What hardware does Microsoft use to track your successful activation?

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by VampDust, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. VampDust

    VampDust MDL Novice

    Jul 25, 2015
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    Is this known? I just want to be sure I know so that I can choose to not buy certain hardware to ensure I keep my windows.
     
  2. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    No hardware at all. Nothing different from Win 7 online Validation and the inbuilt Win 8 WAT. It's all software algos.
     
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  3. VampDust

    VampDust MDL Novice

    Jul 25, 2015
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    If it does not track any hardware, then can you explain how when I format my system entirely, windows 10 activates perfectly without me doing anything? I think it is pretty well known that microsoft tracks the hardware which is how it knows to activate you... My question is what hardware do they track to make sure your computer is within it's OEM license? I want to know so that I can just avoid buying new hardware that would breech my shiny new OEM license.
     
  4. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    Ahh, that you mean, a mix of systems components as HWID. No-one knows exacly what and how.
     
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  5. rEApEAt

    rEApEAt MDL Senior Member

    Jan 5, 2011
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    I think that the algorithm referred above deals with small differences. The signature itself will change slightly when you add a item. So, just change one item at a time (hard disk, video card and so on) and you'll be ok.

    Motherboard, however, is a killing item; or maybe motherboard plus processor. Then you'll need to activate by phone and who knows what will happen.

    Note that the answer above is based in what I have read in this forum. I cannot guarantee it's accurate.
     
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  6. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    So far it only connects you to ""Techs"" which are even more confused than their customers :cool2:.
     
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  7. EFA11

    EFA11 Avatar Guru

    Oct 7, 2010
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    #7 EFA11, Jul 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
    best example I was shown was

    Motherboard = )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
    Video Card = ))))))
    Hard Drive = ))))))
    NIC CARD = ))))))))))))
    PROCESSOR= )))))))))))))))))))))

    and so on, combined as each as a different priority, to create a full HWID. If mobo goes, it all goes. IF cpu goes its ok, if cpu nic and Vid go, it may fail. Something to that effect.


    -ed-
    so to answer OP, you cannot buy hardware to replace current hardware to maintain an activation. even if you buy the exact same motherboard, it is different with its own ID.

    With exception to some OEM things that are a mess and everyone ends with deactivation at the same time, just because they had the same config the lazy OEM kept key features identical in the burn-in.
     
  8. rEApEAt

    rEApEAt MDL Senior Member

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    Sure... They're even telling that Microsoft will use HWID to disable 'pirate' activations. It's FUD all over the place.
     
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  9. rEApEAt

    rEApEAt MDL Senior Member

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  10. pvdven777

    pvdven777 MDL Member

    Jul 4, 2010
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    LOL :clap: I guess so.
    Never did claim that info was fully accurate and up to date, but I do think it illustrates the general concept.
    I saw a more exact description just recently but unfortunately I can't seem to find that link anymore.

    Anyway, I guess only Microsoft knows exactly what happens under the hood.
     
  11. Toink

    Toink MDL Member

    Jul 5, 2007
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    I've read conflicting posts here regarding hard drives - that after your copy of Windows 10 have been fully activated from an upgrade, one can do a clean install using a different hard drive and still keep the activation... So is this indeed true?
     
  12. EFA11

    EFA11 Avatar Guru

    Oct 7, 2010
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    yes, I actually tested this method today. Force tested since I lost a HDD on a secondary system. Clean installed it and Win10 Activated without issue. Motherboard is the biggest beast that will kill activation. HDD isn't a problem.
     
  13. rEApEAt

    rEApEAt MDL Senior Member

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    That's what people have reported, and I think it makes a lot of sense. Proceed with caution though.
     
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  14. rEApEAt

    rEApEAt MDL Senior Member

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    You bet! ;)
     
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  15. Toink

    Toink MDL Member

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    #17 Toink, Jul 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
    Thank you for confirming. Having experienced otherwise from previous versions (Win 7/8). You just saved me from my dilemma :)
     
  16. VampDust

    VampDust MDL Novice

    Jul 25, 2015
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    Yes I did not mean buying hardware to keep activation, I mean avoid buying things that would break activation. So in your example, if I replace CPU and graphics card at the same time my activation would be scrapped yes? What if I replaced the CPU only, then rebooted into windows... Then shutdown and install the new graphics card the next day and boot up? Would it still be activated as someone else hinted it may if you replace one thing at a time? Surely that would prove it is the same machine to microsoft if the hardware ID just evolves and it not abruptly different...? What are your thoughts and insights on this?
     
  17. VampDust

    VampDust MDL Novice

    Jul 25, 2015
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    I upgraded to 10 in a VMware guest. Then once it was activated I deleted the hard drive and created a brand new one and installed 10 fresh and it was activated when it finally came up :) Now I do not know what would happen if I were to add 4 new hard drives though.......
     
  18. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

    Oct 30, 2009
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    I've done all my upgrades on a different hdd, after succesfully activated the clean install afterwards i've exchanged both the hdd and my vga card, next clean install was also auto activated.