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  1. Post
    #1

    Windows 10 key for $5?

    I had a legal Win 10 Pro digital license for my VM but because I didn't leave enough free space it has failed updates for the Creators and October 18 updates. I decided to wipe the slate clean and start again but am unable to apply the digital license to the new VM. I am not sure my upgrade pathway to get to the free Win 10 Pro upgrade and valid license but I had assumed the digital license meant I didn't need to worry (bad assumption when it comes to dealing with Microsoft).

    What's the deal with $5 licenses on eBay?

    They can't exactly install malware as I would download the ISO from MS direct.

    Do they stop working after some time? Are they stolen?

  2. Post
    #2
    They are most likely OEM keys that were purchased in bulk. They'll work just fine. I have purchased many such keys off Kinguin or G2A before.

  3. Post
    #3
    Do they work? - yes
    Will they work forever? - unknown
    Are they legal? - probably not

  4. Post
    #4
    Questionable legality for sure but probably hard for Microsoft to pin down without blocking legitimate customers as well.

    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

  5. Post
    #5
    I get my w10 keys for around 12nzd from a video game serial site never had a issue they normally bulk buy russian/overseas keys and items on sales to resell so your $5 could be legit or just recycled from a dead pc?

  6. Post
    #6
    inboxed wrote:
    I get my w10 keys for around 12nzd from a video game serial site never had a issue they normally bulk buy russian/overseas keys and items on sales to resell so your $5 could be legit or just recycled from a dead pc?
    $5 USD on eBay, or thereabouts

  7. Post
    #7
    They're purchased using stolen credit cards, abuses of volume licences, or other dodgy sources. As far as Microsoft is concerned you'd may as well pirate it.

  8. Post
    #8
    Word Of Madness wrote:
    They're purchased using stolen credit cards, abuses of volume licences, or other dodgy sources. As far as Microsoft is concerned you'd may as well pirate it.
    Actually? got something to back those statements up?

  9. Post
    #9
    The price alone tells you they are not 100% legitimate. You can probably google for facts around the cheap keys if you needed more proof.

  10. Post
    #10
    Soldier_Five wrote:
    Actually? got something to back those statements up?
    https://www.pcgamer.com/a-brazilian-...ey-scams-work/

    MangaGamer first noticed a problem in February, according to the report, when it saw that a single IP address was being used to create new accounts, purchase games, and then refund them. When one account was banned, another would appear; different credit cards were used to make the purchases, and the number of games being bought kept going up. Worse, each time the site's payment processor discovered that the credit cards were stolen—which was every time—MangaGamer would get hit with a hefty chargeback fee.

    “When a chargeback occurs on purchase of a $40 game, we lose both the $40 from the canceled sale, and take a $30 penalty,” PR Director John Pickett said. “So at a hundred fraudulent purchases, that’s $3,000 lost; $30,000 if there are 1000 keys stolen.”

    The site put up a blog post explaining the situation, which someone claiming to be the hacker replied to. Kotaku reached out to the individual, and with help from MangaGamer was able to verify his identity. He claimed to be a “famous hacker” in Brazil, and said he was doing this sort of thing regularly, because it's easy and the odds of being caught are very low. Simply put, he acquires keys with the stolen cards, then immediately resells them on sites like G2a, and while he's not making huge book—he said he earned more than $500 selling MangaGamer keys—it's pure profit. And publisher can do little to stop it, because chargebacks can take weeks or even months to come in.

  11. Post
    #11
    They arent volume license keys. They are definitely OEM. They are most likely obtained using stolen credit cards via Microsoft store.

  12. Post
    #12
    I bought a key off ebay little while ago, worked fine, and is still working. Was around $10 I think.

    I read somewhere that a lot of them were keys recovered from dead machines?

  13. Post
    #13
    A.brdgr wrote:
    I bought a key off ebay little while ago, worked fine, and is still working. Was around $10 I think.

    I read somewhere that a lot of them were keys recovered from dead machines?
    I'd heard that too, though reading this thread, it may just be a cover story they use

  14. Post
    #14
    I've bought a number of win10 keys from kinguin.net, usually like $30ish, never had an issue. I assume they're legal, but who knows.

  15. Post
    #15
    they are not legal and you are paying for a leaked/stolen key. if you're gonna do that you may as well just crack it, it's pretty painless these days.

  16. Post
    #16
    Nah most activation cracks are identified and stopped by built in AV, the cheap keys are much easier to use.

  17. Post
    #17
    Been using a cheap key for 4 years now and it's still working just fine. I care not if someone scammed Microsoft for it. They're a scum sucking company which already has more than enough money.

    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

  18. Post
    #18
    I used a cheap 7 key for 2-3 years before I booted up one day and got the "This copy of windows may not be legitimate" notification and black desktop background. Contacted the seller and they said that 7 keys were getting banned frequently and the best they could give me was an 8.1 key, but that wouldn't work for activating 7. Used non-legit 7 for almost a year before I decided to try telephone activation and that worked. So they banned the key, then verified the same key. Go figure.

  19. Post
    #19
    Yeah they're morons alright. I remember back in the day reinstalling windows xp a few times on the same machine over the period of a few months, due to it slowly developing annoying issues over time. Eventually it told me my legit retail copy was dodgy and I'd have to phone customer service. Called them up and the dude in the Indian call centre accused me of being a pirate even though the key had only ever been used on the one machine. I just said "f you then, if I'm going to be accused of piracy when I'm a paying customer I may as well just go ahead and steal it instead". Didn't buy another Microsoft product for about 8 years after that, just downloaded cracks for everything.

    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

  20. Post
    #20
    Unsettled wrote:
    Nah most activation cracks are identified and stopped by built in AV, the cheap keys are much easier to use.
    not that it's hard to make a Defender exception but the newer methods of activating Win10 don't rely on you running a .EXE/fake KMS service constantly

  21. Post
    #21
    Probably dodgy AF, but there was a time (about a year?) when Win10 was completely free so I'd imagine there was a bit of a rort then as well

  22. Post
    #22
    Not even necessary. You can still upgrade windows 7/8 to 10 for free by just installing it. They've stopped advertising it, and claim it finished a year or so ago, but forgot to tell their authentication servers.

  23. Post
    #23
    nice ^

  24. Post
    #24
    teelo7 wrote:
    Not even necessary. You can still upgrade windows 7/8 to 10 for free by just installing it. They've stopped advertising it, and claim it finished a year or so ago, but forgot to tell their authentication servers.
    Slightly off topic; is it worth it? I haven't used 10, and I'm still happy with 7, but I imagine I'll have to move regardless within the next few years.

  25. Post
    #25
    It's not bad for the most part though I wouldn't bother of privacy is important to you.

    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk