Windows 10: Link Microsoft Account to Windows 10 Digital License
I bought a used laptop. It didnīt recognice hdd so I got it cheap. Manage (of course ) to do a clean reinstall of win 10. Then when it activated, I dont know if it was activated with last owners MSA or because it recognize hardware... Can I check if laptop is still linked to last owner? It shows up in my MSA, and it says itīs activated and linked to MSA...
Thanks in advance for help!
Hello Rangeboy, and welcome to Ten Forums.
You will only be able to see linked digital licenses for your MSA.
So I can't know if last owner is still linked to the licens? Can he do anything with it? Does my location show up in his msa like it does in mine?
Not unless the new owner knows you MSA ID and password, no.
Actually, this is a very good question and has some interesting legal points.
During my testing of this option I discovered that if you use the MSA to transfer a digital licence to a new PC, the digital licence for the old PC still remains active. You activated as a result of the hardware ID.
So it is quite possible original user transferred the digital licence to a new PC and wiped OS from old PC (perfecty legitimately in accordance with EULA - see extract).
"If you acquired the software as stand-alone software (and also if you upgraded from software you acquired as stand-alone software), you may transfer the software to another device that belongs to you. You may also transfer the software to a device owned by someone else if (i) you are the first licensed user of the software and (ii) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement. You may use the backup copy we allow you to make or the media that the software came on to transfer the software. Every time you transfer the software to a new device, you must remove the software from the prior device. You may not transfer the software to share licenses between devices."
I am not a legal expert, but then the fact that you installed it and it activated is irrelevant. Almost certainly, you would be the one technically using it illegally. This only applies if original licence which seller upgraded was retail though (see later).
However, if original licence was OEM, seller is legally not permitted to transfer licence to another PC.
It is absolutely certain if you were sold pc with windows 10 as part of the deal, then if seller kept a copy for himself, then he would be the one acting illegally.
If original owner did not keep a copy, and you "got lucky", then really it is hard to say if you are stealing or not (it is a bit like in UK keeping money you find in the street is still stealing) although how MS could ever find out is a different matter.
The EULA clearly states that the other party must agree to the transfer EVEN if OEM.
"If you acquired the software preinstalled on a device (and also if you upgraded from software preinstalled on a device), you may transfer the license to use the software directly to another user, only with the licensed device. The transfer must include the software and, if provided with the device, an authentic Windows label including the product key. Before any permitted transfer, the other party must agree that this agreement applies to the transfer and use of the software."
However, it is hardly your fault if seller did not clarify that - you cannot be expected to understand EULA conditions that you have to see first to agree to them.
The most likely scenario is original owner sold pc just to get rid of it, and probably had older version of windows 10 anyway, in which case it probably never got linked to MSA. If PC was sold before Aug 2nd (and only used release versions of W10) then it is highly unlikely sellers account was ever linked to digital licence.
So it is unlikely you will run into any issues. I think you just got lucky and at worst, there is a minor EULA transgression if seller did not specifically sell pc to you with Windows 10 as part of the deal. I would certainly not consider this to be illegal in your case (but hey I am not a legal expert)
All this arises as there does not seem to be any way to remove a digital licence from a pc when you transfer digital licence to a new device. That is down to MS - if they want your sort of situation not to arise, then they should delete old digital licence. In the end I do not think MS really care - there prime objective is to keep users in the Windows ecosphere.
Welcome to the world of crystal clear licence agreements - LOL!
"Almost certainly"? Hmmm.
The word "illegal" also depends where you live - what is written in the EULA doesn't trump local law (for example in Germany where the restriction on the transfer of OEM license is illegal).
MS could put in their EULA "it is OK to marry your sister" but that wouldn't actually make it legal anywhere (afaik) whether you ticked on it or not.
Interesting points though.
The sister analogy is not really a fair one, as marriage laws are defined by the government not commercial lawyers.
We are talking about commercial law and companies are permitted to put restrictions and clauses in that do not violate National laws (or EU laws etc), and users can be sued if they violate those clauses.
This does not make it right to deliberately violate EULA, but in OPs case, it is possible he is accidentally violating EULA - personally, I do not really care. Indeed, now you can legally run Windows 10 unactivated for as long as you like if you do not care about personalisation. AS I said, MS do not really seem to care that much.
We could have an ongoing philisophical debate but ultimately it is just circle jerking I guess, as reality is MS never sue transgressions of EULA unless it involves large-scale piracy for commercial gain.
Incidentally, the German law only applies to System builder oem licences which are not that common. Preinstalled oem slp licences are still not transferable even under German law.
What I found interesting (and possibly more relevant to this topic) is I moved a .vhd from VBox to Hyper-V (so a new set of hardware) and MS activated it with no issue through my MSA.
I think that they don't care about Windows for home users (or they would just stop it working as they did in the past) - more interesting for them is if you sign up to O365 or something.
Which I have.
I have transferred digital licences between vmware and hyper-v using activation troubleshooter, and it worked fine. Interestingly, it does not work between a vm and phyical msachine.
I am sure you are right re domestic users - they allowed 350 million users to upgrade for free and were disappointed that many millions more did not. A few extra users who get a free licence via a EULA transgression is a drop in the ocean by comparison. As you say locking a user into O365, or selling apps etc is far more important to their business.
If I take an old computer that was running win 7 and wipe the hard drive clean or build a brand new PC then install win 10 with an OEM key will I have a digital license automatically?
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