if the Windows or the application has been activated in Boot Camp, it will need to be activated again when that Boot Camp partition is used in Fusion. However, if that Boot Camp partition is later imported into Fusion as a virtual machine, activation will not be required a third time.


VMware Fusion 4.x
VMware Fusion 11.x
VMware Fusion 10.x
VMware Fusion Pro 11.x
VMware Fusion 5.x
VMware Fusion Pro 10.x
VMware Fusion 8.x
VMware Fusion 7.x
VMware Fusion Pro 8.x
VMware Fusion 2.x
VMware Fusion 3.x
VMware Fusion 6.x


Each step below provides instructions and a link to a document for performing the step and taking corrective action as necessary. The steps are ordered in the most appropriate sequence to isolate the issue and to identify the proper resolution. They are also ordered in the most appropriate sequence to minimize data loss. After each step, try the activation again. It is recommended that you work through each troubleshooting step in order and do not skip a step.
If software activation fails, then you need to contact the manufacturer to discuss the activations allowed and licensing restrictions. (For more details about activation on Windows Vista and Windows 7, see Activating Windows Vista and Windows 7 (1015925) and the linked Microsoft articles.)
If the activation succeeds, but you are prompted for activation after each virtual machine reboot, then follow these steps to make the activation permanent.
  1. If you are using a Boot Camp partition in Fusion, delete the Boot Camp meta-data. Fusion will recreate the necessary data, repairing any corruption or missing data. For details, see A Boot Camp virtual machine fails to power on with a disk error (1003483).
  2. Uninstall and then reinstall VMware Tools. For details, see Uninstalling and manually installing VMware Tools in VMware Fusion (1014522).

If the issue continues to exist after trying the steps in this article: