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1934 posts

Uber Geek

# 208997 8-Mar-2017 13:15
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Hi there


Ive a few questions about Office install using a KMS generic key. And piracy.


In general , when would a Office Install via a KMS key be valid & not pirated ?
My (limited) understanding is KMS is Vol Lic key for when a companies IT has a setup a KMS Lic Server ?
ie never on a home use PC (?)


Just asking as I have someone elses PC here & the Office Install key is a generic KMS (I googled the key)
Im 95% sure its pirated , & I told the owner its probably pirated


But, in general, would there be any instance that a home users PC would genuinely have a KMS Office KEY ?  Perhaps if the company where she previously worked installed it on her PC ?
How does KMS activation work, via a local server ? I saw something re needing to be 25 PC's on the network?
Would there be any genuine reason for a PC repair company to install a Vol Lic ? (I know that sometimes happens)


Once installed via KMS, does Office not do any periodic check to see if the lic is valid ?
Im surprised the Office install on this PC hasnt been flagged as pirated allready







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3416 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1733024 8-Mar-2017 13:28
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Using legimate KMS keys issued to a VLM agent is dicey at the best of times on non work machines. Due to chance of key leaks/beaches etc. Remember when they moved to individual keys and revoked a heap of MSDN ones some years ago..


Shouldn't be able to search the key and find web hits if it was a private one you would think (or at least hope)


Most VLM subscribers have the HUP option like we do at work. It's still tied to my employment, but issued for use while employed (and employer remains a partner). So I imagine they can still track down the source. 




/edit of course KMS is primarily for LAN update on a local server. So if they don't connect to one but have something fooling it to thinking there is one.. that's most certainly not, good. 

1934 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1733031 8-Mar-2017 13:35
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Its not a private key, it comes up as a generic key on google searches


last 5 digits
google gives plenty of hits, thats what led me to think it was pirated, or at least rather dodgy


3416 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1733047 8-Mar-2017 14:04
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Its not a private key, it comes up as a generic key on google searches


last 5 digits
google gives plenty of hits, thats what led me to think it was pirated, or at least rather dodgy





I didn't think otherwise. Pointing out as you are also aware, in real world you probably shouldn't be able to google it. Unless someone wasn't doing their job right or pulling a dodgy.

3909 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 1733053 8-Mar-2017 14:15
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I havn't paid much attention lately, but I do know that using KMS's was becoming the defacto way of activating pirated Windows after the old method of injecting SLIC's into the bios stopped working after Windows 7. Wouldn't surprise me if people are doing the same with Office.

Information wants to be free. The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.

221 posts

Master Geek

  # 1733083 8-Mar-2017 14:47
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Using the GVLK doesn't mean the software is pirated. It just means that a KMS server is required to activate the product. GVLK keys are very easy to find as they are plasted all over Microsoft's technet site and using one of those does not equate to free software or licensing. The correct installation media needs to be used in order for the key to be recognised i.e. from VLSC and if a KMS server/host key cannot be found in the domain, the software becomes unlicensed.

84 posts

Master Geek

  # 1733088 8-Mar-2017 14:54
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Like Ruhpus says, the volume licensing key you are quoting is basically public domain, anyone can see it.


It is not what it is actually activating the product.


You can activate a machine with KMS ,which uses the enterprise key that matches that public key you are quoting and belongs to the company that purchased it. Then take it off the network, it will still technically work for a period of time. It think the default is 180 days?


Theres two scenarios I think here. One is it was legitimately activated then someone took it off the network. That means it will be unlicensed soon.


The second is it was activated and then haxxored to think its still online with a real KMS server.


Either way they are not supposed to have it.



359 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1733089 8-Mar-2017 14:56
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there 2 part to KMS - first part is the public key that you give to office at install time, this tell office that it need to go looking for a KMS server, it finds a KMS server var DNS entry on the domain (or reg key is another method). With KMS public key, office try and talk to the kms server every x days to check if it still on the network and authorized to activate. the 2nd part is the KMS server, this is where you load your private key and tell all office to activate. There needs to be 5 office installs talking to KMS server before it start activating office (25 is the PC OS count for KMS). If office has not talk to a activating KMS server for 180 days, it with deactivate.




edit spelling


3416 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1733097 8-Mar-2017 15:04
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Soooo alarm bells should defo be flying if its not an enterprise (domain joinable) OS one would think too :)

2319 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1733102 8-Mar-2017 15:11
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Office 365 doesn't use a kms key per chance?

359 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1733104 8-Mar-2017 15:25
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Office 365 doesn't use a kms key per chance?





no - that talks to o365 server every 30 days, you get 30 day before it has to re-active again to 0365 server, also is a different install, know as click-to-run install.

1934 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1733109 8-Mar-2017 15:32
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........ If office has not talk to a activating KMS server for 180 days, it with deactivate.



So chances are the owner will soon get a nasty surprise when Office deactivates .
Not sure why they seem so upset when their dodgy install turns out to be dodgy .


So it it may deactivate soon , that'll really upset them . 3months left .







1408 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1733129 8-Mar-2017 16:05
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Presumably if they are running a pirated copy it would come with a dodgy activation server that activates it every 180 days.



Sometimes that "PC repair company" is just a family member.

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