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windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

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windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

is there a way to tell if a windows licence key has been used (or is still in use).
i've found a retail boxed version of Windows 7 Home premium in the back of a cupboard.
no idea if it was ever used or not, or even if it is still in use! i have no windows systems running so i can't physically check to see if it running on anything.
is there a website or tool that can tell you if the licence is free to use?
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Community Veteran
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

Two things I would try....
1... if you have a spare HDD, then load it up and run the install... when it asks for the key... put it in... at that point it may say.. carry on installing, or it may also say contact Microsoft... you can run windows even after the 30 day registration period, all that will happen is that you will probably get a black screen background for your desktop and a little note in the bottom right corner saying "This copy of windows is not genuine"... and you will be nagged every time you boot up, but you can "cancel" that...
2... just phone up Microsoft, and ask them.....
rongtw
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

i dont think you can check a WIN key without installing it  Roll eyes
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

Somewhere on this forum I asked the same question long ago and sadly arrived at the same conclusion.

Customer and Forum Moderator.

nanotm
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

Quote from: chenks76
is there a way to tell if a windows licence key has been used (or is still in use).
i've found a retail boxed version of Windows 7 Home premium in the back of a cupboard.
no idea if it was ever used or not, or even if it is still in use! i have no windows systems running so i can't physically check to see if it running on anything.
is there a website or tool that can tell you if the licence is free to use?

try installing and activating it online, if its in use then it will tell you the key is in use.
being a retail version you can install it on any system(s) you like, the only caveat is that it cant be used on more than one system at the same time /
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
keyholder
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

Quote from: chenks76
is there a way to tell if a windows licence key has been used (or is still in use)
i've found a retail boxed version of Windows 7 Home premium in the back of a cupboard. - is there a website or tool that can tell you if the licence is free to use?

If you have a w7 box with a COA on it with a code then as far as microsoft are concerned you OWN that version of windows!
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

If it's genuine, MS doesn't care if it's been used or not (despite their claims, they used to claim "when a PC dies, the license dies too", but scrapped that policy cos nobody paid attention to it!!), if the thing doesn't activate online, just call up MS and say you're just installing it on a replacement hard drive, but if you want to check if it's genuine, then you can use "The Ultimate PID Checker", it's an unofficial tool which checks if it's a valid code, what version of windows it's for, whether it's OEM, Retail or VLK, etc.;
http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Info/The-Ultimate-PID-Checker.shtml
(note: this doesn't hack, crack, or generate keys, so is a legal tool)
I've used it a number of times to identify the license keys on the underside of used laptops (because Microsoft in their wisdom print the labels so badly the windows version is rubbed off within a week), works every time, handy if you're into refurbishing computers that have worn-off key labels... Smiley
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

I suspect the potential worry is that someone had already and is still using the key so trying to use it again would cause all sorts of problems so the real question is how to find out if the key is currently in use and phoning Microsoft seems to be the only option there
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

I'd just use it myself, I've used one key multiple times on a few different computers and they've never batted an eyelid, if you've bought it, it's yours (nitpickers convention in 3...2...1.......).... Smiley
Community Veteran
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

But not at the same time which is the point I am making
If the original purchaser of the boxed package has used it and is still using it then using it yourself isn't acceptable and could in extreme case be considered theft as the original purchaser may find that their installed Windows 7 no longer works
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

Quote from: Oldjim
But not at the same time which is the point I am making

Erm, it was at the same time for me... Grin
Community Veteran
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

Really
I didn't know that - I wonder how that works or in this case doesn't
Community Veteran
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

Haven't a clue, but, like I say, MS don't really care, all they expect is a genuine code activated by themselves, after that they're not bothered... Grin
nanotm
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

if you activate windows on a new system then disable the service that contacts M$ to check your still genuine then in theory you could install the same retail key on hundreds of systems, you would likely only encounter a problem if you tried to upgrade to a newer version if your key was already used by someone else (they only allow single use of each key through the online upgrade system as I found out when I inadvertently used the same key for a couple of systems running w8 when it came time to do the 8.1 upgrade .....just annoying as i then had to check through all the boxes to find the key sticker i hadn't used ....)
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
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Re: windows licence key - how to check if it's unused

As I mentioned in another thread....  (and earlier in this thread... ) I have been using the same copy of VISTA on two machines at the same time.... and the only difference is, the second copy shows a black background on the desktop, After 30 days.  and you cannot put any pic there... and a nag screen when you boot up saying it has to be activated.... .. and a small note at the bottom right corner saying "This copy of Windows is not Genuine"..
It got all the same updates as the "number one machine" install...