How to test for old valid product keys


  1. Posts : 54
    Windows 10 x64 up-to-date
       #1

    How to test for old valid product keys


    I have been a sometime-system builder for decades. I have old Windows product keys (Win 7, 8.1) that have been on the shelf for years. Is there a way to test if they are still valid or not? I'm talking about testing Win 7 keys on a Win 7 installation, Win 8.1 keys on a Win 8.1 installation, etc. None of them are in use right now as they are, but some were used to upgrade to a later version of Windows.

    Can I switch Product Keys on a system to one of these old ones such that if it is accepted that means it is valid? (And then switch the product key back.) I'd like to avoid tossing out keys just to be sure I am staying legal because I don't remember if they were used in an upgrade path or not, but if that's what I have to do to not violate Microsoft's copyrights, then I'll do it.

    Unless someone has a better idea, I'd probably use slmgr.vbs to uninstall and install keys.
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  2. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 11,750
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #2

    The only issue I see with the testing is you'd have to access Microsoft to check and probably would end up with a 'good' Product Key being activated and no longer usable again except maybe for the Retail version which can be used on a Replacement machine but not both at the same time. Most OEM keys won't work on different brands, usually the COA/Certificate of Authenticity will mention the brand. Win8 and later may not have a COA with the Product Key, changed from how it was done with Win7 and earlier.
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  3. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,474
    Windows10
       #3

    Use showkeyplus to see if valid. This is an app in MS Store written by @Superfly, a regular here - see software and apps section.

    I would not worry too much about previous installs. Installation is more or less an honour system, and the EULA just says keys can only be used on 1 pc at a time, and you need to remove windows from old devices. You do not really need to go around uninstalling them on old installations you no longer require.

    If new installation objects key is in use, use telephone activation and say it is for new pc.

    Windows 10 only really checks if key is valid and gives a digital licence. It is remarkably lenient e.g. it will allow upgrade keys, often oem keys (not bios embedded keys which are not transferable).

    So long as you stick to principle, only one key per device, you are complying as best as you can to EULA.
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  4. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,927
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #4

    I had a similar issue recently and used these in addition to ShowKeyPlus:

    Microsoft PID Checker Download Microsoft PID Checker - MajorGeeks

    PID Key Checker Download PID Key Checker - MajorGeeks

    Ultimate PID Checker Download The Ultimate PID Checker 1.2.0.606
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  5. Superfly's Avatar
    Posts : 3,400
       #5

    Steve C said:
    I had a similar issue recently and used these in addition to ShowKeyPlus:

    Microsoft PID Checker Download Microsoft PID Checker - MajorGeeks

    PID Key Checker Download PID Key Checker - MajorGeeks

    Ultimate PID Checker Download The Ultimate PID Checker 1.2.0.606
    Yeah Ultimate was where it all started ...janek2012 ran with it but a lot of really knowledgeable people at MDL contributed to it...
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  6. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,927
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #6

    superfly said:
    yeah ultimate was where it all started ...janek2012 ran with it but a lot of really knowledgeable people at mdl contributed to it...
    mdl ?
      My Computers



 

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