Pirates are able to upgrade to genuine versions of Windows 10

By Shawn Knight
Jul 29, 2015
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  1. Microsoft opened the proverbial flood gates earlier today with the launch of Windows 10, welcoming both new and existing Windows users to try out its brand new operating system.

    We’ve known for a few months now that Microsoft would also be inviting users running pirated versions of Windows although their licenses would remain non-genuine. But according to some Reddit users, the upgrade path for pirates is granting fully activated copies of Windows 10 – complete with product keys to use for fresh installs.

    Some Reddit users claim they’ve been able to upgrade their pirated Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 installations to Windows 10 without incident. The general consensus seems to be that if you’ve successfully activated a pirated copy of an older version of Windows, the update tool will view it as legitimate and grant full access to Windows 10.

    There even seem to be some instances where the previous copy of Windows wasn’t activated prior to upgrading to Windows 10. It’s not universal, however, as others are reporting failed activations when upgrading from pirated copies. Why it’s working for some and not others is even more puzzling but could depend on how their current version of Windows was installed and / or what hacks were used to activate it.

    Granting pirates a fully activated and genuine copy of Windows 10 certainly doesn’t seem to be the scenario that Microsoft intended but then again, Microsoft’s stance on the piracy upgrade path has been shaky since the company chimed in on the matter earlier this year.

    Permalink to story.

  2. DKRON

    DKRON TS Guru Posts: 567   +25

    So I get no upgrade at all and pirates get my code, nice
  3. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 353   +170

    I expect this comment section to become quickly filled with
    lots of crying and butt-hurt.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    I'm wondering how many of the new functions / goodies are internet dependent?

    I really don't want a free copy of Windows 10, because I don't want to surrender any of the Windows licenses I have now.

    I'm willing to pay for it, as long as can install it on a new machine, download the updates current at the time of installation, then pull the CAT-6 cable and be down with it.

    If "Cortana" won't speak with me with no web connection, they can keep their new OS.

    I prefer to use one of the clunkers I have laying around to go surfing with.
  5. seeprime

    seeprime TS Rookie Posts: 29   +11

    You don't surrender your existing Windows licenses. Microsoft is doing a new thing by storing the motherboard information on their server. This gives you the right to do a clean install of Windows 10 after you go through the upgrade. If you have a Windows sticker with a product key it can still be used for a clean install, according to a Microsoft rep during a partner webinar last week.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    I think we're having a bit of semantic confusion here. When I say "surrender your license", I mean you can't have 2 OS installations working at the same time. You can have either Win 10 or Win 7, you could also retreat from 10 back to 7, but you can't have both. So, that's what I meant by "surrender".

    If I were to buy Windows 10 outright, I could keep the copy of 7 on its platform, indefinitely.

    Which is probably my master plan. I don't really have any machines that I'm hot to upgrade the OS. I'll start collecting parts for a "Skylake" platform, and buy a copy of 10 to go with it.
  7. bnjohanson

    bnjohanson TS Enthusiast Posts: 32   +10

    " can't have 2 OS installations working at the same time. You can have either Win 10 or Win 7...".

    Is this true? ...In other words, I have a legit OEM copy of Win. 7 and if I wish to execute a Duel-Boot option by including Win 10, I won't be able to do that; it's either one of the other ?
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    My understanding is, you need a 7 or 8 license to be able to "upgrade" to Windows 10. You can apparently do a "clean install of Win 10", but your Windows product key for 7 or 8, then becomes the product key for the Win 10 installation. Windows activation server isn't going to let you use the same key, for 2 versions of the OS.

    I'm far from the last word on this though. I haven't even downloaded a trial copy of 10. As I said above, my plan is to buy Windows 10 for a Skylake platform machine. That would / will be, the first, last and only, OS installation during its service life. (That's assuming Windows 10 works well, and doesn't turn into a subscription debacle).
  9. bnjohanson

    bnjohanson TS Enthusiast Posts: 32   +10 then, is it safe to presume that if I merely kept my Windows 7 as activated, created a new partition on the same drive fbo a dual-boot with Win. 10, therefore transferring my Key to Win. 10, that both OS's wouldn't work because MS support for my Win. 7 would therefore cease ?
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    OK, look, you're on the verge of doing this, while I'm not very far into the distant planning stage. M$ lost so much credibility with Win 8. So they're giving away 10 as an appeasement, and casting a wide net including Win 7 & 8.1. (Of course if they didn't include Win 7 & 8.1, whimpering would be intolerable). It makes sense then, to upgrade 7 installs, as many people surrendered Win 7 to go to 8.0.

    I don't think their generosity is infinite though. Why don't you have a look at the Windows 10 download page:

    The sequence as I understand it, is you upgrade Win 7 or 8 to 10. After that happens you can do a clean install of 10, and you lose your 7 or 8 product key to the new installation. There has been an "escape clause" mentioned, whereby you can go back to you old OS, within 30 days (?).

    Given the title of this thread, maybe you could pirate a copy of 7 or 8 and upgrade that. Now the disclaimer: I didn't mean that, I don't think it's a good or moral idea, nor would I undertake that myself....:eek::oops:
  11. bnjohanson

    bnjohanson TS Enthusiast Posts: 32   +10

    I too am merely in the wait-and-see for the time being. What I am doing however is monitoring a myriad of sites that provide commentary in their experience thus far and although I have not actively engaged in active commentary during this phase, your assessment is the first that I have directly inquired since you specify this "one or the other" with regard to my 7-Product Key...and I have literally read everything that exists in the public sphere over the last 10-months on this subject.

    My preference is to dual-boot both, I am in a position to wait and see how all of this evolves, I.e. with the forced updates, etc. and the only challenge in my tact is deciphering the myriad of declarations like yours as fact or yet another arm-waving falsehood driven by emotion and as an annoying consequence, no credibility whatsoever. Therefore, my best answer is likely to remain patient and wait and see how all of this shakes out.

    Thanks anyway.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    Up til yesterday, you could dual boot the system with the trial builds. Usually when the product goes to market , the license on those installations expires.

    Windows has been M$' cash cow for two decades,and most of their efforts at floating hardware into the market have fallen short. Remember "Zune"?

    They have to make money somewhere in the future. I can't picture the new CEO applying for NPO status.
  13. bnjohanson

    bnjohanson TS Enthusiast Posts: 32   +10

    I think I am with ya on just about everything that you have shared. My one and only draw to MS still is that is not Apple (I would use an abacus before devolving myself into a kindergarten child and use anything Apple), and Linux isn't quite there yet...but it is awfully close. I really love the mechanics and internals of MS, but you're right, the heaviness of their steering, hand-holding, and other superfluous/annoying presence is all but becoming unbearable.

    MS didn't have to Announce to me that this is their last OS...
  14. ghostxdreams

    ghostxdreams TS Rookie

    I like the fact of win 10 coming out in full force that will give the hackers and virus creators something new to work with and leave win 7/8/8.1 alone so ya more power to you win 10 lol
  15. JoeGuy

    JoeGuy TS Rookie

    I'm using an old vista machine, that I upgraded win7 pro, and win8.1, through the torrent sites. was able to upgrade to win10 pro. while I like it; it is a system hog, with a pretty large footprint. Microsoft is fast losing relevance in the marketplace; and bill gates once comfortable monopoly is quickly fading to open source software, to the point they're now giving it away. ironically; it was his own heavy handed business practices that led to this.
  16. Cryio

    Cryio TS Booster Posts: 191   +57

    That's basically it. Cortana won't work, obviously. Otherwise the OS will works just like 7 and 8.1 before it.
  17. Dongus

    Dongus TS Rookie

    I would not do any credit card transactions on a machine like this, or log into my email, or log into even Facebook.
  18. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 852   +352

    MS will be a crack dealer wanting to corner the market, so to speak.
    Come in, GIVE IT AWAY, then after everyone is "hooked" start charging for the product.
  19. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 643   +226

    Sounds like you and I are of ...about... the same mindset. I have absolutely no intentions of giving up Windows 7(more than likely ever) and sure as hell wouldn't even think of giving it up right now until I have been sexually intimate with Windows 10 for a whole lot longer than I have been at this point in the game. I don't trust Microsoft at all at this point. The goals of Microsofts operating systems have shifted in focus from a tool to produce into a tool that consumes. From selling you a product and telling you thanks, please come visit us again someday, to "were putting our hands in your pocket and they are never coming back out".

    It's still not what I want but maybe it will morph into something more compelling over its 10 year life span.
  20. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Booster Posts: 214   +39

    I'm on board with the 10p and hope it all worx out, as the problems that I have experienced have been tended to in the weeks of joy, but the updates Are a pain:

    Every update has borked either my wifi or my headphones upon restart - the one prior to last night required me to remove and re-pair the 'phones every time I returned to the computer (this was apparently fixed with last night's update).

    The process: I'm lying here, enjoying my episode of 'Columbo' or whatever and the playback gets lumpy/choppy, wth says me. It worsens and worsens until the under-powered All-in-one can Barely respond anymore. Fine, says me, press the ugly button (Edge not responding). Turn on, and 'well-whadya-know' it's another all-important update, installed at 4:13am (which I am unable to change, as far as I know, 10a would work perfect for My hours). whirl whirl.. finally lock screen. Attempt to lift lock screen, attempt two more times as due to my position I cannot reach All-The-Way to the Absolute-Top-Edge of the screen (Microsoft deems this absolutely critical) but after a few attempts I manage to convince it that I am done looking at the pretty lock-screen and would like to continue what I was doing, prior to being outvoted. I press the PIN area and the number-pad jumps right up, I press the first digit, nothing. I have pressed and Held said digit 15 times or more over the course of 10p and.. Nothing. Sooner or later, enough CPU cycles are released to allow me to easily enter the four digits, whirls whirl, Win10 up and ready until the next update..

    Not loving the 'touch' experience yet, to say the least (have you tried to navigate Netflix with it? UGHN..

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