Solved Moving Windows Pro to new custom build


NavyLCDR

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@cereberus I totally agree with what you are saying...with digital licenses. But please explain a few things to me. On a custom build machine, to be legal, one has to purchase a version of windows. Is this not correct? In this case, the OP already had a retail copy he wanted to use. When a retail version first activates, it is not a digital license. Once the machine upgrades from 10 to 11, it does become a digital license.

Are both you and @NavyLCDR saying I can buy a batch of used computers and not have any idea what OS they came with, install 10 Pro on them with a local account and use the generic key to activate them. I could then sell them and all that be legal? Sorry, I don't get it. If that's not piracy, I don't know what is and moral code has nothing to do with it.

If the above scenario doesn't fit what you both are saying, let's say I use the generic key and set all these computers up using my MS account. (I can have 10 devices activated at once and my main machine has Pro on it), I then make a second user as local account and delete my MS account, remove them from my list of devices with MS. and then sell them. They would still be activated. It would still be illegal. Clarify this for me, please.
When a retail version first activates, it IS a digital license. The product key is simply the method used to obtain the digital license. When you use a credit card to purchase a ticket for a movie, it is the ticket that gets you past the ticket taker, not your credit card. When a retail Windows 10 or 11 activates, it is the digital license that activates it, not the product key - the product key is simply a method of obtaining the digital license.

If I purchase a used computer, and I install Windows 10 or 11 on it, and it activates with the generic product key, I have no way of knowing where the digital license THAT MICROSOFT IS PROVIDING for that computer is coming from. The key words are highlighted. It is MICROSOFT that is activating it, I am not doing anything to circumvent any type of activation scenarios. Therefore, since MICROSOFT is providing the activation, I do not see how I could be legally obligated to determine exactly why MICROSOFT is activating it.

By your same piracy theory: 1. I remove my product key from a custom built computer. 2. I use my product key on a new custom built computer. 3. I know that the previous custom built computer has a digital license assigned to it and that it will activate with a generic product key. 4. According to the piracy theory, if I sell that computer to someone else, am I not knowingly transferring a digital license for Windows 10/11 with that computer and, thus, engaging in piracy? Especially since I am now possibly making a profit from the sale of the computer that I know has a digital license for Windows 10/11 accessible with it?

Microsoft Accounts have nothing to do with this because the digital licenses are not stored in the Microsoft Account. The digital licenses are stored on Microsoft's activation servers, and only a link is established to the digital license whenever ANYONE signs onto ANY computer that has a digital license with a Microsoft Account.

In regards to building a new computer and keeping the old computer - Microsoft clearly is not concerned about where digital licenses for Windows 10/11 came from, nor who is using the digital license, so without redesigning their entire digital licensing process they have pretty much removed any capability they have of enforcing the EULA. It is entirely a matter of conscience on the part of the user. Also, the term "illegal" also does not apply, in most cases unless it can be proven that the "pirate" is making a profit. Simply violating a EULA does not constitute a crime, and in nearly all cases not involving making a profit is purely a civil matter.
 

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Ed Tittel

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I'm inclined to believe the results of activation activities over any supposed limitations, including those I documented in the story that's cited earlier in this thread. You can't argue with the MS activation servers. If it activates, it's all good; if not, then you go into problem solving mode. I've still got a longish list of Windows 7 and 8 keys I can always turn to, if all else fails. Those who've been on the scene since those days, and have a similar data trail can do likewise, I'm sure.
Best of luck in getting your problem solved, if in fact there is one.
--Ed--
 

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cereberus

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When a retail version first activates, it IS a digital license. The product key is simply the method used to obtain the digital license. When you use a credit card to purchase a ticket for a movie, it is the ticket that gets you past the ticket taker, not your credit card. When a retail Windows 10 or 11 activates, it is the digital license that activates it, not the product key - the product key is simply a method of obtaining the digital license.

If I purchase a used computer, and I install Windows 10 or 11 on it, and it activates with the generic product key, I have no way of knowing where the digital license THAT MICROSOFT IS PROVIDING for that computer is coming from. The key words are highlighted. It is MICROSOFT that is activating it, I am not doing anything to circumvent any type of activation scenarios. Therefore, since MICROSOFT is providing the activation, I do not see how I could be legally obligated to determine exactly why MICROSOFT is activating it.

By your same piracy theory: 1. I remove my product key from a custom built computer. 2. I use my product key on a new custom built computer. 3. I know that the previous custom built computer has a digital license assigned to it and that it will activate with a generic product key. 4. According to the piracy theory, if I sell that computer to someone else, am I not knowingly transferring a digital license for Windows 10/11 with that computer and, thus, engaging in piracy? Especially since I am now possibly making a profit from the sale of the computer that I know has a digital license for Windows 10/11 accessible with it?

Microsoft Accounts have nothing to do with this because the digital licenses are not stored in the Microsoft Account. The digital licenses are stored on Microsoft's activation servers, and only a link is established to the digital license whenever ANYONE signs onto ANY computer that has a digital license with a Microsoft Account.

In regards to building a new computer and keeping the old computer - Microsoft clearly is not concerned about where digital licenses for Windows 10/11 came from, nor who is using the digital license, so without redesigning their entire digital licensing process they have pretty much removed any capability they have of enforcing the EULA. It is entirely a matter of conscience on the part of the user. Also, the term "illegal" also does not apply, in most cases unless it can be proven that the "pirate" is making a profit. Simply violating a EULA does not constitute a crime, and in nearly all cases not involving making a profit is purely a civil matter.
I think there is a slight disconnect in terminology and that reflects from fact I am in UK. Something can be illegal but covered by civil law rather than criminal law. So we would consider violating the EULA a matter for civil lawcourts. The term piracy probably only applies to the seven seas. i never used term crime as that only applies to criminal law. Simplest example is it is illegal to park car in designated areas, but is only a civil offence. Speeding is also illegal but a civil offence UNTIL the offence becomes serious enough to warrant prosecution under criminal law.


Also, think about case where guy reuses product key to activate new pc but fails to remove windows from old pc. That guy now has two activated pcs BUT only paid for one. Thus that guy has made a financial gain at expense of MS.and according to EULA, MS would have right to sue (which will never happen of course).

I totally agree it all comes down to honesty. As you say the advent of digital licences pretty much invalidates the EULA, as you cannot comply even with spirit of EULA. Even the most novice lawyer could run a double decker bus through the EULA.

Of course, as responsible members of forum(s), and forums position on not promoting "piracy", we can only point out that in OPs case, to comply with EULA, OP is required to remove Windows 10/11 from old PC i.e. not run two pcs activated by one key.

We should not SPECIFICALLY advise a user how to reuse key and have multiple pcs activated from produce key. It takes little brainpower to realise that a person could activate multiple pcs with one licence and not only depriving MS of licence fees, this opens up avenue for making additional commercial gain selling activated pcs.

In the end, all we can do is promote honesty but we should not actively promote dishonesty.
 

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townsbg

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Hi. I am a long term member of those forums going back to Vista forums. I have been following this thread because I have personal knowledge of this situation. I referred the OP here since I don't know much about 10's/11's activation process and the OP, as stated, was concerned about on the new machine the activation key being rejected (which I believe I can talk the OP through a phone activation) yet it showed activated with a different license key which based upon this thread we now know is a generic key. That is when I recommended creating a thread here or 10 forums. Perhaps I should clarify a few things. First off the OP isn't keeping the old machine but giving it away to an extended family member once completely transitioned to the new one. Secondly there are plans on updating to 11 on the new machine and I wasn't sure how the license key predicament would factor in to that. Would it cause further complications? I know that Microsoft isn't going to go after the "little" people but more likely the high level pirates making big money off of selling overused legal and illegal keys. It just isn't worth their time or money to go after an individual. Still though an honest person wants to make sure that they are compliant however my thoughts are that if Microsoft has inadvertently built a bug the activation process that allows for multiple activations of a license then should we really worry about it? I suppose that currently the OP is in compliance with the licensing terms due the computer using a generic license but that also has me concerned especially with an impending upgrade to 11. Which kind of restrictions are there on using a generic key? Not that it will be a long term issue because if the telephone activation process hasn't changed since 7 & 8 I think that we can get it activated. Also by giving both OS's away I think that proves that Microsoft really cares more about getting it on machines than selling it. That has pretty much always been the case but prior to 10 they didn't give away free upgrades except during prerelease sales of a new computer. Perhaps this goes to show further that they really don't care if a key is on multiple computers at the same time. So I suppose I am asking if there will be issues upgrading to 11 and also will there be issues with the old system's new owners?

As an additional question. I have an even older machine from the OP and that machine being a retail machine came with an OEM key of 7 home that I am not using because and I won't use because I have a retail copy of 8.1 pro installed. Can that key be used to activate 10 on the machine the OP is about to give away?
 

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cereberus

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Hi. I am a long term member of those forums going back to Vista forums. I have been following this thread because I have personal knowledge of this situation. I referred the OP here since I don't know much about 10's/11's activation process and the OP, as stated, was concerned about on the new machine the activation key being rejected (which I believe I can talk the OP through a phone activation) yet it showed activated with a different license key which based upon this thread we now know is a generic key. That is when I recommended creating a thread here or 10 forums. Perhaps I should clarify a few things. First off the OP isn't keeping the old machine but giving it away to an extended family member once completely transitioned to the new one. Secondly there are plans on updating to 11 on the new machine and I wasn't sure how the license key predicament would factor in to that. Would it cause further complications? I know that Microsoft isn't going to go after the "little" people but more likely the high level pirates making big money off of selling overused legal and illegal keys. It just isn't worth their time or money to go after an individual. Still though an honest person wants to make sure that they are compliant however my thoughts are that if Microsoft has inadvertently built a bug the activation process that allows for multiple activations of a license then should we really worry about it? I suppose that currently the OP is in compliance with the licensing terms due the computer using a generic license but that also has me concerned especially with an impending upgrade to 11. Which kind of restrictions are there on using a generic key? Not that it will be a long term issue because if the telephone activation process hasn't changed since 7 & 8 I think that we can get it activated. Also by giving both OS's away I think that proves that Microsoft really cares more about getting it on machines than selling it. That has pretty much always been the case but prior to 10 they didn't give away free upgrades except during prerelease sales of a new computer. Perhaps this goes to show further that they really don't care if a key is on multiple computers at the same time. So I suppose I am asking if there will be issues upgrading to 11 and also will there be issues with the old system's new owners?

As an additional question. I have an even older machine from the OP and that machine being a retail machine came with an OEM key of 7 home that I am not using because and I won't use because I have a retail copy of 8.1 pro installed. Can that key be used to activate 10 on the machine the OP is about to give away?
You are rather missing the point. OP has already managed to activate new pc and was concerned if anything else was required as old pc was still activated.

All the discussion re. licencing was centred around digital licences. You called it a bug, but it is not a bug per se. but merely a factor of rather strange design by MS.


Whilst OP is technically violating EULA if pc is given away with activated windows installed, it is not because of dishonesty, but merely a byproduct of the fact once a pc has a digital licence, it always has one - there is no way to remove them.

There is a fundamental contradiction in owning a retail licence i.e. you can use it on new devices providing you remove it from old pc (hence changing key to generic key) but you no longer need it on old pc.

However, the digital licence remains on old pc. So even if OP wipes old pc (complying with the requirements of EULA), then if new owner installs same version, pc will activate without any key.

As you say MS are just not interested, and are far more interested in keeping people using Windows. Hell - you can even use it unactivated indefinitely with some minor restrictions.

So, the OP does not need to do anything, and nothing bad will happen.
 

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NavyLCDR

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Secondly there are plans on updating to 11 on the new machine and I wasn't sure how the license key predicament would factor in to that. Would it cause further complications?

I suppose that currently the OP is in compliance with the licensing terms due the computer using a generic license but that also has me concerned especially with an impending upgrade to 11. Which kind of restrictions are there on using a generic key?

As an additional question. I have an even older machine from the OP and that machine being a retail machine came with an OEM key of 7 home that I am not using because and I won't use because I have a retail copy of 8.1 pro installed. Can that key be used to activate 10 on the machine the OP is about to give away?
All of this talk about product keys at this point is a completely 100% moot point. First - Windows 10 and Windows 11 use the exact same product keys and digital licenses, upgrading or clean installing Windows 11 is now limited by the hardware requirements, not the digital license or product keys. Both computers in question have digital licenses for Windows 10 and Windows 11 Pro assigned to them by Microsoft. There is nothing a user can do to erase that. From this point onward, it does not matter what product key is used (although product keys blocked my Microsoft will return an error, but will not erase the digital license stored on Microsoft Activation Servers). Once the digital license for Windows 10/11 has been issued by Microsoft, the easiest way to retrieve that digital license and activate Windows is simply to use the same generic product key that hundreds of millions of other computers are also using (including 9 computers in my own house). The digital license is already permanently assigned. Changing product keys will accomplish nothing. Again, I stand by my statement earlier - just use the generic product keys and be done with it - it apparently is the method that Microsoft prefers because they seem to like to change the product key to the generic on activated computers any chance they get (such as upgrades).
 

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    Windows 11 Education
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    Dell Inspiron 7773
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    Intel i7-8550U
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Dru2

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I've still got a longish list of Windows 7 and 8 keys I can always turn to, if all else fails. Those who've been on the scene since those days, and have a similar data trail can do likewise, I'm sure.

yep (y)
 

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    Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga X1
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    Intel i7-7600U
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    Intel
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johnlgalt

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I'm inclined to believe the results of activation activities over any supposed limitations, including those I documented in the story that's cited earlier in this thread. You can't argue with the MS activation servers. If it activates, it's all good; if not, then you go into problem solving mode. I've still got a longish list of Windows 7 and 8 keys I can always turn to, if all else fails. Those who've been on the scene since those days, and have a similar data trail can do likewise, I'm sure.
Best of luck in getting your problem solved, if in fact there is one.
--Ed--


Same lol. I just used a couple of old Windows 7 keys to activate the 3 Win11 VMs I made for Dev, Beta mad RP last month.

So glad I invested in TechNet (for the licenses) before they pulled the plug on that program.
 

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    Dell Latitude E5470
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    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
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    Dell
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    16 GB
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    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
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Bree

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. I just used a couple of old Windows 7 keys to activate the 3 Win11 VMs I made for Dev, Beta mad RP last month.
Yes, I have done similar in the past too. Remember, a VM is a machine just like any other, and each of yours now has its own digital licence, Don't just delete it when done testing, preserve your machine and its licence for re-use.

 

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  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
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    Laptop
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    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
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    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
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    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
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    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
  • Operating System
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    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    4GB
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

johnlgalt

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Yes, I have done similar in the past too. Remember, a VM is a machine just like any other, and each of yours now has its own digital licence, Don't just delete it when done testing, preserve your machine and its licence for re-use.


Yeah, I had some previous VM licenses attached to my account, but removed them when I was testing physical machines. I believe that I was having an issue with those machines being activated, and at one point my research led me to someone somewhere saying (perhaps erroneously) that there was a 10 activation limit per Microsoft account. So, to get the machines I was testing to activate, I removed the VMs. Later I think I realized that that may not have been necessary, but oh well. Lol.

I've since removed the old physical machines as well, but that was necessary, as the machines I was testing needed to be assigned to family members' accounts (and one friend), so when I made my most recent VMs, I had to put in a key for the VMs. I just jokingly tried the Windows 7 keys from my old TechNet subscription and was actually surprised that they worked, but mildly surprised, as even before Windows 11 came out, I had documented time and time again how I had used some those valid keys to install Windows 10 both in VMs and then later on those physical machines I was testing. I didn't think a WIn7 to Win11 upgrade was going to work straight out of the box, but 3 of the 4 keys I tried ( for 3 VMs) worked- one refused to, but I think that one might still be associated with another device that I've simply never decommissioned.

Since I have oodles of keys still unused (ever), I'm not all that worried about being able to activate Windows 11 any time soon.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 21H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HomeBrew
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
    4 * Corsair Vengeance 32 GB 3600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti XC3 ULTRA GAMING (12G-P5-3955-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Eve Spectrum ES07D02 280 Hz QHD | Eve Spectrum ES07D03 4K Gaming Monitor
    Screen Resolution
    1440p | 4k
    Hard Drives
    3x Samsung 980 Pro NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 2 TB SSD (MZ-V8P2T0B/AM)
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    ZXT KRAKEN Z73 73.11 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler (3x 120 mm push top) + Air 3x 140mm case fans (pull front) + 1x 120 mm (push back) and 1 x 120 mm (pull bottom)
    Keyboard
    SteelSeries Apex Pro Wired Gaming Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3 for Business
    Internet Speed
    Logitech MX Master 3 for Business
    Browser
    Nightly (default) + Firefox (stable),Chrome, Edge/ß/Dev/Canary
    Antivirus
    Defender
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 x64 Pro build 21H1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude E5470
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
    Sound Card
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520 + RealTek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell laptop display 15"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 * 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 128GB M.2 22300 drive
    INTEL Cherryvill 520 Series SSDSC2CW180A 180 GB SATA III SSD
    PSU
    Dell
    Case
    Dell
    Cooling
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master (shared) | Dell TouchPad
    Keyboard
    Dell
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex
    Browser
    Edge Chromium | Chrome | Firefox Nightly | Brave
    Antivirus
    Defender + MB4
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