Windows product keys from Bonanza sellers - AVOID!

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,781
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Well, I learned my lesson, and apologies to XavierMace.

I got turned on to buying Windows product keys from Bonanza.com, from another user's post here that had reported a positive results. Bonanza is kind of like an ebay site, but even less well-regulated, if you can imagine that.

Well, there are numerous vendors, selling "GENUINE" keys for MS OS software products.

I think I paid around $20 ea for my Win10 Home keys.

I used one on one of my G3258 rigs, soon after I had recieved my keys, and it activated, and said it was Genuine.

I guess, I had assumed, that these key sellers were just buying out-of-region Windows Activation keys, cheap (because not every person in every country can afford $100 USD for an OS), and reselling them online.

Well, fast-forward a few months to today. I had re-built one of my (Skylake) rigs, with an i5-6400 quad-core, and hooked it up to my 4K monitor, and decided to use it as a personal system. So I figured, I'd use one of my remaining keys to activate Windows.

BOOM! INVALID KEY! Let's try the other one. BOOM! SAME!

Searching the error code, it indicated that MS had blocked the key(s), which led to several threads on MS's discussion site about MSDN keys being sold on auction sites, in violation of their agreement with MS.

Yeah, probably what happened here.

So now I'm out $60 worth of keys, for buying what turned out to be fraudulently-sold, stolen software.

Back to Newegg keys, I guess.

Edit: Addendum - for the record, I've never sold a rig with "cheap" keys, those were only for personal usage.
 
Last edited:

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
14,518
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I would have a very hard time seeing a dirt-cheap Windows 10 key and assuming it was legit. Windows 8 and back maybe (and even then with caution), but not 10.
 

Puffnstuff

Lifer
Mar 9, 2005
15,565
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I've always bought my OS's from a reputable vendor and the last one, Win 7 ultimate I purchased from viosoftware which was the cheapest I could find at the time of purchase. Newegg has also been a reliable source of OS's for me but I see so much conflict on amazon that I avoid buying there.
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
450
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Sorry you got bit. Unfortunately this has been a long running issue with Microsoft licensing. MSDN, TechNet, Educational, even straight volume license keys. They get abused/stolen and Microsoft has little choice but to start black listing keys. That was one of the stated reason for them cancelling the software portion of the TechNet program was too much abuse which really sucked for home lab people like myself. Educational keys (meaning ones acquired as part of a school program) used to activate and last forever just like retail keys, but now they expire and you have to re-verify your eligibility (enrollment in an appropriate class) to get a new key.

I've started consolidating my VM's to reduce my license count knowing that eventually I'll need new licensing. The other thing I did was setup a few "spare" VM's, installed Win8 using my still valid keys, then did the free upgrade to 10. So at least now I've got some extra VM's with valid regular licensing if I need them. I know as of a couple weeks ago at least, you were still able to do free upgrades to 10. If you have a valid Win 8 key, you may be able to do the same.
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,959
1,654
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I also warned you.

I never bought one myself, but the horror stories are on the web for any curious mind to google and thus I hope you enjoy your bed of straw and the smell of livestock dung in the barn.
 

vissarix

Senior member
Jun 12, 2015
297
93
101
I never bought an os in my entire life

I might be not so politically correct...but i feel that....in a world where big corporations, governments are everything but correct....then my actions are more then justified....and doing otherwise would be against darwin's evolution...
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
450
126
I never bought an os in my entire life

I might be not so politically correct...but i feel that....in a world where big corporations, governments are everything but correct....then my actions are more then justified....and doing otherwise would be against darwin's evolution...
Yeah, sure, you keep telling yourself that.
 
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Puffnstuff

Lifer
Mar 9, 2005
15,565
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Educational keys (meaning ones acquired as part of a school program) used to activate and last forever just like retail keys, but now they expire and you have to re-verify your eligibility (enrollment in an appropriate class) to get a new key.
Not the keys I've received through Dreamspark and its replacement. All keys are permanent to the student which is a point they make in the EULA.
 
Feb 25, 2011
16,579
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I never bought an os in my entire life

I might be not so politically correct...but i feel that....in a world where big corporations, governments are everything but correct....then my actions are more then justified....and doing otherwise would be against darwin's evolution...
Just use Linux. Then you're not a dope.
 
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XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
450
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Not the keys I've received through Dreamspark and its replacement. All keys are permanent to the student which is a point they make in the EULA.
Permanent as long as you are still a student. My Dreamspark keys expired a year ago.
 

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
14,518
223
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I wonder if those education keys for 7 and 8.1 worked for the free Windows 10 upgrade offer? Because if that were the case, the Windows 10 OS would probably last just as long as every other upgrade (the life of the system they are in).
 
Feb 25, 2011
16,579
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I wonder if those education keys for 7 and 8.1 worked for the free Windows 10 upgrade offer? Because if that were the case, the Windows 10 OS would probably last just as long as every other upgrade (the life of the system they are in).
Mine did. (Educational key from 2012 or 2013, iirc. Win10 installed in place just fine. I'm still a student so I don't feel guilty yet.)

Anyway, if something is too good to be true, it probably is.
 

Puffnstuff

Lifer
Mar 9, 2005
15,565
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The EULA states that you are entitled to the software after you leave school. I've tried to collect as much as I could so I would have it on hand.
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
450
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The EULA states that you are entitled to the software after you leave school. I've tried to collect as much as I could so I would have it on hand.
That's great and all, but I'm telling you from experience. My Dreamspark keys stopped working after couple of years, at least the ones for enterprise stuff. Everyone else I know with Dreamspark keys report the same thing.
 

sweenish

Diamond Member
May 21, 2013
3,656
60
91
I never bought an os in my entire life

I might be not so politically correct...but i feel that....in a world where big corporations, governments are everything but correct....then my actions are more then justified....and doing otherwise would be against darwin's evolution...
Just say you steal.

I've never understood what goes on in a person's head to try and justify piracy, and why they feel compelled to share their train wreck of a thought with other people.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,781
8,018
126
Hate to bring this thread up again, but I just had a strange occurrence.

I had re-installed this machine, I think, in preparation to sell it. AFAIK, this mobo was never actually activated with a Windows 10 license. At least, from my OP, that's how I remember it, I tried a couple of Windows 10 Home keys I had bought on Bonanza, and they came up with an error.

I think I re-did it with a fresh install.

Anyways, I finally found a buyer for this gaming rig, and I was trying to get it to accept a Windows license, so I pulled up a .TXT file off of my NAS, with a Windows 7 Home OEM key, off of a now-defunct laptop, to see if the Windows 10 Home installation would take that key.

I have the .TXT file open in Notepad, and I highlighted the key and copied it to the clipboard. Then, I opened up Settings, clicked Update, then selected Activation on the left side.

And... BEHOLD! It shows, "Windows is activated with a digital license".

Really? Hmm. How? Did MS have a change of heart, and unblock the keys that I had tried to enter before... OR

Did MS automagically "assume" that the product key currently in the clipboard, was somehow a key for the current OS install, and automagically entered it into licensing, without me have to paste anything into any dialog boxes?

That sounds like really, really, unsound software design and user interface.

If I put a CC number into the clipboard, and open the MS Store, will it automagically purchase the top items of the day for me? Disturbing!

Does anyone know? Does MS do this, with the "Activation" item in Settings? Does it auto-enter any product key that might be in the clipboard, without having to paste it into a dialog box?

Or is it more likely that MS unblocked the previous keys?
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,781
8,018
126
I just pulled the key using ProduKey from NirSoft, and... it doesn't match any of the keys that I bought from Bonanza, nor does it match any of my Windows 7 Home Family Pack keys, that I've used, nor does it match the key that I was going to copy+paste into the key dialog.

Now I'm really confused. MIRACLE??? Windows activating itself, and giving me a new key? Microsoft's new "key amnesty" program, for people that had blocked product keys?

Edit: Huh.
I found something guys,
These are the genereic Windows 10 keys:
Windows 10 Home - YTMG3-N6DKC-DKB77-7M9GH-8HVX7
Windows 10 Home SL- BT79Q-G7N6G-PGBYW-4YWX6-6F4BT
Windows 10 Pro - VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T
Windows 10 Pro VL-MAK - QJNXR-7D97Q-K7WH4-RYWQ8-6MT6Y
https://www.tenforums.com/windows-updates-activation/9399-after-upgrade-windows-10-cannot-activate-error-code-0xc004f034-6.html
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
29,296
330
126
As oppose the everything in the Past Win 10 Keys has relevant in the First time of activation.

Once Activated some of the Computers' Technical parameters are recorded On MS Activation Data base and those parameters are the (what use to be called) New Key. This new Key is Not recorded on your computer.

If you have two computers* that both were already activated with (as an example) Win 10 Home. You can move the SSDs from one to the other and the same SSD would adapt and work as Activated with both computers while the Keys as reported with ProduKey would not change.

In other words if MS activation Database sense that the Hardware/Software of a Computer was legally Activated it will work (the spseific HD/SSD and Graphics card seems No to matter).

*Both computers has to be able to start with the same SSD provided that there are general similarities in Hardware otherwise Win 10 would not load. But that is a drivers issue and has nothing to do with Activation.

Also notice that while Win 10 will show Activated on both computers other Key base software (Like traditional MS Office) would lose its activation since it is still based on the old specific key system.
---------------------

This new method seems to be safer and better than the old one. However it can not function without a connection of the computer to the Internet.



:cool:
 

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