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  • Discounted Windows 10 vendors

    Posted on WSjsachs177 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 Discounted Windows 10 vendors

    This topic contains 25 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

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    • #1914115 Reply

      WSjsachs177
      AskWoody Lounger

      This is a variation on the old question “What about all those cheap copies of Windows on eBay?”

      I bought two cheap copies of Windows 7 on eBay a couple of years ago. I installed both on homebuilt machines that I used mainly for testing add-on hardware. Both worked for about a year, then stopped. Now when I boot them I get messages that say “Your copy of Windows is counterfeit!!!” and “Microsoft has deactivated this license key” — contradictory things, but never mind that.

      I’ve been trying to contact Microsoft about this on and off, but I always get lost in voice mail h***. Now I’m inclined to buy two copies of Windows 10 and start over.

      So, two questions.

      First, what’s with the nag messages that didn’t start for a year? Why would Microsoft let me use a counterfeit Windows for a year, then stop me? Alternatively, why would they deactivate a legitimate license key after it has been in use for a year?

      Second, how can I avoid having this happen again? Lots of eBay sellers offer Windows 10 keys for $7 to $10, and I assume they are dodgy. Others claim to offer sealed OEM packages for $30 to $35; are those likely to be safe? (I’m talking about long-time sellers with many sales and high ratings.) Or must I go somewhere like Fry’s and pay $139.99?

    • #1914146 Reply

      PKCano
      Da Boss

      If you buy a cheap copy of Windows you are almost always going to be taken to the cleaners. Especially copies of Win7 or Win8.1 these days. If you pay big money for it, with all sorts of claims of validity, I’d be willing to bet it’s not legit. Even Amazon has been full of these knock-offs sold by third party vendors.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1914168 Reply

      CADesertRat
      AskWoody Plus

      Last year I built a new system and got a Retail W10 Pro key for $125.00 but now I see that they are cheaper, $115.00. This is a licensed MS reseller store and I have had no problems with the key. It is only good for 1 machine. You can call them if you like to verify that it is a retail key, their phone number is on the site and they are very friendly. If you wait for the chat window to open, there is another $5.00 off.

      As PKCano say’s, those cheapies are almost always a scam.

      https://www.trustedtechteam.com/products/windows-10-pro-1-license?dfw_tracker=32491-36041889482

      I’m not affiliated with them, I just bought a key. Hope this helps.

      Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
      4 Win 10 Pro currently 1809 (3 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

    • #1915246 Reply

      WSjsachs177
      AskWoody Lounger

      I appreciate the efforts to answer my question, but neither one really does so. I observed that cheap keys are likely to be illegitimate and expensive consumer editions are, well, expensive. The answers basically tell me the same thing. I asked about a third, intermediately priced type of product; I can’t tell whether either answer assumes that it counts as “cheap but dodgy” or “reliable but expensive” or just doesn’t address it at all.

      I’m going to ask my question in a more technically oriented forum. If I find a useful answer I’ll report it here.

      • #1915279 Reply

        CADesertRat
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m going to ask my question in a more technically oriented forum. If I find a useful answer I’ll report it here

        You will need to be more specific about where you are talking about getting the keys. I’m assuming you are talking about places like SCDkey and Kinguin (since you didn’t say in your earlier post) which sell OEM or Retail keys in the price range you stated earlier.

        Those places have good and bad reports on them. Some people are happy with those keys and others have complained that if they have to re-activate the keys after a MB change etc. that they won’t re-activate. Hence my decision to go the direction I did. Good luck and I hope all works out well for you in whatever decision you make.

        Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
        4 Win 10 Pro currently 1809 (3 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

    • #1915280 Reply

      Mr. Natural
      AskWoody Plus

      OEM products are intended to be packaged with a new pc purchase and legally must be used only on the pc that was purchased with it. Legally speaking you need to purchase a fully licensed product key. And if you’re buying one it might as well be Windows 10 or 8.1 since Windows 7 won’t receive updates after the end of this year.

      Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

    • #1915286 Reply

      anonymous

      Hi jsachs. It will be interesting if “a more technically oriented forum” will have a more authoritative answer. Microsoft, being the author of the software under discussion, is the last word in the legitimacy of any Microsoft license or product key. Everyone else can only give an opinion on whether it ‘should’ be legitimate or not.

      I cannot think of any market based reason for a legitimate stand alone product to sell at a deep discount under high demand conditions. Exceptions are: loss leaders, to hold your interest in another product; bundled products, where the ‘savings’ are hidden by overcharging on another included item; or the addiction model, where you give the first one free to hook the unaware.

      You will believe this still does not answer your nuanced question. You will continue to think we do not understand that specific offer you want to believe is both good and true. I have tried to give the reasons behind the reasoning that it may be too good to be true.

    • #1915575 Reply

      cmptrgy
      AskWoody Plus

      “I bought two cheap copies of Windows 7 on eBay a couple of years ago. I installed both on homebuilt machines that I used mainly for testing add-on hardware.”
      — That’s a good idea to have a testing machine: in your case 2 of them.
      — I have a testing machine that was originally Windows 7 Home and is now Windows 10 Home.

      Your questions are
      “What about all those cheap copies of Windows on eBay?”
      — You want to investigate “a more technically oriented forum”, what about going to the direct source of where you purchased what you did.
      — I guarantee you, they’d hear from me.
      Moving on “Now when I boot them I get messages that say “Your copy of Windows is counterfeit!!!” and “Microsoft has deactivated this license key”
      — That one is a new one on me.
      — Have you contacted the vendor?

      Moving on to “So, two questions.”
      1. First, what’s with the nag messages that didn’t start for a year?
      1.1 Why would Microsoft let me use a counterfeit Windows for a year, then stop me?
      1.2 Alternatively, why would they deactivate a legitimate license key after it has been in use for a year?
      — All excellent questions.
      — Go to the direct source of where you purchased what you did.
      — It wasn’t Microsoft who let you use “a counterfeit Windows for a year” or “deactivate a legitimate license key after it has been in use for a year”
      — I’ll repeat, Have you contacted the vendor?

      2. Second, how can I avoid having this happen again?
      2.1 Lots of eBay sellers offer Windows 10 keys for $7 to $10, and I assume they are dodgy. Others claim to offer sealed OEM packages for $30 to $35; are those likely to be safe? (I’m talking about long-time sellers with many sales and high ratings.)
      2.2 Or must I go somewhere like Fry’s and pay $139.99?”
      — If you want to avoid having that to happen again, I don’t think buying “Windows 10 keys for $7 to $10” is the answer.
      — Why not download from the Microsoft Store?
      — If you ever have issues that crop up in which you have to reset, clean install or any of the other recovery options available, you can have the Microsoft version re-installed easily enough: I’ve done that for a few people I helped w/o any problems.

      On “I’ve been trying to contact Microsoft about this on and off, but I always get lost in voice mail h***. Now I’m inclined to buy two copies of Windows 10 and start over.”
      — Chances are you will find Microsoft will not help you in the situation you are in.
      — They will not recognize your product key and I have personally seen that happen to a few people.

      CADesertRat in post #1914168 provided personal testimony and information for https://www.trustedtechteam.com/products/windows-10-pro-1-license?dfw_tracker=32491-36041889482
      — I don’t know if you’ve checked them out as their cost is more than $7 to $10 but they include they are a Microsoft Partner.
      — I also don’t know how much weight being a Microsoft Partner is a legitimate element for all companies that claim that.

      However I just checked eBAY’s site, I sellers with excellent ratings regardless if price but haven’t found one yet that claimed to be a Microsoft Partner.

      Bottom line: Put the onus on the vendor, not Microsoft in your case

      HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

    • #1916835 Reply

      EP
      AskWoody_MVP

      what about the “cheap” Windows 10 product keys sold on the Mysoftwarekeys web site?
      are these legit? sometimes Majorgeeks links to it

      • #1916839 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        I don’t know about that specific site.

        But I do know that similar sites have offered to pay a decent sum of money to advertise on AskWoody – both newsletter and web site.

        I’ll start showing a few ads before too long — we need the income! — but they’ll only be for products that I, personally, approve of.

        6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1916888 Reply

      cmptrgy
      AskWoody Plus

      what about the “cheap” Windows 10 product keys sold on the Mysoftwarekeys web site?
      are these legit? sometimes Majorgeeks links to it

      My Software Keys
      https://mysoftwarekeys.com/product-category/windows/windows-10/ref/5?campaign=Win10
      Further down at the bottom, they are listed as a Microsoft Gold Partner.
      — I haven’t had any experience with them, but I would consider them.

      HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

    • #1916892 Reply

      jabeattyauditor
      AskWoody Lounger

      what about the “cheap” Windows 10 product keys sold on the Mysoftwarekeys web site?
      are these legit? sometimes Majorgeeks links to it

      My Software Keys
      https://mysoftwarekeys.com/product-category/windows/windows-10/ref/5?campaign=Win10
      Further down at the bottom, they are listed as a Microsoft Gold Partner.
      — I haven’t had any experience with them, but I would consider them.

      It’s pretty easy to put a Microsoft Gold Partner logo on your site… verifying partner status is a lot more difficult, which is what sites like the one mentioned are counting on.

      MVP Edit: Logo removed due to infringement of corporate guidelines

      • #1916901 Reply

        Microfix
        Da Boss

        and that one is stretched slightly altering the font and window logo so does not conform to MS corporate logo guidelines. It’s small details that give away fake certs.

        The logo must be used as provided by Microsoft with no changes, including but not limited to changes in the color, proportion, or design, or removal of any words or artwork. The logo may not be animated, morphed, or otherwise distorted in perspective or appearance.

        ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

    • #1917024 Reply

      wavy
      AskWoody Plus

      From Major Geeks :
      https://www.majorgeeks.com/content/page/how_to_check_if_your_windows_license_is_retailoemor_volume.html
      type at the command prompt: slmgr -dli
      I would also recommend :

      slmgr -dlv
      seems more verbose

      slmgr -xpr
      tells if you are permanently licensed

      Mine looks OK
      � 🤗

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1917091 Reply

        CADesertRat
        AskWoody Plus

        Yup, mine is retail and permanently licensed as I thought it was. Thanks Wavy.

        Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
        4 Win 10 Pro currently 1809 (3 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

    • #1920643 Reply

      hhodges
      AskWoody Plus

      I got a builder’s version of Win10 some time ago and paid ~ $100.  But I have purchased Win7 from eBay supposedly from ‘destroyed’ machines.  That license was ~ $10 and is still operable after 3 years.  I had to get the license because I had bought a Thinkpad on eBay with Win7 installed.  When I replaced the HD with a SSD, the license died and the phone activation let me know my key wasn’t genuine.  I called the laptop vendor and was told too bad (for me), sorry.  Apparently they had sideloaded their pirated copy but it passed all the checks until the SSD change.

      The eBay vendor for Win7 had a high rating, so I am happy.

      Microsoft’s licensing policy has always amazed me in that OEMs don’t buy the OS at the price consumers pay.  It seems rather unfair that we must pay retail to upgrade.  We bought a system with an OS via some OEM.  We are told that our OS is becoming obsolete or no longer maintainable through no fault of our use nor the OEMs action, but continuing to use the OS is hazardous because of a variety of faults with that OS.  To remedy that we are forced to buy an updated, maintainable OS, but with no discount.  Sure we might get new, better features but the only reason to upgrade is to eliminate the faulty old OS.  Progress indeed.

    • #1920923 Reply

      mhlambert
      AskWoody Plus

      I have a Windows 10 laptop that was purchased with Win 10 Home that I wanted to upgrade to Pro (to control updates).

      I purchased a Win 10 Pro Key purportedly from a scrap PC on eBay for 2.66 British Pounds. The instructions provided indicated it could not be used for upgrades – only for new installations.

      For under $5 I thought I’d give it a try. I used the “Change Product Key” option on the Home installation and in a few seconds I had a Pro installation.

      The slmgr commands noted above indicate it is permanently licensed.

    • #1921480 Reply

      DriftyDonN
      AskWoody Plus

      what about the “cheap” Windows 10 product keys sold on the Mysoftwarekeys web site?
      are these legit? sometimes Majorgeeks links to it

      I purchased “key” for upate from home to pro…got a key for complete Pro version.

      pcdstination.com     $58.

      Reads permanent retail on 2 laptops.

      For what its worth….

       

    • #1921518 Reply

      Susan Bradley
      AskWoody MVP

      If it’s too good to be true, it is too good to be true.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1922753 Reply

      DriftyDonN
      AskWoody Plus

      what about the “cheap” Windows 10 product keys sold on the Mysoftwarekeys web site?
      are these legit? sometimes Majorgeeks links to it

      I purchased “key” for upate from home to pro…got a key for complete Pro version.

      pcdstination.com     $58.

      Reads permanent retail on 2 laptops.

      For what its worth….

       

      OBVIOUS SP ISSUE

      [Edit: Link removed. Please follow the site rules: Software of dubious origin or from inappropriate distributors, key-gens, or similar, are unacceptable]

      Sorry…..

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  DriftyDonN.
      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  DriftyDonN. Reason: spelling in url
      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  PKCano.
    • #1922785 Reply

      anonymous

      WSjsachs177, some low priced activation key can be legit, others may be “questionable” that they are overflow of a purchased set, and are sold off and some are not legit at all.

      See the below sites. It may help you understand why some may work a year, then stop. It may even be a patch causing it. See the 3rd link offered.

      Cheap Windows 10 Keys: Do They Work?
      https://www.howtogeek.com/392080/cheap-windows-10-keys-do-they-work/
      “Microsoft deactivates the keys, and those Windows installations are no longer activated”

      How Does Windows Activation Work?
      https://www.howtogeek.com/182847/htg-explains-how-does-windows-activation-work/

      Activation failures and “not genuine” notifications around January 8, 2019, on volume-licensed Windows 7 KMS clients
      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4487266/activation-failures-and-not-genuine-notifications-on-vl-win-7-kms-clie
      “Some users may receive the Windows Activation or “Windows is not genuine” notifications starting at or after 10:00 UTC, January 8, 2019.”

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1924268 Reply

      wavy
      AskWoody Plus

      If it’s too good to be true, it is too good to be true.

      What about squatter’s rights ?? 8\

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #1928145 Reply

      WSjsachs177
      AskWoody Lounger

      I’ve learned that Microsoft does indeed let people use illegitimate license keys for many months, then deactivates them. I’m pretty sure that is what happened to me. Thus my confidence in a well-established, high-rated seller was unwarranted; Microsoft’s lack of diligence allows dishonest sellers to do business for long periods of time, and gather many happy customers, before license deactivations touch off a chain of events that shuts them down.

      I’ve also learned that Windows 10 is much more friendly to unlicensed users than Windows 7 was. I originally did not intend to use unlicensed software, but everything Microsoft does seems to be pushing me in that direction. I still want to get licenses eventually, but I can get on with business while I figure out what to buy.

      That makes my question less urgent for me than it was. I’m responding to some of the later comments anyway to see if we can move the discussion forward.

      CADesertRat said, “You will need to be more specific about where…” As I said in the original post, I’m shopping on eBay. I don’t think I’ve mentioned any other markets or vendors. (Please, no lectures on the dangers of buying on eBay. I’ve been an active buyer and seller on eBay, on and off, for nearly 20 years. I’d be delighted to get informed comments on the current state of this particular segment of the eBay market, but no one here seems to know about that.)

      Mr. Natural said, “OEM products are intended to be packaged with a new pc purchase and legally must be used only on the pc that was purchased with it. Legally speaking you need to purchase a fully licensed product key.” The first part of that is not entirely true, and the second is not true at all. OEM licenses are good for installation on only one machine, but Microsoft really doesn’t care whether I buy 10,000 of them for 10,000 machines that I’ll sell, or I buy one for a homebrew machine that I’ll use in my basement. (I base this on statements by Microsoft representatives on Microsoft forums.) So if I buy a legitimate OEM license I’ll be fine, legally as well as practically, as long as I abide by its limitations.

      anonymous: The limitations are quite sufficient to explain the deep discounts for OEM licenses. Part of the question I’m asking is whether they are the actual explanation. You’re correct that nothing you’ve said addresses that.

      cmptrgy, I would love to discuss this with the vendor, but he has disappeared. That is mainly why I think he was not legitimate, and that I was fooled because Microsoft’s slow license enforcement allowed him to continue selling bad keys much longer than I would have thought possible.

      (Later you mentioned My Software Keys. I appreciate the suggestion and I’ll take a look at them, although I understand “Gold Partner” to be a technical accreditation rather than a badge of honor. It stands to reason that someone who is able and willing to become a Gold Partner would not blow it by selling black market software. Many things that stand to reason have proved to be false, though. And as others observed, Gold Partner status is easier to claim than to verify.)

      I think you misunderstood my comment about lack of success in reaching Microsoft. I did not expect to call them right up and make them reactivate my key. I wanted to start by getting an explanation of what happened to it that was more definite (and consistent) than the one Windows gave me. If they said “Your key was deactivated because it was not legitimate, and sorry, yes, we may do that after months of delay,” I would have been satisfied, although not happy. But I never got any explanation because I never got to talk to a person. If I had paid full price for an end user license and wanted Microsoft support, I would have had the same problem.

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by  WSjsachs177.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1928472 Reply

        CADesertRat
        AskWoody Plus

        CADesertRat said, “You will need to be more specific about where…” As I said in the original post, I’m shopping on eBay. I don’t think I’ve mentioned any other markets or vendors. (Please, no lectures on the dangers of buying on eBay. I’ve been an active buyer and seller on eBay, on and off, for nearly 20 years. I’d be delighted to get informed comments on the current state of this particular segment of the eBay market, but no one here seems to know about that.)

        Evidently I haven’t understood the deep meaning of your questions, sorry about that and I certainly wouldn’t lecture you about the pitfalls of buying those great Windows keys on Ebay. Have a great day and “hopefully” a successful quest into the mysterious workings of MS legitimate keys. 🙂

        Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
        4 Win 10 Pro currently 1809 (3 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

    • #1928225 Reply

      anonymous

      the referenced anonymous responds.

      “anonymous: The limitations are quite sufficient to explain the deep discounts for OEM licenses. Part of the question I’m asking is whether they are the actual explanation. You’re correct that nothing you’ve said addresses that.”

      You mean the limitation of being a fraudulent offer from a vendor who has disappeared? I would say that being paid to accept fraudulent software would still make it a bad deal. There is no way to make it cheap enough.

      I also correctly predicted you would not be satisfied with the answer.

    • #1929205 Reply

      anonymous

      WSjsachs177 Anon #1922785 here.

      You mentioned, “I’ve learned that Microsoft does indeed let people use illegitimate license keys for many months, then deactivates them. I’m pretty sure that is what happened to me. ”

      Like I said some low priced activation keys can be legit, others may be “questionable” that they are overflow of a purchased set, and are sold off and some are not legit at all. The ones not legit could be from a purchase made by a stolen credit Card (as one of the links mentioned) and when Microsoft is informed of the illegal purchases from the CC company they go through the list of activation numbers and blacklist (turn off) those numbers. It may be weeks or “many months” before this happens. I do not believe Microsoft knows they are illegal and allows you to use them unless there is some legal pathway that must first be investigated, then when proven, they are blacklisted.

      I think CADesertRat and others have done a good job explaining and I hope my explanation sheds some light on this elusive phenomena. But if not, then I feel I will join CA in the Desert with is Rats and we will have fun driving around in our Jeeps.

      1 user thanked author for this post.

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