Windows 10: How Many Hardware Changes Before Activation Fails?

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  1.    16 Nov 2017 #11

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    What Microsoft will physically allow with no problems at all is a completely different subject than what violates the EULA or not. I have multiple licenses for Windows due to purchasing a 3 license family pack a while back and then subsequently upgrading those computers to new, off the shelf computers with their own OEM licenses for Windows. I'm running multiple copies of Windows on one computer - but the thing is with the new digital licensing for Windows 10, my multiple copies of Windows installed on the same computer have no unique product keys associated with them. They have now all been clean installs at some time in the past which were done by skipping the product key and then activated with the digital license that was first created from upgrades from Windows 7 and 8 installs.

    Multiple copies of Windows on the same computer will not cause any activation problems at all and they can all be activated with just the digital license stored on MS Activation Servers. But in order to comply with the EULA, I have a listing of my retail product keys stored in a text file, each product key represents either 1 license for Windows, and a couple of the product keys represent a 3-pack family license for Windows. But Microsoft does not even treat the 3-pack family license product key any different, when I was using it for the Windows 7 it was meant for, I still had to call MS to activate Windows 7 and lie to them and tell them it was installed on only one computer even though I was in full compliance with the EULA to have it installed on up to three computers.
    I think you missed part where OP says he has bought another cheap windows 7 key (Quote: so I bought another really cheap Windows 7 key), so would be in 100% compliance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    18 Nov 2017 #12

    My really cheap 2 Windows 7 key activated so I'm totally legal with dual boot Windows 7 64 bit and Windows 10 32 bit installations on my very old 2004 experimental PC.

    The only thing is I installed Windows 7 after Windows 10 and have the text based multi-boot start-up menu. Can I restore the better looking Windows 10 blue style boot menu?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    18 Nov 2017 #13

    Steve C said: View Post
    My really cheap 2 Windows 7 key activated so I'm totally legal with dual boot Windows 7 64 bit and Windows 10 32 bit installations on my very old 2004 experimental PC.

    The only thing is I installed Windows 7 after Windows 10 and have the text based multi-boot start-up menu. Can I restore the better looking Windows 10 blue style boot menu?
    There is a bcdedit command to do this but cannot remember off top of my head.

    Easybcd app (free) will do this.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    18 Nov 2017 #14

    Steve C said: View Post
    The only thing is I installed Windows 7 after Windows 10 and have the text based multi-boot start-up menu. Can I restore the better looking Windows 10 blue style boot menu?
    While you are booted into Windows 10, open Command Prompt (Admin) or Powershell (Admin) and the command is:

    bcdboot C:\Windows
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    19 Nov 2017 #15

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    While you are booted into Windows 10, open Command Prompt (Admin) or Powershell (Admin) and the command is:

    bcdboot C:\Windows
    Thanks. I originally installed Windows for English / UK. Should I use this locale option or doesn't it matter?

    bcdboot c:\Windows /l en-gb
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    19 Nov 2017 #16

    Steve C said: View Post
    My really cheap 2 Windows 7 key activated so I'm totally legal
    Hmmmm that's cheap indeed - Check it with ShowKeyPlus - Windows 10 Forums if you will... I'd be interested to know it's EULA type.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    19 Nov 2017 #17

    Superfly said: View Post
    Hmmmm that's cheap indeed - Check it with ShowKeyPlus - Windows 10 Forums if you will... I'd be interested to know it's EULA type.
    That says I have Windows 7 Ultimate Retail EULA Type MSDN. I also bought a cheap MS Office 2016 key but that didn't work to download the Office files so I got a refund.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    19 Nov 2017 #18

    Steve C said: View Post
    That says I have Windows 7 Ultimate Retail EULA Type MSDN. I also bought a cheap MS Office 2016 key but that didn't work to download the Office files so I got a refund.
    As I feared... MSDN keys are not for re-sale - thus not legit.

    It will probably work as a digital licence upgrade (but get nuked once others have activated it as well on Win 7.)

    Whether MS keeps track of the upgrade licence once converted to digital, dunno.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    19 Nov 2017 #19

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    While you are booted into Windows 10, open Command Prompt (Admin) or Powershell (Admin) and the command is:

    bcdboot C:\Windows
    I can confirm the above command restored the Windows 10 style multi-boot GUI screen. I actually used this command for the UK (unsure if it makes any difference) - bcdboot c:\Windows /l en-gb

    I lost my Windows 10 Safe Mode boot menu option but kept my Macrium Reflect boot option. I soon recovered the Safe Mode boot option.

    The Windows 7 multi-boot menu does have the advantage that you boot directly to the selected OS rather than going through a full restart cycle using the Windows 10 boot menu. Why does the Windows 10 boot menu have this long winded behavior?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    19 Nov 2017 #20

    Superfly said: View Post
    As I feared... MSDN keys are not for re-sale - thus not legit.

    It will probably work as a digital licence upgrade (but get nuked once others have activated it as well on Win 7.)

    Whether MS keeps track of the upgrade licence once converted to digital, dunno.
    As far as I can tell, once you get a digital licence, it is perpetual,and there is no mechanism for voiding it. Equally, there is no history of what key activated it either (hence why activation troubleshooter does not care if original licence was oem or not).

    At $2, it is hardly a big risk. If it works once, job done.

    Some will say we should not encourage this, but we are not policemen for MS.

    MS have relaxed activation rules so much, EULA enforcement is a joke now. Hell, you can run it unactivated permanently if you wish.

    I think MS have basically (unofficially) decided that enforcing the EULA is more effort than it is worth, and by relaxing rules, they keep people on Windows who might otherwise defect to Linux or other OS.

    It is interesting with FCU, that they do not actually install key anymore, only the generic key i.e. all non-vlk licences are digital now. The key is only used to validate the digital licence first time it is installed.

    As far as I can surmise, the side effect of this is tools that used to fool Windows it was activated do not work with non-vlk keys any more. Cannot say this would be true for vlks though.

    I bought a cheap PRO key, and it is returned as full standalone status and worked fine. I am sure it was probably a key sold several times relying on the fact you can use a key a number of times before it gets blocked.

    In the end, it is up to MS to police their system - if we buy it cheap in good faith and it works, are we being pirates?

    Anyway, it is all caveat emptor really. Buy a cheap key, and it may not work.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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