Question windows is activated using your organization's activation service

May 14, 2020
23
5
15
0
i wanted to buy a used gaming pc with decent specs on it for a steal but it does not included a storage system. i was planning to use my laptop's hard drive as i have no more money to spend on an ssd (maybe for a later day)

since i have a laptop, chances are the os is tied to my mobo, and i couldnt just plug and play my hdd to my new system

but as i was searching through the activation setting on windows 10 settings, i saw a message that caught my eye. "windows is activated using your organization's activation service". i ofcourse did some research and found out that this windows was activated on a one time activation key for widespread systems. activated on a volume they say? usually done on business systems

but to my knowledge, my laptop wasnt used for business. and usually they say windows on this activation method should be renewed within 180 days. i've used it for 5 years and never had a windows renew message pop up.

what does this mean?
 
May 14, 2020
23
5
15
0
Sounds like someone installed in illegitimate version of Windows on this system. Likely running a KMS app to activate the OS.
there is a very low chance it is possible, i bought this pc in a laptop shop, and the only changes ive done to it are just clean resetting the pc using the built in windows hard reset. is there any way to know that i am "running a kms app" to activate the os? not sure what that means either
 

onespeedbiker

Estimable
Apr 13, 2019
2,505
194
3,390
139
You might want to check this link, starting with the second response. https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/windows-is-activated-using-your-organizations/a4c61889-b0b1-4c68-ba9f-fa64f974b73a?auth=1 BTW, a license is also tied to your email. You should also keep in mind that simply moving a hard drive with an OS installed can be opening a can of worms. It may work, it may not work, or it will boot but you'll be forever chasing problems. Best to do a clean install https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/how-to-do-a-clean-installation-of-windows-10.3170366/
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
124,625
4,081
159,940
19,587
there is a very low chance it is possible, i bought this pc in a laptop shop, and the only changes ive done to it are just clean resetting the pc using the built in windows hard reset. is there any way to know that i am "running a kms app" to activate the os? not sure what that means either
"very low chance" = Entirely possible.
Last year I bought a laptop, from a reseller on Newegg, with a corporate OS license installed.
Win 10 Pro, but a corporate license that expired at the 6 month point.
Just because it comes from "a store" does not mean 100% valid OS license.

Your laptop may have never been used in a business setting, but the OS license they installed and applied may have been.
Cheap way for them to move the laptop, for $0 license cost.

If you purchased at a store, contact them and make them prove the origin of that license. Per MS licensing rules, they are required to give you that detail.
 

onespeedbiker

Estimable
Apr 13, 2019
2,505
194
3,390
139
I should have added that I once bought a laptop at Best Buy that included an upgrade from Windows 7 to 8.1, but a few months later I received a message the Windows 8.1 upgrade needed a new license. It seems Best Buy improperly used one of their OEM licenses to upgrade the PC which violates there OEM license agreement with MS. After a little haggling, Best Buy agreed they needed to install a retail version, which they did.
 
May 14, 2020
23
5
15
0
i also forgot to add that shortly after my laptop was bought, my dad's friend who works in the it department of their company took it and did something to my laptop. its entirely possible that my windows was upgraded to a pro version using the company's volume license key because it shows that i have a windows 10 pro which usually doesnt come with mid-low end generic lenovo laptops (to my knowledge). the only thing im curious about is why i haven't got the renew message pop up ever. im fine to buy a new hard drive and just clean install windows
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
124,625
4,081
159,940
19,587
Buit also, that
i also forgot to add that shortly after my laptop was bought, my dad's friend who works in the it department of their company took it and did something to my laptop. its entirely possible that my windows was upgraded to a pro version using the company's volume license key because it shows that i have a windows 10 pro which usually doesnt come with mid-low end generic lenovo laptops (to my knowledge). the only thing im curious about is why i haven't got the renew message pop up ever. im fine to buy a new hard drive and just clean install windows
If that happened, I expect in 6 months for it to Unactivate itself.
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
It will stay activated, until it times out from not being able to talk to the corporate license server.
That is generally exactly 6 months. Mine was.
The aforementioned system would have to be connected to the domain and communicating regularly to retain its activation status. Correct?

Task Manager should reveal if one of the KMS activators is in play here.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
124,625
4,081
159,940
19,587
The aforementioned system would have to be connected to the domain and communicating regularly to retain its activation status. Correct?

Task Manager should reveal if one of the KMS activators is in play here.
Regularly = once every 6 months. Doesn't have to be every day or week.
Like if you take the company laptop on vacation for 3 weeks...it doesn't time out. The 6 month time limit is to prevent what is probably happening here...selling a corporate license, or just installing it for personal use.

Yes, TM should show some illicit KMS related thing running, if that is the case.
 

howtobeironic

Respectable
Jun 16, 2018
257
13
1,915
26
Here is some steps that might let you point out if the KMS in your system is a fake or not:

*Background processes, especially the ones in the startup section: Basic KMS crackers work through a persistent system process which needs to be alive all the time, look for anything that has the name KMS in it and doesn't look like a legitimate Windows file. It has most likely set itself up to the startup too.

*Antivirus exclusions: More advanced crackers don't need a persistent process, but an altered system DLL or executable instead. This (or access to these) will make most AV systems go nuts, so the altered DLL's are usually excluded after the DLL's are injected. Look at the exclusion list for any kind of system files.

*Unknown KMS hosts present: The KMS cracker mechanic relies on altering the system to look at a fake KMS server to validate. Obviously, it should show up from internal commands that list the KMS servers. Follow steps at: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office/troubleshoot/activation/discover-remove-unauthorized-office-windows-kms-hosts (be careful when using any command with slmgr /upk as it may remove all the keys if you mistype the values). What you should see is host addresses that resemble the business that IT guy activated at. If not, most likely a fake KMS.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS