Are the eBay Windows 10 OEM licenses legit?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Beno201, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Beno201 macrumors member

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    #1
  2. elf69 macrumors 68000

    elf69

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    Cornwall UK
    #2
    They are probably refurb keys.

    Hence why they say about the dead mobo.

    They are probably not OEM but refurb keys.

    We get refurb keys at my work they cost trade £3.00 each.
    However they should ONLY be attached to refurb machine but there is no way of knowing what they are on.

    We also do refurb office 2010 for windows again trade is £3.00 a key.
     
  3. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2013
    #3
    oem is only for computers that originally came with it and can be activated from the hardware firmware. The key just allows the install nothing else.

    Use this tool to download the ISO, then burn it and install it without a key.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10/

    Microsoft remembers hardware and anyone that did the free upgrade doesn't need to use the key anymore.

    I actually did the upgrade on one of my Mac pros and never did the free upgrade on the other, I installed it anyways without a key and it worked! It's fully activated. My guess is that it's not linked to a serial number but instead hardware IDs which means that as long as your hardware IDs are in there system it'll activate. This means that Apple probably used the same hardware id's for there computers and as long as it's there you'll get it to work.

    Worst case scenario is that your hardware ID isn't there and you wasted an hr ish installing it. Give it a try and see if it's a success for you as it was for me.
     
  4. Beno201 thread starter macrumors member

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    #4

    Oh I see, thank you
    --- Post Merged, Aug 17, 2016 ---
    I'm a little confused, sorry.
    So why would my hardware ID be in the system if I've never used Windows on a Mac?
    Are you saying that all Apple computers are registered?

    Thanks
     
  5. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2013
    #5
    I'm saying that it's based on hardware IDs and Apple used the same ones in a lot of systems so if someone took advantage of the upgrade you'll also get it as long as your hardware ID version was upgraded. I missed the upgrade for my second 5,1 Mac Pro but it still activated once installed and that was when I realized that all Apple hardware IDs must be he same or similar, so as long as someone who has the same hardware id as your upgraded it should theoretically activate too.

    All I can suggest is to try it and see. It worked for me so I could work for you.
     
  6. Beno201 thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Sounds good.
    And it's not illegal or anything, is it?
     
  7. chrismail627 macrumors regular

    chrismail627

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    #7
    I purchased a Windows 10 OEM key for my VM on eBay. Worked perfectly, without any problems. I still use that VM and I have had 0 problems with it.
     
  8. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    If Microsoft auto activates it then your good and you have a legal copy. If they dont then you have a 30 day trail which allows you to buy a copy. They were giving out free upgrades for over a year so i wouldnt worry about any legality issues especially if your not entering key and it auto activates.
     
  9. Beno201 thread starter macrumors member

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  10. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    if your hardware id isnt in the system and it doesnt work, you can always buy a lower windows version and use its key with windows 10. Both windows 7/8 work. Just remember if you buy a home key, it'll give you home 10 or a pro will give you a pro 10 version ect..

    So if this doesnt work you can simply shop around for the cheapest version to use its key

    http://betanews.com/2015/10/13/now-...th-your-windows-7-or-windows-8-1-product-key/
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #11
    I bought my Win 10 Pro key online for about $2. It works, just like a normal key. No special activation method required.

    The one I bought should be some volume license's key. Anyway, it works with zero issue so far. And this key allow re-installation. Some other key only can activate once. Those are just $1.

    I've heard that the OEM key works better, but if I can get a $2 working key, why pay $20?
     
  12. LMR80 macrumors member

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    Jul 1, 2016
    #12
    The tool downloads as a text file when downloaded on a mac because its .exe.

    Do you need to download on a windows computer and then burn because of this?
    Please Excuse my inexperience

    Thanks
     
  13. ITguy2016 Suspended

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    May 25, 2016
    #13
    OEM versions of Windows can be purchased from retail outlets so they're not limited to pre-installed systems. The difference between an OEM key and a retail key is the OEM key is tied to a given system and cannot be transferred. Thus if I purchase an OEM license from a retail outlet I am able to install that license on one and only one system. Once installed theoretically it cannot be transferred to a new system (even if it is removed from the previous system). A retail key does not have such a restriction. It can be transferred as many times as you want as long as it is removed from the previous system. The problem is that, move it enough times, it won't automatically activate and you'll have to call Microsoft to activate the license.

    License activations are tied to specific hardware profiles and not any specific hardware ID as shipped from Apple. The hardware profile (which I refer to the hardware ID going forward) is created from various hardware components installed in the system at the time the key is created. The specifics of how this hardware id is generated have, understandably, been a closely guarded secret.

    When you attempt to activate a license the hardware ID is, along with the license key, sent to Microsoft's activation servers. The activation servers look up the license key to determine if the license is already associated with a hardware ID. If not the hardware ID and license key are recorded as associated with one another and, assuming the license key is valid, the system is activated.

    If the license is already associated with a hardware ID that hardware ID is compared with the one computed for the activation request and, if they match, the system is activated. This means you can continually reactivate the same license on the same hardware over and over and over and over again. Thus if you constantly had to rebuild the system you do not need to do anything special.

    The way the hardware ID is computed is flexible in that it will tolerate changes to the hardware profile and still activate. Thus if you add more memory, assuming memory capacity is used to computer the hardware ID, you can still activate the license (or it remains activated) even though the hardware profile has changed. It is significant changes which will cause the activation to fail (or an existing activation to become inactivated). The extent of these changes is unknown as, again, it is a closely guarded secret.

    My personal experience with activating Windows, at least with retail licenses, is there is likely a time based aspect to the activation. I say this for two reasons:
    1. I have had no issues automatically activating a Windows server license that I have moved to new hardware over time. Never have I had to call Microsoft to activate the license. This is a wholesale move...everything about the hardware changed. My thought is the algorithm becomes more relaxed as time goes on.
    2. I've upgraded several systems over a period of time and none of the upgrades have triggered a reactivation of Windows. A memory upgrade here, a USB card there, video card then, new hard drive tomorrow. Perhaps if I did all of these at once I would be required to reactivate. But over a period of time I've never had an issue.
    Probably more than you wanted to know and, as no one knows the details, perhaps some inaccuracies. But should be helpful.

    Back to your original question: One cannot know if a license has been previously activated until they try to activate it. If it has you have no recourse if the seller does not want to resolve the issue. Basically you're taking a chance. But the selling of OEM licenses is not prohibited (as long as they've never been used).
     
  14. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #14
    Wow! Do you remember where you purchased it from? I would like to purchase 2. Thanks.
     
  15. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Yeah you need windows in order to download it and burn it since your just downloading an exe file that gives you two options, 1) download and upgrade or 2) download the iso.

    Very incitement, but i have a feeling that since all mac pros are pretty much exactly the same outside of the processors that as along as you have similar hardware it should theoretically activate and be given a bran new key once it is. This is what happened with my 2nd mac pro, i never upgraded it. I never had windows on it; instead i just threw on windows 10 clicked continue without a key then went online clicked activate and boom it was activated. My two mac pro configurations are basically the same, the only difference was the processors (5660 vs 5970).

    When it comes to other computers this probably wont work as easily, but when it comes to macs it should work for everyone in a similar situation, mac pros/mac book pros/imac's ect... but the only way to prove this theory is to try it out for yourself and see if it actually works. Either my activation was a fluke, or my hardware was so similar that it worked.
     
  16. ITguy2016 Suspended

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    May 25, 2016
    #16
    Keep in mind a key is not a license. For $2 it's unlikely you're receiving the legal right to use the software.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 17, 2016 ---
    Since the details of how activation works are unknown I cannot conclusively refute what you have written. With that said, from a hardware profile, your Mac Pros are not pretty much exactly the same. It's highly unlikely the hardware profile is derived solely from high level specifications such as model, processor speed, hard disk capacity, etc. In addition to the high level specifications specifics about these, and other, components is likely used. Serial number for the hard drive, MAC address for the network card, etc. Microsoft hasn't made it that easy. ;)
     
  17. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Just curious, did you finish the install? I'm curious if it worked for you as it did for me.
     
  18. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

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    Jan 12, 2014
    #18
    I bought for three Macs three Windows 7 Pro OEM licences on eBay and later upgraded them to Windows 10 Pro. Windows 7 installations had to be activated by phone, but no problems.

    That depends. Afaik in Germany and Switzerland OEM licences can be transferred to an other PC. I could use the Windows 7 OEM licences on further PC's, but the Windows 10 installations/activations of course not (indeed the have no key).

    Quote: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&tl=en&u=http://www.zdnet.de/41522985/experten-interview-zur-rechtslage-bei-microsofts-oem-lizenzen/
     
  19. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    New York City, NY
    #19
    The guy in the following video said he bought Windows 10 key for $20-something from www.kinguin.net:



    They even have very friendly payment options...
    Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 3.59.18 PM.png

    Looks like we can pay with Whoppers!
     
  20. ITguy2016 Suspended

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    May 25, 2016
    #20
    Yes, there may be differences based on the country you live. My comments were wrt to the United States.

    The reason you had to call on the OEM licenses is Microsoft does not permit the transfer of them to other systems. However many people have successfully called in to activate an OEM license on a completely different system. I suspect Microsoft isn't all too concerned about the one off types of issues. They want to prevent large scale copying.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 18, 2016 ---
    Subway guy myself (though I'd prefer Jimmy Johns if I were taking payment in sandwiches).
     
  21. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

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    #21
    This probably won't work now that the free upgrade offer has expired.
     
  22. elf69 macrumors 68000

    elf69

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    #22
    OEM key CAN be reused.

    We reuse them at work.
    dead windows 7 laptop etc and we rebuild another laptop or tower and use key on it.

    THE OEM key could be acer/dell/hp/etc but works every time.
     
  23. ITguy2016 Suspended

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    May 25, 2016
    #23
    The OEM license prohibits its transfer to a different system. The fact an OEM key may be reusable on another system does not permit you the legal right to use it on a different system.

    Having said that large vendor OEM licensing tends to work differently. Typically these "self activate" in that they look for vendor specific things and, if seen, "self activate". For example Dell OEM media checks to see if it's being installed on a Dell system. If it detects that it is then it "self activates". If one buys an OEM license from a retail outlet, installs / activates it on a system, and then takes that license and attempts to activate it on a different system you're likely going to be calling Microsoft.

    Regardless of how the activation does / does not work the license prohibits the transfer. A key is not a license. A key is Microsoft's means attempt to enforce the license.
     
  24. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #24
    When people argue about the best way to legally purchase a standalone Windows licence...

    [​IMG]


    As far as I'm concerned, if it activates, it activates. If it was a big deal they wouldn't have offered W10 free for a year. There are loads and loads and loads of keys floating about.

    If you really want to do it completely by the book, then yes, @ITguy2016 is absolutely right. But in all honesty, nobody really gives a hoot; legally or morally. Not even Microsoft. They make their money back tenfold on the OS from data mining and advertisements anyway.
     
  25. elf69 macrumors 68000

    elf69

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    #25
    only truely fixed keys are preinstalled windows 8 and ten as no key on machine it embedded in bios/ufei
     

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