Question Windows 10 activation question

Last month i bought a Dell Optiplex 7020 SFF off of ebay.

Original specs:
i5 4590
8gb ram
Radeon HD5490
Dell case+PSU+optical drive
Description said "No HDD, HDD caddy, or operating system"

New Specs:
i5 4590
same motherboard
8gb ram
Sapphire Pulse RX570 4gb
WD Green 240gb SSD
EVGA W1 600w
Darkflash DLM 21

When I went to install windows 10 I clicked "i don't have a key" since I planned on activating the OS at a later date. However, now that I am in Windows, I notice the machine has Windows 10 pro fully activated "with a digital license". I am guessing this is the license that was originally on the machine, but I do not know of any way to verify this. The original case does say "Pro Windows" on the back.

Do you think this license will continue to be activated or will i have issues with it down the line since i have swapped most components out?
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
Do you think this license will continue to be activated or will i have issues with it down the line since i have swapped most components out?
Chances are, the system originally shipped with W7Pro, which was then upgraded - so that's why you've activated automatically.
The upgrade should follow the older mentality of being tied to the motherboard, unless it was then linked to a MS account and reused elsewhere.

Worst-case "issues", is limited to Windows that may deactivate in time, and the usual impact of that (lack of personalization etc). Provided you use the same motherboard, the license should stay with you (again, assuming it's not in use elsewhere).

Probably 50/50 whether it'll stay active. If the license was never linked to a MS account and therefore is not in use elsewhere, it should be a legit, activated Windows indefinitely. If someone has taken the license to another system and activated, you may lose activation when it periodically checks in with servers.

What you could do now, is link it to your MS account. If it successfully links, the license should be yours. If it fails or you run into problems, it's probably in use elsewhere too.
 
Reactions: DMAN999
Well I should have said, i intend to resell this PC. Thus I am not linking it to any MS account.

I installed W10 pro:
https://ibb.co/gTRQKfN

The sticker looked most definitely like a W10 sticker. This machine has a DOM in late 2014, so it is probably it came with Windows 10. The PC had a dented case (it was advertised as such) so i recycled the case and can't double check.

This Ebay seller has tons of Optiplex computers for sale. Mine came with a handwritten sticker on the front that said "$25" so i figure they are buying these in large groups from a school or hospital or something. I paid $50 for the PC so they turned a bit of a profit on me. :cautious:

Ran "slmgr -dli" in CMD and it said this PC is using a retail key, so perhaps its not the OEM key.
https://ibb.co/rm1StVn
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
This machine has a DOM in late 2014, so it is probably it came with Windows 10.
Would've been right on the cusp, but if it has a 2014 DOM, it was almost certainly W7.

Ran "slmgr -dli" in CMD and it said this PC is using a retail key, so perhaps its not the OEM key.
https://ibb.co/rm1StVn
Entirely possible. Would not have been necessary, but that's not to say someone didn't know and bought a new license when replacing a drive or something...

Selling a system with an activated Windows license...you absolutely need to verify it's provenance.

Otherwise, you may end up with an irate customer (Like I was last year)
Completely agree. If you intend to maintain any reputation (or relationship, potentially depending on customer), you want to have confidence in it's source.

If it's a one-off sell on Craigslist or similar, an "as is where is" disclaimer would probably suffice, but if this is something you to do in a more professional sense, you need to stand behind your product, and the license forms part of that.
 
And further, you absolutely need to transfer that Windows license info to the new owner.
Just because it says "Activated" is not enough.

Them's the rules, from MS.
How would i do that?
Selling a system with an activated Windows license...you absolutely need to verify it's provenance.

Otherwise, you may end up with an irate customer (Like I was last year)
And how would i verify where it came from?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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The ultimate way to know where the license comes from is to buy a retail Win 10 and use that license.

If the current "license" is, for instance, a corporate or volume license...6 months from now it will Unactivate itself.
Yes, it does that, even if it says "activated" right now.

But currently, you do not know.
 
Reactions: Barty1884
Whew...huge grey area and the above comments aren't wrong at all.
I feel there is a end user responsibility to try as best they can to honor TOS, in a situation like this what ARE you really supposed to do? IF it were specifically for you and not resale I would thank lucky stars and move on. The previous seller absolved responsibility for that license and also lost resale value. IF you don't do the same you could (as mentioned above) be on the hook for a retail license down the road. (if the buyer knows how to contact you)
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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In my case last year, it was an Asus Transformer. Feb 2019.
$190 from a reseller at Newegg. Advertised as Windows 10.

Came with Win 10 Pro, fully activated.
No problem.
Exactly 6 months later (Aug 2019)...Unactivated.

I, as the end user, do not know nor care where they got that Win 10 Pro.
All I saw was a valid purchase, now with no valid OS.

Lots of back and forth between me, the reseller, and Asus.
Asus finally gave me the original license key that the system came with...Win 10 Home. Which of course will not reactivate a Win 10 Pro install.
Newegg was no help because it was months after the sale...its all on the reseller to make things right.
The reseller was worse..."It is out of the 30 day repair or replacement window"

I did not want a repair or replacement...I simply wanted a valid OS that I was supposedly sold.
Eventually - "May we interest you in a $20 credit for your troubles?"

Needless to say, I was not (am not) happy.
And all they had to do to sell it was install Win 10 Home, which is what it came with and would have activated no problem.

So...you, the seller, needs to absolutely know what you are transferring to the eventual buyer.
 
Generally, if it was the default key it would be OEM, but it's not.
Since it may have been from a school/hospital/business or may have had a cheap eBay key thrown on it, it would be a volume license.

But it says its a retail key, so it should be legit.

Would you think whoever is in charge of a large deployment of computers like that would most likely NOT transfer the keys from each machine to new ones?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Generally, if it was the default key it would be OEM, but it's not.
Since it may have been from a school/hospital/business or may have had a cheap eBay key thrown on it, it would be a volume license.

But it says its a retail key, so it should be legit.

Would you think whoever is in charge of a large deployment of computers like that would most likely NOT transfer the keys from each machine to new ones?
I would think (no, I know) that there are totally incompetent, clueless, and sometimes criminal IT admins of many organizations.

The only thing you know now is...you don't really know.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
But it says its a retail key, so it should be legit.
Sounds logical, but you've no way to confirm that - that's the problem.

Would you think whoever is in charge of a large deployment of computers like that would most likely NOT transfer the keys from each machine to new ones?
Generally speaking the first source, the first company to use these types of systems usually buy the system and replace entirely (other than perhaps reimaging, depending on the implementation). The typical use-case (schools, businesses and the like) don't tend to 'keep' the licenses. - but that doesn't cover off ALL situations.

If you had bought from a school, or business directly, I'd be more confident it's the original OEM license - but you didn't, and who knows how many hands it's passed through on it's way to you.

The OEM licenses from machines like this do tend to be what you'll find on the grey market - they have to come from somewhere, afterall.
 
I will probably sell it as-is. like you said. Just to cover me in case.

I don't feel that there SHOULD be any issues. If there are, I don't think I should be held responsible, although it may damage my reputation.

I think of it like this. I sell a used car that works fine. 6 months later the transmission goes out on the new owner. The original owner is not responsible since it was working fine when they sold it.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Slight difference.
You're selling a license. One that is supposed to be valid in perpetuity. If it deactivates itself later, through no action of the buyer..it IS your fault. You sold something different than what was advertised.

Now...if you tell the buyer "Hey, I don't know where this license came from and if it unactivates itself later on...that is all on you.", that's different.
You're informing them of the risk. And expect the selling price to be knocked down.
 

mdd1963

Champion
If it was an OEM WIn7 or 8 system, and was upgrade to WIn10 under the 'free Win10 upgrade' you (and the futrue buyer) might be good....

But...
IF perhaps it was 'upgraded' with one of those Sri Lankan '$15 WIn10 Pro!' deals, which someone intended to take with them (hence the selling it with no OS?), but, the mainboard SN it was once linked would naturally... still activate. If that key is used a few times concurrently, at some point, someone's copy , or all, might get the dreaded 'too many activations' ....DEactivation...

As long as you advise a purchaser of the unknown Win10 origin nature...at least you were not deceiving anyone in it's sale....
 
If it was an OEM WIn7 or 8 system, and was upgrade to WIn10 under the 'free Win10 upgrade' you (and the futrue buyer) might be good....

But...
IF perhaps it was 'upgraded' with one of those Sri Lankan '$15 WIn10 Pro!' deals, which someone intended to take with them (hence the selling it with no OS?), but, the mainboard SN it was once linked would naturally... still activate. If that key is used a few times concurrently, at some point, someone's copy , or all, might get the dreaded 'too many activations' ....DEactivation...

As long as you advise a purchaser of the unknown Win10 origin nature...at least you were not deceiving anyone in it's sale....
Its possible that they were selling it as "no os" because of a key like that, however, I suspect it was more the fact it had no hdd.

Likely had no drive for obvious security reasons.
 

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