If you buy a cheap CD Key...

Astrowind

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I mean the seller was just deleted on eBay and the item removed. I find this a bit alarming. Anyway, if my copy of Windows won't work, what's my first step? (I know about asking for a refund but... this is weird as it's an OS.)
 

Master_shake_

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8 bucks?

last windows 10 one i bought was 2 bucks.

try activating again?

mine took 2 or three tries.
 

x509

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8 bucks?

last windows 10 one i bought was 2 bucks.

try activating again?

mine took 2 or three tries.
Just took a look at the FS/FT forum. Geez, those are good prices for Windows and Office. I know that [H] is a good forum, but can I trust these guys? I'm worried about "day keys." How do I make sure I'm getting a key that won't expire?
 

primetime

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You go to a Microsoft Authorized retail outlet and buy a legitimate copy.
i have never had a windows key expire lol.....and i seriously doubt any long time people here are selling bad keys
 

SmokeRngs

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Oh I bet they're doing something that's against the EULA.
Basically this. However, I doubt MS really gives a damn as long as people are using MS OSes and software. Otherwise I'm sure it would be much more difficult for many of the key sellers to keep selling.

That said, look at the different people selling keys. I know at least one sells quite a few different keys for Win10 and explains exactly what each type is and has different prices on them. I purchased a key for my son's new system a few months ago from one of the sellers on the forum but I made sure it was a Retail Win10 Pro key. Not a day key or anything else of the sort. I also had no problem with it. I already had the OS installed when I got the key, entered the key in the registration section and it activated just fine. There have been no issues with it. Also, the expiration issue on keys is usually tied to "day keys" if not used rather quickly as explained by at least one of the sellers. Keys expiring should only be an issue regarding the initial activation. Once the key is activated and tied to the hardware I think it's unlikely it can "expire" after that point at least if it's a retail key.

It was the first and only time I've purchased a key that way and I figured I'd do it just for the hell of it. It was $8 and I figure if the key ends up de-authorized I'm only out $8 and I can get another key whether from a seller such as that or an official retail key.
 

Mazzspeed

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Basically this. However, I doubt MS really gives a damn as long as people are using MS OSes and software. Otherwise I'm sure it would be much more difficult for many of the key sellers to keep selling.

That said, look at the different people selling keys. I know at least one sells quite a few different keys for Win10 and explains exactly what each type is and has different prices on them. I purchased a key for my son's new system a few months ago from one of the sellers on the forum but I made sure it was a Retail Win10 Pro key. Not a day key or anything else of the sort. I also had no problem with it. I already had the OS installed when I got the key, entered the key in the registration section and it activated just fine. There have been no issues with it. Also, the expiration issue on keys is usually tied to "day keys" if not used rather quickly as explained by at least one of the sellers. Keys expiring should only be an issue regarding the initial activation. Once the key is activated and tied to the hardware I think it's unlikely it can "expire" after that point at least if it's a retail key.

It was the first and only time I've purchased a key that way and I figured I'd do it just for the hell of it. It was $8 and I figure if the key ends up de-authorized I'm only out $8 and I can get another key whether from a seller such as that or an official retail key.
If anyone builds systems for a living, do not use these keys. Microsoft have spies that buy systems and check the history of the keys used, if you're found using a key not bought off a certified Microsoft reseller pain usually ensures.
 

Astrowind

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Oh, I didn't even think of checking here. I hope some sold here are unused or at least retail. My understanding is OEM is tied to the hardware.

The thing is, I didn't even try activating it yet. Then I noticed the person is no longer a registered user. At least I know I can try several times so I'll see when I try.
 

Shoganai

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I’ve never had a key expire after purchasing from folks in here. And you’re worried about being screwed over here when you just got screwed over on eBay? :confused:
 

x509

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I’ve never had a key expire after purchasing from folks in here. And you’re worried about being screwed over here when you just got screwed over on eBay? :confused:
I'm not the OP, who got screwed on fleaBay.
 

jmilcher

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You go to a Microsoft Authorized retail outlet and buy a legitimate copy.
You mean you buy from an authorized source. If the keys weren’t “legitimate “ they wouldn’t activate.
 
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dvsman

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For hobby builds - these keys work great. I used them all the time.

However, under no circumstances would I personally ever use any of these keys for a work / professional environment.

And what Mazzspeed means is if you're REALLY worried, spend the $$$ and get a retail key.

By buying a shortcut key - no matter where it's from (OEM or grey market or ...) - you're taking a risk.

There's worry-free and there's being cheap. Pick one :-D
 

DogsofJune

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For hobby builds - these keys work great. I used them all the time.

However, under no circumstances would I personally ever use any of these keys for a work / professional environment.

And what Mazzspeed means is if you're REALLY worried, spend the $$$ and get a retail key.

By buying a shortcut key - no matter where it's from (OEM or grey market or ...) - you're taking a risk.

There's worry-free and there's being cheap. Pick one :-D
This.

I have two keys I got on this forum. Work great for my home PC's
 

Astrowind

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I’ve never had a key expire after purchasing from folks in here. And you’re worried about being screwed over here when you just got screwed over on eBay? :confused:
Since I read some textbooks on the social sciences, I prefer to try to stay objective. That being said, this user had lots of positive feedback on eBay, even for the CD keys.

In reality, I had a somewhat peculiar reason for this key. I wanted one to use in a 5 year old machine and install it on a SSD while I wait for Rocket Lake (unless I go with AMD).
 

ManofGod

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I mean the seller was just deleted on eBay and the item removed. I find this a bit alarming. Anyway, if my copy of Windows won't work, what's my first step? (I know about asking for a refund but... this is weird as it's an OS.)
If it works, do not worry about it and do not look back. Yes, if you are building machines for resale as a business and not like one or two a year for friends, then you will need to get a legit OEM or retail key from Newegg or other places but, that is just commonsense.
 

dvsman

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Here's the way I look at it. I may do a build every other year.

I can spend less than $20 and risk it for that amount of time, or $100+ however much the OEM stuff costs nowadays and be 100% bulletproof. I used to spend the $100+ when I was younger / dumber but I came to the realization that - excluding security reasons - if an "El Cheapo" key goes bad, I can just buy another one. That's the point of buying cheap in the first place. Heck, I've seen some guys sell WinPro keys for 8-10 bucks ... that's a few Starbucks' lattes or MickeyDs happy meals nowadays.
 

Domingo

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I'd try calling the activation number. The tech team on the other side doesn't know or care where that key came from. They hand out replacements left and right anyway. I had trouble with an upgrade key working a few years ago. The guy on their side couldn't get it to work either. He ended up just giving me a totally new one right over the phone...and it was a non-upgrade key, too.
Their goal is just to sniff out obvious BS and get people up and running.
 

SmokeRngs

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If anyone builds systems for a living, do not use these keys. Microsoft have spies that buy systems and check the history of the keys used, if you're found using a key not bought off a certified Microsoft reseller pain usually ensures.
Oh, definitely this. Never use one of these gray market keys for systems for other people. I wouldn't even use them for family that isn't immediate family or friends. There's no way I'd use them for a system I was making any money on whatsoever as it's not worth the hassle and risk if something does go bad with the key. When building for someone else they're going to be paying for a copy from a legit re-seller. Use these keys for personal use only.
 

ir0nw0lf

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I used to know a guy here in town who worked at the county dump. He was so cheap he would take the dead junker systems people were bringing in to properly dispose of and use a heat gun to get off any Windows 7/8 serial # stickers so he could use them on builds on the side to install Windows 10. Doesn't get any cheaper than that. :D
 

ChadD

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May I make a suggestion.

If your going to buy a clearly illegal copy of windows. Why not just pirate it.

Seriously find a Windows 10 Enterprise torrent or something and call it a day. Trust me NO key you buy for 10 bucks is legit. It may activate but it still ain't legal.

If your going to pirate just pirate... don't make some jackhole in the middle with a key generator rich. lol
 

Mazzspeed

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I used to know a guy here in town who worked at the county dump. He was so cheap he would take the dead junker systems people were bringing in to properly dispose of and use a heat gun to get off any Windows 7/8 serial # stickers so he could use them on builds on the side to install Windows 10. Doesn't get any cheaper than that. :D
Sounds a lot like the guy that was arrested recently? ;)
 

Astrowind

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May I make a suggestion.

If your going to buy a clearly illegal copy of windows. Why not just pirate it.

Seriously find a Windows 10 Enterprise torrent or something and call it a day. Trust me NO key you buy for 10 bucks is legit. It may activate but it still ain't legal.

If your going to pirate just pirate... don't make some jackhole in the middle with a key generator rich. lol
Well, for what it's worth, I read the reason some are sold cheap is because they're surplus keys from businesses who sell them to resellers.
 

Domingo

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Well, for what it's worth, I read the reason some are sold cheap is because they're surplus keys from businesses who sell them to resellers.
I think that's often the case. I used to work for a company that would use a volume key with thousands of licenses attached. I guess MS stopped doing that, so they'd then send over a massive sheet of keys. The ones my company didn't need, they'd sell to employees for super cheap. There's no reason they couldn't sell them to a 3rd party instead.
 

ChadD

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Well, for what it's worth, I read the reason some are sold cheap is because they're surplus keys from businesses who sell them to resellers.
Those companies are not allowed to resell their keys. I know they will probably activate... and I guess that makes people feel a bit better. But its still not a legal copy of windows.

Its like going into a little convenience store and buying a Coke or Pepsi with a big bold "NOT FOR INDIVIDUAL SALE" on the bottle. ;) Its Coke and the person in trouble over it would be the person running the store not you... anyway same sort of thing. Those massive corp licenses are not sold to companies so they can recoup their costs selling "overage" keys. Same goes for people reselling their own personal licences. In some countries that may actually be allowed... but its not in the US (and most western countries that aren't in the EU).

Anyway I know a lot of people do it frankly I doubt MS gives a shit really they want Windows gathering your data anyway that is where the real money is. No idea why MS doesn't just drop all the silly windows skus make 10 Pro and enterprise free (as in really free) and make their money off the data in the light... and off enterprise licencing things like AD and cloud solutions. Its not like their actual OS sales are even big enough to report on their Quarterlies anymore.
 

dvsman

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To add - I don't think the companies are selling the keys ... I think Bob in IT is selling the keys that he knows are leftovers from any particular procurement or project.

Sure they might not be "legal" keys but they are "real" keys that will work.

The pirate keys may or may not work and may or may not get de-activated now or down the road.

That's why an "illegal" but "real" key is still more worthwhile than just a plain torrent and serial IMO.
 

pendragon1

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To add - I don't think the companies are selling the keys ... I think Bob in IT is selling the keys that he knows are leftovers from any particular procurement or project.

Sure they might not be "legal" keys but they are "real" keys that will work.

The pirate keys may or may not work and may or may not get de-activated now or down the road.

That's why an "illegal" but "real" key is still more worthwhile than just a plain torrent and serial IMO.
yup. ms sees the legit key and says "thats fine", they see a fake key and it gets blasted.
 

Zedicus

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microsoft also seems to be offering free upgrades to 10 from 7 again. there's an app from MS to check rather you 'qualify?' seems to be working for a fair number of people but i have not attempted it.
 

pendragon1

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microsoft also seems to be offering free upgrades to 10 from 7 again. there's an app from MS to check rather you 'qualify?' seems to be working for a fair number of people but i have not attempted it.
it never stopped working. you have always been able to use a 7/8 key to install 10.
 

Zedicus

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it never stopped working. you have always been able to use a 7/8 key to install 10.
it most certainly did stop working, or maybe 'get very selective' on what could be upgraded there for a while. that is the reason i started buying these 'low cost, possibly questionable' windows 10 keys to begin with.
 

pendragon1

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it most certainly did stop working, or maybe 'get very selective' on what could be upgraded there for a while. that is the reason i started buying these 'low cost, possibly questionable' windows 10 keys to begin with.
they said it would stop working but didnt. ive done dozens of installs and upgrades using 7/8 keys since it supposedly stopped.
 

Mazzspeed

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The use of Windows 7 keys to activate Windows 10 took a bit of a dip, I was really only able to get manufacturer OEM keys to activate 10. But now it seems any Windows 7 key activates 10 again...
 

Zedicus

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what i found was retail 7 WOULD activate 10, manufacturer OEM would USUALLY activate 10, online purchased OEM would NOT activate 10.

not that i know for 100%, i probably only tried with 40 or 50 computers.

i only ever had a couple windows 8 keys to try and they activated 10 fine. they were manufacturer OEM ON THE ORIGINAL DEVICE.
 
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