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Thread: Windows 10 on the cheap

  1. #1
    John E is offline Elite Member Power Poster
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    Windows 10 on the cheap

    A couple of years ago (when Win10 was still available for free) I installed it on a PC here. Unfortunately at that time it was ludicrously unreliable and I ended up removing it - but a couple of months ago I bought an Apple Mac and decided I'd try dual-booting it with Windows 10. So far, Win10 does seem more stable these days but it's also horribly expensive now (if bought from Microsoft). But there seem to be loads of companies selling it a lot cheaper now and AFAICT these are legitimate copies and fully supported by Microsoft. Apparently, companies can now buy in bulk from MS and sell Windows 10 to the public at a discount price.

    Does anyone have any experience with buying one of those cheaper copies (good or bad?)
    "A problem well stated is a problem half solved. - Charles F. Kettering

  2. #2
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    Arjay is offline Moderator / MS MVP Power Poster
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    Re: Windows 10 on the cheap

    If it's genuine Windows and you register it, you should be okay. If it can't be registered, well then...

  3. #3
    John E is offline Elite Member Power Poster
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    Re: Windows 10 on the cheap

    Yeah... back in the days of Windows XP I got caught by a similar scheme which turned out to be a scam. But these ones mostly seem legit. Even some respected web sites seem in favour. AFAICT the only downside is that there's often a "no refunds" policy (though maybe that's also true with Microsoft??)
    "A problem well stated is a problem half solved. - Charles F. Kettering

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    2kaud's Avatar
    2kaud is online now Super Moderator Power Poster
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    Re: Windows 10 on the cheap

    I ended up removing it
    You didn't make a disk-image first by any chance did you? You could now have re-installed the disk image and updated to the latest version.

    If you want to go down this path, my advice is to download the software only from Microsoft and buy a licence key. That way you know that the software doesn't have any virus etc etc.

    Also, you need to watch out for volume licensing keys. These are sold to/used by large corporations and selling these to other parties is against the licence conditions so Microsoft could invalidate any time.

    If you obtain a licence from say Amazon (fulfilled by Amazon) at least you are covered if the licence doesn't work or is a 'wrong one'. eg see https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-li...&condition=new

    To check the type of an installed licence, from a command prompt type slmgr -dli and press enter. Retail and OEM are fine. If it comes up VOLUME_MAK then it is not legitimate.
    Last edited by 2kaud; April 3rd, 2019 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Spelling
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  5. #5
    John E is offline Elite Member Power Poster
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    Re: Windows 10 on the cheap

    Thanks 2kaud. Yes I did save a disk image but it was on a totally different machine with different hardware etc (so probably wouldn't be much use for dual booting my Mac). The OS itself did come from Microsoft but I'm thinking it'd be cheaper and simpler to buy a license via Amazon.
    "A problem well stated is a problem half solved. - Charles F. Kettering

  6. #6
    John E is offline Elite Member Power Poster
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    Re: Windows 10 on the cheap

    After a bit more research I think the restriction with these cheaper licenses is that they're OEM products (i.e. not transferable). So you can license your existing PC but if you upgrade it later to a better machine, you can't re-use the license.
    "A problem well stated is a problem half solved. - Charles F. Kettering

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