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How do you check Product Keys that are not currently installed RRS feed

  • Question

  • Our company purchased another company and we acquired all software from the company that was purchased.

    Unfortunately, as you might expect, due to the messiness of the transfer process, we only have bits and pieces of the software that came over.  What I am currently dealing with is this other company's IT person recorded all their software product/license keys in a Microsoft Access database.  The details in the database are minimal.  We have had some luck utilizing some of the keys, but currently I am unable to us any of the Windows Server 2003 licenses (I get 'product key invalid' when I punch any of them into an installation, but I am also not using the original media as I do not know where that is). 

    So, my question is, how do I check these products keys to both valid their authenticity and confirm the Windows product and version they go to?

    Friday, September 24, 2010 3:15 PM

Answers

  • Hello DSC-JH,

    There is no publically available method for "proofing" a product key.  And keep in mind just because a product key activates and may subsequently pass validation, that does not mean the way you are using it is in compliance with the license.

    If some or all product keys are Volume Licensing, you can contact a Microsoft VL rep for further assistance:  www.microsoft.com/licensing


    Buy Office 2007 Now, Get Office 2010 Free http://office2010.microsoft.com/en-us/tech-guarantee/microsoft-office-2010-technology-guarantee-FX101825695.aspx?CTT=97
    • Marked as answer by DSC-JH Friday, September 24, 2010 5:23 PM
    Friday, September 24, 2010 4:23 PM
  • A valid and legitimate software license includes:

    1)  The original software installation media

    2)  The product key or Certificate of Authenticity

    3)  The software license terms

    If the software licenses are "volume licenses", then that software is non-transferable and cannot be used.

     "software product/license keys in a Microsoft Access database" due not qualify as valid/legitimate licenses since it does not represent the original packaging.


    Carey Frisch
    • Marked as answer by DSC-JH Friday, September 24, 2010 5:23 PM
    Friday, September 24, 2010 4:57 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hello DSC-JH,

    There is no publically available method for "proofing" a product key.  And keep in mind just because a product key activates and may subsequently pass validation, that does not mean the way you are using it is in compliance with the license.

    If some or all product keys are Volume Licensing, you can contact a Microsoft VL rep for further assistance:  www.microsoft.com/licensing


    Buy Office 2007 Now, Get Office 2010 Free http://office2010.microsoft.com/en-us/tech-guarantee/microsoft-office-2010-technology-guarantee-FX101825695.aspx?CTT=97
    • Marked as answer by DSC-JH Friday, September 24, 2010 5:23 PM
    Friday, September 24, 2010 4:23 PM
  • A valid and legitimate software license includes:

    1)  The original software installation media

    2)  The product key or Certificate of Authenticity

    3)  The software license terms

    If the software licenses are "volume licenses", then that software is non-transferable and cannot be used.

     "software product/license keys in a Microsoft Access database" due not qualify as valid/legitimate licenses since it does not represent the original packaging.


    Carey Frisch
    • Marked as answer by DSC-JH Friday, September 24, 2010 5:23 PM
    Friday, September 24, 2010 4:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Though I do not like the responses, I suppose you answered my question.  It's bad enough there is an activation process, but to add to it that you have to keep together several independent items to retain a valid license is rediculous.  I can understand Microsoft's concerns regarding piracy, but their requirements will force many users and business to buy their software over again multiple times just to being able to use the software once.

    Extremely frustrating.  I'll step off my soap box and go slink off into a corner to sulk; along with testing out a range of other emotions.

    Thanks for the quick responses!  (at least I have something to be happy about)

    Friday, September 24, 2010 5:22 PM
  • Hello DSC-JH,

    Could you give us some feel for the number of clients and servers involved?

    User computers would necessarily have to have a base license for the OS to begin with, regardless of whether the acquired (or for that matter, the acquring) organization had a Volume License to upgrade these base licensed boxes to an easliy deployed volume license.  So for the user machines, if there's a CoA label on the box for the OS in use on the machine, that's certainly a big step in the right direction.

    If a smaller number of servers, pretty the same would apply---one would expect each box to have an OEM license.  If a big number, then Volume Licensing was probably used and a call to MS VL might help sort things out.

    I don't know if Carey's statement "If the software licenses are "volume licenses", then that software is non-transferable and cannot be used." is absolutely accurate for all situations and all permutations of how one business acquires another.  (For example, you may have written that Company A bought Company B, when the legal transaction could have been Company A bought Company B but Company B is still going to exist as a legal entity that did not lose its rights to the software licenses it purchased from Microsoft before it was acquired/taken over/merged/etc.)  So if Volume Licenses are involved, best to check with Microsoft VL people.


    Buy Office 2007 Now, Get Office 2010 Free http://office2010.microsoft.com/en-us/tech-guarantee/microsoft-office-2010-technology-guarantee-FX101825695.aspx?CTT=97
    Friday, September 24, 2010 6:59 PM