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Can I verify a licence key is genuine "prior" to installing it?

    Discussão Geral

  • I'm starting a small home based business providing support to peoples homes for their domestic PC troubles.

    One of the services I'm offering is a complete rebuild of the PC and I require the customer to have genuine licence keys for the relevant software. Is there anyway to verify the provided licence keys "prior" to reinstalling windows (or office)?

    If they key is not genuine I will give the customer the opportunity to purchase a genuine key from MS or I will return the PC untouched.

    Thanks

    • Tipo Alterado Noel D PatonModerator quarta-feira, 7 de maio de 2014 21:16 more a discussion than a question
    segunda-feira, 21 de abril de 2014 22:17

Todas as Respostas

  • You need to have the original Certificate of Authenticity or the Product Key Label. Other than that, you would have to install the software, activate it, then run a MGA Diagnostic Report.  Product keys written down on a piece of paper would be highly suspect.

    Carey Frisch

    terça-feira, 22 de abril de 2014 01:35
    Moderador
  • You need to have the original Certificate of Authenticity or the Product Key Label. Other than that, you would have to install the software, activate it, then run a MGA Diagnostic Report

    And therein lies the crux of the issue (if COA or key label is not available). I would have wiped out their existing installation "before" finding out the key was not genuine, which makes it difficult to return their PC untouched. Of course I could backup their old installation first and recover it if necessary, but if I don't complete the installation I don't get paid - so I don't want to waste time with non-genuine keys.

    terça-feira, 22 de abril de 2014 05:06
  • That's like going to a concert or a professional sporting event and not having a ticket to present to the ticket taker to get in...

    Carey Frisch


    terça-feira, 22 de abril de 2014 14:29
    Moderador
  • You can try phoning the Activation Center for your region and asking them if the Key is valid - but be aware that

    1) They will tell you that an OEM_SLP Key is blocked from activation - whereas it's perfectly valid when used on the proper machine with the proper manufacturer's Recovery media

    2) They can only give a 'yes' answer that is valid at the time of asking - it may not be the same when asked again later that day! However, if they give a 'no' answer, that is almost certainly going to be true for all time, since MS never re-allow any Key.

    3) Certain Key types are only valid on certain hardware - notably Volume, and OEM Keys.

    4) There are a LOT of counterfeits out there - which pass all technical tests, but are still invalid for a variety of reasons.

    My attitude is that unless the machine is accompanied by the proper COA sticker, or Proof of License card, then it should be treated as counterfeit.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    terça-feira, 22 de abril de 2014 22:07
    Moderador
  • My attitude is that unless the machine is accompanied by the proper COA sticker, or Proof of License card, then it should be treated as counterfeit.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    As a case in point. I have just purchased a new laptop from Dell which came with a new OEM licence for Windows 8.1. There is no Certificate of Authenticity or Product Key Label affixed anywhere on the PC. It is a legitimate licence but no paperwork was ever supplied (I do have a recovery disk). So there are situations where they are not counterfeit.

    But I will look into your suggestion of calling the Activation Centre. I was hoping for a web page somewhere at Microsoft that would at least tell us if it was at least genuine.

    quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 2014 00:05
  • Windows 8 and higher don't use the traditional COA sticker - the License and Key are built in to the BIOS for each machine. The only time you will see COA stickers is for System Builder licenses. The colour of the pretty hologram label defines which edition the machine is licensed for.

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 2014 06:21
    Moderador
  • Hi,

    Sorry to come back to this but I've realised that insisting on a Certificate of Authenticity or a Product Key Label is inappropriate.

    If I have a legitimate copy of Windows Vista or Windows 7 Home Premium edition I could use Microsoft's "Upgrade Anytime" facility to upgrade on-line to the Ultimate edition. Microsoft would issue me with an upgrade key on-line. This is a legitimate key which has no corresponding Certificate of Authenticity or Product Key Label.

    In fact, when I upgraded from Windows 7 on my desktop I purchased the Windows 8 Upgrade direct from Microsoft on-line. They issued me with a key in an e-mail and download instructions for the software, so again there is no CoA or Key label but it is still legitimate.

    sábado, 26 de abril de 2014 10:46
  • ANY upgrade requires a valid license and install to upgrade from.

    Therefore in 99% of cases the COA sticker is essential - the other 1% are where a Retail Full license is in use, in which case the Proof of License card from the installation pack is required (as is also the case for Retail Upgrade packs - Anytime Upgrade and purchases from the MS Store require a copy of the original confirming email)


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    sábado, 26 de abril de 2014 11:19
    Moderador