Author Topic: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch  (Read 14679 times)

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Offline SredniTopic starter

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2024, 03:09:19 pm »
There are various cracks available as far as i know, and some are using KMS as far as i know.

I am on a legitmately KMS activated Enterprise Windows, and that currently also has 177 days left. It will not constantly talk to KMS. So that alone is not an indicator.
But it should also show the IP of the KMS server. Is that really empty, or did you redact that?

Whatever though: You will very likely lose this KMS activated "license" if you re-install from an official Microsoft Media.

I redacted all numbers 😁
The IP is there and it's 42.193.158.137

A fast search found the same KMS IP in a question on MS forum (in Japanese or Chinese) and the follow up answer was that the license is valid for 180 days only and that the user should buy a retail copy.of windows.

I understand companies can do that and periodically renew the license, but this is now my personal computer, so I am dubious this is a legit activation method. But before making accusations I would like to be sure.

EDIT
Oh, I also found this IP in the report of a supposedly malicious software on https://any.run
It is associated to the domain win.kms.pub (is this MS? 🤔) and the software analysed was "Online_KMS_Activation.zip" for windows 7.
Verdict: " Malicious activity".
« Last Edit: January 12, 2024, 03:18:02 pm by Sredni »
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2024, 10:56:26 pm »
It is associated to the domain win.kms.pub (is this MS? 🤔) and the software analysed was "Online_KMS_Activation.zip" for windows 7.

That domain isn't associated with Microsoft at all. Looks like it was registered through a Chinese hosting company.

I wouldn't trust that at all. In fact, if I bought a second-hand laptop, I wouldn't trust anything on that hard disk to be secure or authentic.

My recommendation is to format the machine, reinstall Windows from scratch using the official ISO on Microsoft's website. Sure, this means you'll need to source your own, legitimate key, but so be it.
 
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Offline rdl

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2024, 06:10:19 pm »
I would go even farther and replace the entire drive. Get the Windows 10 installer from Microsoft that works from a USB drive and go from there.
 

Online coromonadalix

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2024, 06:56:55 pm »
@op

yes it is tied to a buiseness / organisation account,   outside this company or have bhought used stuff from them,  you can not use this serial number

and if this company do its job correctly the licence will be revoked

as for the other threads,  yes you have kms activations, and some foreign kms servers, and some DLL injection too,   meaning you have an internal kms server installed, even if your pc doesn't go on the web for a very long time

mostly used for Office activations

and finally  yes you have some cough "free tools"  to get a digital licence activation, this is the one you need,  even reformatting the drive, new win 10-11 installation without any sn,  it wll re-activate itself once you go on the web

all my machines have them, upgraded  etc ... never had problems

and for the ultra cheap serials you can buy,  they are mostly oem, volume ... some licences goes to a tons of pc's before being locked out of available quantity

some friend have bought them, never had problems for Win10 w11 and Office 2021, i was just lazy


no need to toss drive for a new one,  you have killdisk  and other formating tools who will clean up the drive partitions  ....

or for this famous pc,   you have to create a new admin,  log into it,  delete the old accounts  old files etc ....  it is not perfect,   
you still have the windows RESET function,  it will flush anything,  but maybe not perfect too

use poweshell command to flush the serial number and  you can even use this gracious web   to find activation serials    loll  you can even change your windows version SKU    loll

im running  on win11 pro for workstation  ... thks Microsoft    :-DD
« Last Edit: January 13, 2024, 07:05:02 pm by coromonadalix »
 

Offline Veteran68

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2024, 11:33:57 pm »
and for the ultra cheap serials you can buy,  they are mostly oem, volume ... some licences goes to a tons of pc's before being locked out of available quantity

While many of the shadier sites sell volume keys, you can still find cheap RETAIL channel keys. I've bought several. The one on the left is actually a Win10 Pro VM activated with a Win11 Pro key (yes you can do that) bought just last week from Groupon for $16. The one on the right is from my main Win11 Pro workstation activated with a key from Kinguin bought a couple years ago for $20-something. Now they might be OEM, and they might be fake generated keys, but they work. And the one on the right has survived a couple of hardware upgrades that required me to re-activate.


 

Offline rdl

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2024, 06:29:36 pm »
Just in case anyone is interested, I did a little checking and apparently the only restrictions on using Windows 10 unregistered/unlicensed are that some cosmetic changes are locked out. I didn't did much deeper. Personally I think I would find that more of an issue than the "limited time" demo mode of Windows 7.
 

Online Gyro

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2024, 07:20:22 pm »
...
as for the other threads,  yes you have kms activations, and some foreign kms servers, and some DLL injection too,   meaning you have an internal kms server installed, even if your pc doesn't go on the web for a very long time
...

Out of curiosity, I installed a Win7 VM under Virtualbox (Linux) and ran the kms hack tool. I then ran Malwarebytes and it picked up 26 'threats'. Now how many are actually malicious or whether Malwarebytes is tuned to pick up such item by default, I don't know, but it gives an idea of the spread of registry keys, DLLs and other files it leaves on the system.

Log attached...

Best Regards, Chris
 
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Online coromonadalix

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2024, 07:32:21 pm »
yes  they are all related to the kms activation,  dll,  scheduled tasks  etc ...

for kms  it is the last thing i would do,  some kms tools have been contaminated,   other sources are safe if you know where to get them .. Rat  ...


for  an unregistered win10  youll have some surprises, because   some locked things are changing and nag you a lot

as i told before,  you have tons of floating serial on the web,  depends on witch you take for activation ..


oh good  some retails are being sold   loll  lucky,  i did not get that chance,   loll       
if some retail are duplicated  MS servers will lock them out
 

Offline SredniTopic starter

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2024, 05:04:54 pm »
Suggestion for up to date instructions for modern multibooting?

I think the modern way to do it is through virtualization.
-snip-

Virtualization can be very useful, and in fact I intend to use it to install a copy of Windows XP. But for alternative OSes I intend to use on a regular basis it will defeat the purpose of having a foldback installation that would still work when one system 'dies'. I have used Linux more than once to fix problems in my windows installations.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2024, 05:26:54 pm by Sredni »
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Offline SredniTopic starter

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2024, 05:20:31 pm »
It's not necessarily cracked, but rather a Key Management Server which is often used in businesses. They re-authenticate back to the KMS every so often to check that the licence is still valid and if not, falls back into Unlicensed mode. This would be expected if it's a former corporate laptop.

Thank you for your answers. But I am a bit suspicious of the fact that this is a chinese server and, mostly, from the fact that I am not part of any organization. I bought a used laptop from a reseller and I expected a stand-alone license since my computer is not tied to any network of this shop, nor I want it to be.
I understand that there are many shades of gray in licensing and some solutions that might look shady at first can be perfectly legit, but the history I have with this seller and his 'alternative truths', plus the fact that on Microsoft's site it states that KMS activations are non-genuine on stand-alone computers, and the fact that the server is in China... Well...

I will contact a local consumer association to get a legal opinion and, if need be, the local authorities that deal with this sort of problems.

On a side note, when I was hit by the infamous Windows 10 update of January 10 (or something) that asked user to enlarge the recovery partition to 750GB, I ran the tool

Code: [Select]
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
and I got this response

Code: [Select]
The restore operation completed successfully.
The operation completed successfully.

Then I ran

Code: [Select]
sfc /scannow
which gave this response:

Code: [Select]
Beginning system scan.  This process will take some time.

Beginning verification phase of system scan.
Verification 100% complete.

Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.
For online repairs, details are included in the CBS log file located at
windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For example C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For offline
repairs, details are included in the log file provided by the /OFFLOGFILE flag.

This might be totally unrelated to the activation files, but I wonder what is the source of corruption. The log file is too big to post here, and it's kind of cryptic to my eyes. I wonder if that command would find files 'fixed' by certain 'activation tools'.
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Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2024, 08:54:06 pm »
At this point there will be nothing you can do to return your trust in this install of windows.
Wipe the disk and reinstall windows with a key from royalcdkeys/kinguin or something.
Make sure you create the install media on a different pc!

Or, if you now do not trust the entire pc, that's up to you.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2024, 10:23:12 pm »
the fact that the server is in China... Well...

This alone would cause enough doubt in my mind to blow the entire hard disk away and start over.
 

Offline SredniTopic starter

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2024, 11:21:04 pm »
Yes, the disk will be formatted no doubts about it, but before doing that I have to settle the matter from the legal point of view.

I am a bit concerned about my old laptop because I moved text files and PNG pictures from this one to that using a USB stick. Immediately after that I have suspended my backup to the desktop and external hard disks to avoid further spread of potential infections but now I have to make sure I have not bad bugs on my Vostro.

The amount of time I had to waste on this laptop is astounding.

After buying it I found a few reviews of this store and boy, they did not mince words... One reviewer wrote that it's better to buy a laptop from strangers in hoodies in a dark alley than to buy from this store. 😁
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Online TERRA Operative

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2024, 05:33:11 am »
My advice.

Complete format of HDD, I suggest a gparted boot CD/USB so you can nuke the partition and completely reformat with no interference from anything hiding away, and without potentially compromising another PC.

Make a Win10 install USB stick from a trusted machine from the Microsoft website.

Install Win10 on your laptop and activate, WITH YOUR PC COMPLETELY OFFLINE!! So you can bypass the need for linking to a Microsoft account.

With any luck, once you reboot and connect to the internet, there might be an original licence key for the laptop in Microsoft servers that gets found and you are golden. (Microsoft stores the licence key for easier activation, so you don't have to search for the sticker or original documentation).

If not, buy a key applicable to your PC.

Note, if you have a Xeon CPU, you will REQUIRE Windows 10 for Workstations. This is not needed for a standard i3/i5/i7 Intel CPU.
Where does all this test equipment keep coming from?!?

https://www.youtube.com/NearFarMedia/
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2024, 07:49:58 am »
Note, if you have a Xeon CPU, you will REQUIRE Windows 10 for Workstations. This is not needed for a standard i3/i5/i7 Intel CPU.
Uhm, got a source for that?
There is be nothing inherent in a Xeon CPU that requires Windows for Workstations. Workstation is required for more that two *sockets*, but that certainly does not apply to the device of the OP.
 

Online TERRA Operative

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2024, 08:41:50 am »
My Dell Precision laptop with Xeon CPU, that required Windows for Workstations to be installed.

Just my experience with a datapoint of one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_10_editions
« Last Edit: January 17, 2024, 08:43:22 am by TERRA Operative »
Where does all this test equipment keep coming from?!?

https://www.youtube.com/NearFarMedia/
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2024, 09:21:00 am »
Workstation supports Xeons, but is not required for them.

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/design/minimum/supported/windows-10-22h2-supported-intel-processors
This list likely is not exhaustive and does not contain all compatible CPUs, but it contains Xeons without any mention of Workstation Edition.

Workstation is only required if you have more than 2 CPU sockets, or if you need any of the other specific features of Workstation.

On a single socket system like virtually any notebook, even Windows 10 Home Edition should work for a Xeon, though i do not have personal experience with those.

 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2024, 09:52:40 am »
It looks like Pro does not include the drivers necessary for all of the Xeon family.
License wise there is a socket limit.
 

Online TERRA Operative

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2024, 10:15:04 am »
Maybe it was the Xeon installed in my system, or marketing upsell, I dunno.

All I know is that I had to have Workstation installed at time of purchase if I opted for the Xeon CPU
Where does all this test equipment keep coming from?!?

https://www.youtube.com/NearFarMedia/
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2024, 11:40:03 am »
All editions of Windows 10 will work fine with a Xeon processor (even "Home", although I'm not sure why you'd want to). It hasn't changed since earlier versions of Windows.

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/design/minimum/windows-processor-requirements

 

Offline macboy

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Re: Making sure I can reinstall Windows 10 from scratch
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2024, 07:59:59 pm »
FWIW, I use Win 10 Pro on a 2-socket Xeon system (dual E5-2667v2). It old, but still so fast that I can't rationalize an upgrade.
 


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