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Old 11-01-2021, 12:02 PM   #1
bcsm
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How are product keys found for proprietary software, e.g an OS?


A friend told me he activated a windows 7 installation once just using a product key found online just by googling. How is this possible? i.e, surely there shouldn't be keys that can be used multiple times, and how are they found? Inspection of the DRM source code?
 
Old 11-01-2021, 12:42 PM   #2
dugan
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Can't speak for Windows, but with Blizzard games, they just generate random keys until they guess one that works. And if you use that key, you're stealing that game from the person who actually bought it.

I know someone who bought Starcraft and had his key get stolen that way.

Last edited by dugan; 11-01-2021 at 12:48 PM.
 
Old 11-01-2021, 04:02 PM   #3
sundialsvcs
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Sometimes thieves simply steal a key from their (former ...) place of business. It's illegal to use it or to "post it on the Internet" but they figure that they're too small-fry to go after.

Anyway – I'm not interested in stealing.
 
Old 11-01-2021, 08:56 PM   #4
frankbell
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I agree with the above. It is no doubt a dodgy product key, either forged or more likely misappropriated.

Since it's Win7, it's likely from an old install that's no longer active.
 
Old 11-02-2021, 12:05 AM   #5
enigma9o7
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I've usually found them on the sticker on the sleeve of the disc, or back of case, or bottom of laptop.

Win7 keys can be used to install windows 10. I wonder if that still works for windows 11.

And you can certainly install using the same key multiple times no problem. If microsoft thinks something suspicious about using it multiple times they you'll have to contact them by phone to activate and get rid of the warning about not being activated.

Last edited by enigma9o7; 11-02-2021 at 11:19 AM.
 
Old 11-02-2021, 03:43 AM   #6
rkelsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcsm View Post
A friend told me he activated a windows 7 installation once just using a product key found online just by googling.
Microsoft will gladly send you a product key... After you send them some money.
 
Old 11-02-2021, 07:00 AM   #7
mredc
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Maybe some of your friends have an old windows 7 machine that they no longer use or an install disk for a system that is no longer registered. If you are certain that they are no longer using that product and they have transferred the rights over to you that seems like it should be okay. You wouldn't believe what some people have sitting around in storage.
 
Old 11-02-2021, 09:27 AM   #8
sundialsvcs
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I created a software product starting in 1996 which is still selling(!) today. It uses an actually very-simple "license key" system. Yes, you can find license keys on the Internet that actually work. But customers actually buy it. They understand the rules of the game of commerce and abide by them, and I continue to support them.
 
Old 11-02-2021, 06:42 PM   #9
enorbet
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Don't forget the famous MS interoffice memo leak that basically stated "If people are going to steal an operating system it should be OUR system". That makes sense once you realize Billy and his buddies basically majored in Poker at Harvard.... that, and possibly watching too many episodes of "The Highlander"

If MS Management didn't want to be the "only one" what else would cause the head of a business enjoying 90+% market share to refer to a less than 1% share as "that virus"?
 
Old 11-02-2021, 07:55 PM   #10
sundialsvcs
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Quite honestly, @enorbet ... if they right now find themselves in that market position (within their self-defined "market"), then I would quite freely say that – like IBM "before them, oh wait, they're still there" – "they honestly earned it." I'm certainly not here to steal their thunder. Millions of paying customers can't be wrong ...

Meanwhile: "Data General, PDP, Unix®, Linux® ..." other markets also appeared. And, lo and behold, "they richly deserve 'their thunder' too!" (And their "paying customers!")

"May the games continue!!"

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 11-02-2021 at 07:59 PM.
 
Old 11-08-2021, 06:41 AM   #11
cynwulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Millions of paying customers can't be wrong ...
Argumentum ad populum...

I'm sure that MS would be heartened that there are Linux fans here defending their eye watering profit margins: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/inve...elease-webcast

And of course those corporate "thieves" never stole anything to get where they are today...

//edit: Windows 7 product keys can be found on discarded/scrapped OEM boxes, it's an EoL OS release along with Windows 8.0. You can usually get these to activate (assuming you have installation media), by doing the simple telephone activation.

Last edited by cynwulf; 11-08-2021 at 07:45 AM.
 
Old 11-10-2021, 12:57 PM   #12
enorbet
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@sundialsvcs - I contend that a long distance runner who trips, poisons,or in any way incapacitates his opponents, or a skater who hires a thug to "kneecap" the stiffest competition did not, in fact, earn the win. Don't underestimate the evil importance of "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish", literally an expressly stated policy and "battle plan" for Microsoft. It's just as thug-ish.
 
  


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