We were executing a plan to convert all our physical windows XP boxes that are kept inside the server room for various non critical operations on to virtual hosts. At one point we were looking at consolidation options. However, due to the complexity and lack of documentation on implementing the systems made us go into a virtualization option. The physical virtual transition was some what smooth with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client (free version). The main challenge we faced was the windows activation issue once the virtual host is started. It didn't allow us to login to the computer at all and we were at a dilemma.
Fortunately, I was able to find a solution for the issue. The reason we faced this issue is due to the OEM licenses installed on the physical machines. When the HW was changed the license need to be reactivated which created a need to purchase licenses. Once the license was purchased we had to follow the following to activate windows,
On the virtual host
Login to the Safe mode
execute the following command on run,
reboot the host
now you have 30 days to activate windows......