Parallels Bootcamp Followup

After working with my Win 10 Bootcamp migration in Parallels 11 I discovered something, that at first was a bit disconcerting, but it really does make sense. Getting your Windows OS software “Activated” to your computer is a big deal in the Windows world. It’s not about the OS software, it is about the computer to which it is assigned.



Before installing Windows 10 on my Bootcamp partition I was running a licensed version of Windows 7 Professional. It had been activated with Microsoft, in other words, the software checks in with Microsoft and registers the Bootcamp partition (it sees it as another computer) as valid.

I downloaded and installed Windows 10 which upgraded my Win 7 install (see my previous article). Once it was completely installed I went into the Settings area and Activated it. There were no problems because my previous Windows OS 7 had been Activated. Microsoft accepted it without issue. Now, lets fast forward to the migrated version of Windows 10.

Parallels Win 10

Once I had finished getting Win 10 setup in Parallels I decided to take a look to see if it remained Activated or not. To do this you just go into the Settings area (previously known as Control Panels) and click on the “Update & Security” area like so:

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You will be taken to this window:

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You can see Windows 10 is saying it is not Activated and that I need to get a new serial number. This kind of threw me for a bit until I logged back into my Bootcamp install of Win 10. When I go to the same location in Bootcamp here is what I get:

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Windows 10 “IS” Activated! So what gives? Keep in mind that Windows 10 is connected with a specific machine, the Windows OS has always done that. So, my Win 10 is connected to my Bootcamp “machine”. When Parallels uses it (the migration I chose just uses the Bootcamp install) it makes it look like it is a different computer, hence the non-Activation status. Makes sense right?


So, what does this mean for us? Well, it depends. For me it does not mean much at all. I can do office work, email, web surfing and run other software without issue in the Parallels version of Win 10. It behaves just like the Bootcamp version (so far at least). However, YMMV if you are in there interacting a bunch with the Microsoft Corporaton. I think it may be possible that it would see the Parallels Win 10 version as a rogue computer or something. To be honest I am not too sure of all this, I have done some research online, but no joy.

So, I am giving you this caveat on the Parallels Win 10 migration. If you use Windows like I do, to do a few things and then leave, you will probably be OK. However, if you are using your Bootcamp install of Win 10 more as a full blown PC enviornment, you may wish to hold off on the migration thing. Keep in mind, if you do the Win 10 migration into Parallels and you have issues you can always boot back into Bootcamp like nothing happened. I have booted back several times, all works well.


I just want to give you this heads up before you made the move to migrate. It probably is no big deal to most people, but may cause issues with a few power users of the Windows enviornment.