How to install an HP branded Windows OS as a virtual server

I got this question from a customer that bought a HP Proliant server with a Windows ROK license (Reseller Option Kit).

However this customer had some issues with the installation of the license since the Windows server was installed on top of a hypervisor. Since the Windows server does not recognize the ‘hardware’ as a Proliant server, licensing will not succeed.

There is a simple solution. A parameter can be added so that the virtual machines ‘think’ that they are running on real hardware. Here are the procedures for the 2 most popular hypervisors on the market:

VMware:

After creating the virtual machine, go to Edit Settings / Options / General and select “Configuration Parameters”

Add a row, paste “smbios.reflecthost” as the name, and true as the value

Be aware that the virtual machine must be shut down to make this change.

** There  is a similar procedure where you have to   add smbios.ReflectHost = “TRUE”   in the vmx file of the VM. Result will be the same.

vmproperties

Hyper-V:

The trick for Hyper-V environments is the addition of a registry key to the VM.

All steps are detailed in this document starting on page 21.

– Execute the following command from the command prompt if the guest operating system is HP-branded Windows Server® 2008 R2: Reg Add “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Virtualization” /v BiosLockString /t REG_SZ /d “Hewlett-Packard                 ”
NOTE: In the following command line after the word “Hewlett-Packard” there are 17 blank spaces before the quotation mark that must be entered as part of the command.

– Execute the following command from the command prompt if the guest operating system is HP-branded Windows Server 2012: Reg Add “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Virtualization” /v BiosLockString /t REG_SZ /d “HP                              ”
NOTE: In the following command line after the word “HP” there are 30 blank spaces before the quotation mark that must be entered as part of the command.

 

Another great resource is the HP FAQ for Microsoft OEM licensing document.

Author: Bart Heungens

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