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So what's the deal with all the white box OS license keys??


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#1 allstock

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 12:52 PM

Are they legitimate? I see so many out there and read the seller reviews (ex. fleabay) and it seems some work and some don't. Another thing is I see retail Win 7 DVD's selling for hundred dollars more and then I see one being sold for eighty including a guaranteed working key. What gives???

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#2 MajesticFailure

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 10:30 PM

Hi, could you explain what you mean by "white box"? Also, Win 7 DVDs selling for $ more than what?

 

As for selling a Win 7 DVD with a CoA, are those retail discs, or OEM (system builder)?

 

OEM discs are sold all over Ebay. Many sellers don't sell for very long, but some have been doing it for years. There's always the suspicion that the OEM discs may be fake, and loaded with a backdoor?

 

Microsoft's rules on OEMs and licensing in general seem simple at first glance but l've decided they're too complicated for me to dissect (there are some big pitfalls, and you won't get any mercy if you fall into one!). I'd rather not give bad advice but what l can say is: Microsoft now allow you to download a Win 7, 8.1 or 10 disc image - but you need an existing valid CoA.

 

Another thing is, there are apparently CoAs available on the internet, for free. I am *NOT* saying you should do this *AT ALL* - read on: I was just told this in passing. My point is: I suspect some sellers - perhaps only a minority - on online marketplaces, supply people with CoAs gotten this way. And that would explain why, in the feedback, a buyer will often declare that their Windows OS gave them a piracy warning several weeks / months down the line - because Microsoft l believe sweeps up these CoAs sooner or later, and the existing bearers of the CoA - whether an innocent buyer or a savvy Googler - is forced to get a real CoA.

 

Probably best to buy from a retailer direct, or a retailer having an official storefront on an online marketplace.



#3 MajesticFailure

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 10:34 PM

Oh btw: Price isn't always proof of a disc + CoA package being genuine (going by the feedback l recall seeing for some items in online marketplaces - and it wasn't just one online marketplace, l'd rather not name them).


Edited by MajesticFailure, 25 May 2016 - 10:35 PM.


#4 Naught McNoone

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 02:18 PM

. . . legitimate? . . . some work and some don't . . . retail Win 7 DVD's selling for hundred dollars . . . one being sold for eighty including a guaranteed working key . . . 

 

allstock,

 

Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware!

 

OS licensing has a convoluted history, almost as complicated as Windows, it's self!

 

Essentially, there are four ways a computer can be licensed to use Windows.

 

The most common one is an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) license.  Manufacturer's like Dell, HP, Gateway, Acer, &c. all pay a fee to Microsoft to allow them to put Windows on the computers they sell to the general public.  These licenses are NOT TRANSFERABLE, and are intended to be used only on the original computer to which they were attached.  It is a violation of the license agreement to remove the tag from an OEM computer and put it on another one.

 

Another common form is MVL (Multiple Volume License), sometimes referred to as MVoL.  When a large corporation wants to license huge numbers of computers and software, they strike an independent deal with Microsoft to get a "One key fits all" license.  Government and Education are probably the number one user of MVL's.  Most of these licenses are LEASED, and have to be renewed every year.  As well, the keys have quantity limits on them.  Once that number has been reached, the license may fail to activate.  So, if an organisation needs to license more computers, it has to increase the allowed number by paying more to Microsoft.

 

There are also two retail versions of Windows, as well.  Retail versions of Windows are the only versions that come with direct support from Microsoft.  All other license versions require you to either go back to the OEM, or pay for support.

 

The Retail version of Windows is just that.  It is a copy of Windows that will install it's self on any PC.  It does not require any prerequisites in order to work.  You can only use it on one computer, but in certain cases, you can erase Retail Windows off of your old computer, and install it on new one.  

 

A "Retail Upgrade" license allows you to upgrade from a previous version of Windows to a newer one.  For example, if you have Windows Vista, you can buy an upgrade license for Windows 7, and install it on your Vista machine.  The Windows 7 Upgrade License will NOT WORK on Windows XP!  If you have XP, you must first buy a Vista Upgrade, then you can buy a 7 Upgrade after that.  Another thing to remember is that if you are using the Home edition of an older Windows, you must upgrade to the Home edition of the next level, or buy the "Pro Upgrade" for your original first.  Otherwise, your Pro upgrade DVD will wipe out your Home edition, and you will be starting over from scratch.

 

To sum it up, if you are buying a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) for Windows, and it has been previously attached to another PC, then you are buying a license which Microsoft has the right to de-activate.  If you are buying a "pull", then you run the risk of it not working.

 

Cheers!

 

Naught


Edited by Naught McNoone, 26 May 2016 - 02:20 PM.


#5 RolandJS

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 02:27 PM

...Price isn't always proof of a...package being genuine...

MajesticFailure, I had to borrow some of your words!  Years ago, I walked into a storefront independent computer software store, and purchased for $80.00 plus tax a package of Microsoft 3.3 DOS.  After some time, I realized -- it was an "OEM" at best, it was not a True-Blue Microsoft 3.3 DOS.  Even back in the Fred Flintstone days - stuff happens. 


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#6 MajesticFailure

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 03:58 PM

Oh gosh, l hope the retailer wasn't selling pirated software. Big retailers actually install Windows openly illegally in some parts of Europe.






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