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I am trying to understand the process of activation methods for Windows 10 on a virtual machine.

I bought a computer with pre installed windows ( OEM ) version. And then installed Linux on a separate partition. After that I extracted the key from /sys/firmware... . Thereafter I downloaded Windows 10 ISO and installed it as a virtual machine. During the installation process it asked me for the product key, and I punched in the product key. The installation was successful, however, when I went to check the status of the activation by pressing Win+I, then I saw that windows isnt activated in this virtual machine.

Now the question is why did the product key work at the time of installing windows, if the product key isnt allowed to be used twice ( irresepctive of if its the same motherboard )?

My second question is how does windows know that this product key is already used with another computer. Do they have a database of all product keys and the product key's activation status?

My third question is, how can one deactivate a product key on the computer, so that a new computer ( a virtual machine on the same motherboard ) can be reactivated.

What is the significance of product ID and device ID in relation to the product ID?

My fourth question is why there is such a massive difference between the retail product key directly from microsoft store ( 145 dollars ) and ebay / amazon ( as low as 5 dollars )? Is there some kind of a trap while buying from amazon / ebay?

  • You should avoid resellers that price Windows license 90% below the retail price. You are guaranteed to have activation issues with those licenses. Those resellers are not legitimate most of the time. – Ramhound Jan 2 at 16:19
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  • First answer:

    • the installer determinate just if the license code is valid, not if it is already been used.
  • Second answer:

    • Yes, they have, is the activation server.
  • third answer:

    • Install in a virtual machine does not mean the VM have the same hardware of the host, an hyper-visor virtualize the hardware of the physical computer, that mean it is different. If you use to access on the physical computer the MS account you could try to delete the device from your device list or can try to perform the telephone activation if you are lucky enough should work.
  • fourth answer:

    • Not really sure on this, but that should be possible due the license sell by the MS store are valid to activate a single installation of windows at time; the license you find in amazon/ebay (in my opinion) is a volume license, normally used by the company or vendor's to activate many computer with a single license, so the "reseller" give you a license could be activated N time. Anyway whit this kind of license your system says it is activate, but the license agreement is not respected.
  • This is such a vague answer ! – infoclogged Jan 2 at 13:15
  • I'll edit the answer in a minute – AtomiX84 Jan 2 at 13:18
  • hope now is not such vauge – AtomiX84 Jan 2 at 13:30
  • thank you. My third questin is how can one deactivate a product key from a computer and reactivate it on another one. – infoclogged Jan 2 at 13:40
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    modified again, hope is enough, the phone activation is the only way you can try to re-activate it – AtomiX84 Jan 2 at 13:43

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