After fiddling around with running Windows XP on Parallels for several months, I came to the conclusion that the best method of installation is to use Apple’s Boot Camp first and run Parallels off of the Boot Camp partition (which is a really cool option to have, just so you know).
However, due to the nature of virtualization versus natively running and OS, my copy of windows appeared to have been activated on three different machines. First, was my initial installation of XP under Parallels. Then, after installing and activating it under Boot Camp, I attempted to open up the partition from within OS X via Parallels. The issue is that running Windows on Boot Camp and via Parallels appears to have very different hardware configurations to the OS, and thus to Microsoft. My OEM copy of XP would not allow for a third activation, quickly leaving it useless under XP (although I did have my first virtual machine copy to use, when needed).
Now, despite all the griping I had found online about getting a copy of Windows re-activated, it really only took me about eight minutes to get my copy blessed again this past Friday evening. As far as outsourced technical support goes, this was rather painless. Actually, if I knew more what the automated phone system wanted me to say regarding “how many machines has this been previously installed on?” I probably would have been done in less time (my guess: say “none” next time). All I had to do was recite a 9 x 6 digit number (no letters, just numbers) over the phone (twice, once to a machine and once to a live technician). After the second time, and answer a couple of questions, the technician just read back to me another 9 x 6 digit (yes, that’s 54 digits) number to enter in. He even waited to make sure it worked for me before getting off the line.
I think sometimes people just like to complain about Microsoft. Of all the anti-piracy measures I’ve encountered yet, this was one of the least cumbersome to deal with as an honest user.