Ticket #9231 (closed enhancement: fixed)

Opened 7 years ago

Last modified 6 years ago

VirtualBox Should Have an SLIC Passthrough Mechanism => Fixed in SVN

Reported by: tomgelinas Owned by:
Priority: minor Component: VM control
Version: VirtualBox 4.0.12 Keywords: SLIC, SLP, Windows, Raw Disk, BIOS, DMI
Cc: Guest type: Windows
Host type: Linux

Description (last modified by frank) (diff)

When Windows 7 or Vista are exposed to major hardware changes, their license validation ("Product Activation") is revoked. If a natively-installed Windows 7 OS is run in VirtualBox via "raw hard disk access" VMDK, the user is left with 30 days to reactivate. With Windows XP, this could be avoided by using different "hardware profiles" for either bare-metal or virtualized environments. Windows 6.0+ is better at hardware detection and has no hardware profile feature.

A workaround for this problem uses System Locked Preinstallation (SLP): SLP is used to activate Windows on most OEM computers, and is less affected by hardware changes. Windows remains activated so long as a computer's BIOS has an SLIC string that corresponds with certain Windows license keys. This effectively binds the Windows license to a specific model of computer, similar to the method Apple uses to ensure OS X can only be run on Apple hardware.

Common Windows licenses allow the use of Windows both virtually and physically on the same hardware. Considering that VBox is able to run OS X given the presence of certain strings in BIOS ("ourhardworkbythesewordsguared..."), it would make sense for this type of feature to be extended to Windows. Windows licensing could even be afforded more protection than OS X, because there is currently no interface to to manually supply an SLIC key to VirtualBox while any string could be added to a VM's DMI.

A machine's SLIC can be read in Linux via /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/SLIC It's already possible to add it using a hex editor. Offering to relay a real SLIC seems like a fair compromise.

Change History

comment:1 Changed 7 years ago by Technologov

Hmmm... very interesting know-how. +1.


comment:2 in reply to: ↑ description Changed 7 years ago by tomgelinas This thread contains discussion between Dr.-Ing. Frank Mehnert and patch submitters. It contains patches for VBox 1.6 that allowed one to specify an SLIC using environmental variables. VBoxMange would be a more appropriate method.

comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by zigg

There are viable patches to add SLIC support here:

I've used these patches and the contents of the SLIC table (available at /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/SLIC) to successfully use my OEM license of Windows 7 in a VirtualBox installation under Ubuntu instead of on the bare hardware.

I've PM'd the author to encourage him to submit them for inclusion.

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by zigg

Just for an update, patches were submitted to vbox-dev:

comment:5 Changed 6 years ago by frank

  • Description modified (diff)
  • Summary changed from VirtualBox Should Have an SLIC Passthrough Mechanism to VirtualBox Should Have an SLIC Passthrough Mechanism => Fixed in SVN

The patches were applied a while ago and will be available with the next major release.

comment:6 Changed 6 years ago by frank

  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to fixed

The patch is part of VirtualBox 4.2.0.

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