Is my windows a pirate copy?

jarodatkinson

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Hey All,

I was running win10 home edition on my pc ( I bought it privately a couple of years ago).... and decided to upgrade this pc to windows 10 pro.

I was planning to move my copy of windows home to my 2nd computer...

Using "produkey" and "showmykey" produces a default key number, not a retail or oem key number...

Using the powershell wmic path method shows literally nothing.... It just repeats "OA3xOriginalProductKey" with no key shown.

Have I bought a pc with a pirated copy of windows on it?
 
That is generic Windows 10 Home key. Means windows 10 has been upgraded from Windows 7 Home or Windows 8 Home.

If you want to transfer windows 10 Home license to a different pc, then
  • you install clean windows 10 home on pc2 (skip step, when asked for install key),
    log in with microsoft account,
    use activation troubleshooter to transfer license (specify you did a significant hardware change).
 

jarodatkinson

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I believe it is custom built, but I don't know. It's an Asrock z68 extreme 4 gen 3/ 2600k.

Yes, That's the weird bit. It is definitely activated and registered successfully in my name with microsoft. I used it for nearly two years. This has only come up because I replaced the drive to ssd and got windows pro instead.... and wanted to move my copy of home to my 2nd pc... It deactivated when I did that....This afternoon I fresh installed windows 10 home on my 1st pc again, and it activated automatically.... but no key... just the default YTMG3-N6DKC-DKB77-7M9GH-8HVX7....
 

jarodatkinson

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I bought a second hand pc with windows 10 home already installed.... That is the key I am refering to
 
That is generic Windows 10 Home key. Means windows 10 has been upgraded from Windows 7 Home or Windows 8 Home.

If you want to transfer windows 10 Home license to a different pc, then
  • you install clean windows 10 home on pc2 (skip step, when asked for install key),
    log in with microsoft account,
    use activation troubleshooter to transfer license (specify you did a significant hardware change).
 

jarodatkinson

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Ok, Thanks. I will try that.

When it de-activated windows after I swapped the drive to pc2, I did try the troublshoot/hardware change thing.... It asked me to log into my microsoft account.... first email... that was fine. Then password... that was fine. Then it asked for password again.... For some reason it kept saying my password was wrong, even though I typed carefully multiple times. I tried that whole process twice with the same result. I will try it with a fresh install, maybe that will make the difference....

 

jarodatkinson

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O.k., that didn't work. Windows said it can't activate the account because it doesn't recognize any of the hardware.

Also no-one answered my question

How can I have a pc with an active copy of winows 10 home, that I've used for years..... that has NO KEY? or rather is using a default key, instead of an oem or retail key. How is that even possible. Shouldn't microsoft have picked up the no key thing when I first registered my computer in my name with microsoft accounts? Does anyone know what's going on there?
 

Didn't I answer that? Your Windows 10 has been upgraded from legit and activated Windows 7 home or Windows 8 Home. That's, why it activates.
 

USAFRet

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1. "and wanted to move my copy of home to my 2nd pc... It deactivated when I did that"
That is absolutely normal and expected. Often it doesn't even boot up.

2. This whole conversation is why a buyer of a used PC needs to do a full wipe and reinstall of the OS when they first get this system.
Removes all doubt about a "pirated" OS, and also removes any trace of the previous users. You have no idea what they may have put in there. Either on purpose or by accident.

3. This is not a pirated OS, but rather, as noted above, a generic WIn 10 license for an Upgrade from Win 7 or 8.
 

jarodatkinson

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Thanks.... I get it now.... I'm a bit slow lol.... The original owner had win 7 or 8 and took the free upgrade to windows 10. Microsoft then replaced the oem or retail key he had for win7/8 with this default key. Presumably to stop people who got a free upgrade to windows 10 from doing what I was trying to do.... move the os to another pc....

So I can have both my pc's running on activated copies of windows 10....

If I keep windows home on my good pc

and install my retail copy of windows 10 pro onto my crap 2nd pc....

Uuuugh, that sucks lol.... I have to bin my copy of windows home to run pro on the machine I want... I was so happy when I bought my copy of pro too.....

Thanks heaps for the help btw, is muchly appreciated
 

USAFRet

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There is a way to move the license (not the actual install) do a different PC.

Read here:
For the OS activation, read and do this before you change any parts:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html


Both systems will need an actual clean install, but you can (probably) have the Win 10 home license on the "crap PC", and Pro on the other one.
 

jarodatkinson

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Thanks USAFret....

I got to the stage last night where I fresh installed windows home on my crap pc, entered my microsoft account through the "I changed hardware" method. What I saw was two devices recognized. Both were the same: DESKTOP-23H2FEK... I know that is the name of my good pc with windows home installed, I recognize it from logging into my microsoft account previously. Did it appear twice in my microsoft account because I was on my second pc? Is there some way to click on one of those to activate home on my second pc, even though I only have a default key?.....
 

USAFRet

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Your "license key" is a digital license. It is a hash of info from your hardware, and the original win7/8 license.
Held at the activation sever farm.

You just need to tell it "I'm using this PC now". It should then associate a valid OS license with this particular system.
 

jarodatkinson

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O.k., thanks mate. I'll give it a go..... It's the first time I've had to deal with this activation stuff, so it's a bit of a learning curve....
 

jarodatkinson

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I tried to activate again, but Microsoft just isn't having it. When I try to log into my Microsoft account, it says Microsoft doesn't recognize any of the hardware, so no access to your account. That was using the "changed my hardware" path. I guess these default keys just don't move.
 

jarodatkinson

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Hey mate,

I spoke to microsoft today. They are telling me that firstly, the reason I get shown the windows 10 default key instead of my own key, is because I changed my hard drive to ssd about 6 months ago.... Thus confounding their activation servers. The fix they recommended is to re-install the old hard drive, install windows home onto it again, which will automatically activate, and viola.... I should be able to use the command line wmic method to find out my real key. Then, if it's retail, microsoft servers should let me move the os to another machine one time. Does that sound right to you? .... or does it sound more like b.s.....
 

USAFRet

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Changing drives does NOT change the license key. The system I'm using right now is on its third C drive. 3 different SSD's.
 

jarodatkinson

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Thanks. You would think microsoft support might know what they're talking about. It did worry me when she didn't know what a cpu is.....

 

USAFRet

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We had a member here a few months ago, talking to microsoft.
The MS rep swore up and down that there was no possible way to transfer a Win 10 license to different hardware.
I showed him the link, direct from Microsoft that says exactly how to do it.
They still said "No way, you need to buy a new license".
It wasn't until it went 2 or 3 levels up the supervisory chain, and the person actually read the text direct from Microsoft, that they recognized their mistake.

Reactivating after a hardware change:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
(here, the motherboard is the "hardware". NOT a simple drive change)
 

jarodatkinson

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Lol.... I think I need to go up the chain as well.... I am going to do what they recommend, then contact them again.... Maybe that will happen. Can I ask what happened to the "Ask our community" link that was on the main webpage yesterday, but is not there today?.... That was how I accessed the forum, generally.....
 

USAFRet

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The Front page has been having issues today. Already reported up the chain for resolution.

In the interim, use this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY