Windows 8.1 activation has been bypassed

Well that didn’t take too long, did it? Pirated versions of Windows 8.1 can now be activated via a KMS workaround.

Neowin community member FaiKee tipped us that the a dodgy KMS tool can now activate Windows 8.1 by using a traditional Key Management Service workaround, and it works for all editions of Windows 8.1 too.

This type of hack has long been used to “officially” activate Microsoft products, including Office and previous versions of Windows.

With Windows 8.1 being only a few days old we dare to say that we’ll probably start seeing a lot more “activated” copies of the OS being installed thanks to this hack.

As usual, we won’t provide links to any such products but we bet your Google search skills will lead you right to the source, which is MDL by the way..

Thanks to FaiKee for the tip!

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You shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you.

I use to see MS ads here every day until the day after this article was published. Hopefully neowin gets enough page impression off this article to make up for loss revenue.

Actually...the KMS people are having a harder time activating Office 2013. Apparently...when you upgrade to 8.1...there isn't a KMS that can activate office....yet.

Maybe if Windows 8.1 was free for Win 7, and Vista users as well. This wouldn't be such a big issue. Come on Microsoft, be like Apple and make Win 8.1 free for not just one version of your Windows operating system. This is hilarious!.

yowanvista asked: "Why bother about KMS when phone activation works?"

Well... as I'm typing this I'm waiting for the day to progress, people to wake up over their morning coffee or tea etc. so that I might impose on someone to make that call for me, to reactivate a licensed copy of win7 that deactivated on me during the week when everyone was busy. I'm hearing impaired, & this is a dreaded situation that's come up from time to time since XP. Since fully legitimate fresh win7 installs can require phone activation, since hardware upgrades etc. can of course trigger it, I have to try and plan doing that stuff based on when there might be someone available to make that call.

Now I'm sure most people aren't thinking about that sort of thing when they talk about phone activation -- if I hadn't spent 3-4 hours unsuccessfully trying older backups to prevent having to reactivate win7, and wasn't sitting here this morning waiting, I wouldn't be saying a word.

Don't Shoot The Messenger

Hit up Wikipedia looking for a quick date, i.e. how long this concept has been around [1598 BTW], but found their reference to Freud caught my attention... to Freud, blaming the bearer of bad news is a pretty common defense mechanism, which doesn't bode well for my originally planned defense of the author, Steven Parker, or Neowin. Who am I to argue with Sigmund after all?

As Steven posted: "tbf if someone is intent on pirating windows rather than getting it properly, they will find a way if it exists." I would expand on that a small bit to say that if it's the criminal aspect that bothers some folks, if it was totally impossible to get a fully working copy of Windows without paying for it, criminals would just steal the money to buy a licensed copy. Or they might steal whatever goods to sell to get that money and so on. I suspect some might even subvert that observation as a defense, saying that using stuff like the kms tool has less negative impact on society in general, since they aren't actually stealing your property to pay for it.

Sorry... can't help teasing that since the NSA's most likely got all that stuff in the average Windows install already, that warning isn't nearly as scary as it used to be.

Thanks for the heads up and pointer to where I can download it, Neowin. I'll get cracking now, if you see what I mean. It's good to be able to rely on Neowin as a good source of warez news.

/s

Thanks Neowin. I have said loudly that I hate win8 but I love stealing, so I'll use it. Sure other OSs are free but I still like windows better, you can do more stuff.

not even for free i would use windows 8.1

M$ should give it for free for xp user and onwards kinda like what apple did with maverick. maybe that would help.

meanwhile staying at windows 7 which its stable and easy to use.

Apple sells hardware and makes money from that so doesn't need to make money on the OS but microsoft doesn't sell hardware and make windows only able to run on that hardware like apple does so if they were to make windows free they would be bankrupt in a few day since they aren't making money from the other computers made by different companies >.>

They might could make it for free as an update or extremely cheap but oem versions would still need to be priced then otherwise there wouldn't be a source of income and oems might get angry at microsoft since a new windows version is no longer a reason to buy a new computer and a good relationship with oems is kinda necessary in their current situation.

Edited by Seahorsepip, Oct 25 2013, 8:03pm :

Hello,

eilegz said,
not even for free i would use windows 8.1

M$ should give it for free for xp user and onwards kinda like what apple did with maverick. maybe that would help.

meanwhile staying at windows 7 which its stable and easy to use.


Any person that uses "M$" pretty much discards the rest of their post. Don't be childish.

Not really, how can you earn money on something that people don't pay for? You think they earn money through the appstore?

And no they don't spread infected bot server versions or such just in case someone wants to post a tinfoil hat comment

Seriously windows was just less then 40 bucks a year ago and windows 8.1 isn't that bad as people complain, I even find it way better then windows 7, it's quicker and way better in performance and I like the metro apps, it's really handy to get facebook notifications on my pc.

And KMS isn't a perfect activation method, kms servers are taken down in a few weeks and then kms activation is unusable again since there are no servers.

And don't forget kms activation is never permanent and requires activation every 6/12/whatever months, which might be inconvenient when there are suddenly no kms servers available at the time your license expires.

Seahorsepip said,
Seriously windows was just less then 40 bucks a year ago and windows 8.1 isn't that bad as people complain, I even find it way better then windows 7, it's quicker and way better in performance and I like the metro apps, it's really handy to get facebook notifications on my pc.

And KMS isn't a perfect activation method, kms servers are taken down in a few weeks and then kms activation is unusable again since there are no servers.

And don't forget kms activation is never permanent and requires activation every 6/12/whatever months, which might be inconvenient when there are suddenly no kms servers available at the time your license expires.

If the tokens are stolen from the remote mms they can be installed on a vm with no online check if the biosguid is changed to match the source server

You got a point there but that only happened with office 2010 and older windows version, hasn't happened with windows 8 as far as I know and I don't think they will let it happen that easily xD

Its kinda funny since people tried to validate using pirated versions because the cost of Windows was so high for previous versions. Windows 8 was super cheap and 8.1 is a free upgrade, so I really can't see any reason for this anymore other than people just being total (insert expletive here).

I still don't get why people would need to do this. There are Evaluation versions of Windows freely downloadable from Microsoft themselves that activate and everything without all the hassle/risk one would deal with otherwise.

Important piece of news, of course, but like I said I don't understand why anyone would need to bypass activation for any reason.

BetaguyGZT said,
I still don't get why people would need to do this. There are Evaluation versions of Windows freely downloadable from Microsoft themselves that activate and everything without all the hassle/risk one would deal with otherwise.

Important piece of news, of course, but like I said I don't understand why anyone would need to bypass activation for any reason.

What do mean?

BetaguyGZT said,
I still don't get why people would need to do this. There are Evaluation versions of Windows freely downloadable from Microsoft themselves that activate and everything without all the hassle/risk one would deal with otherwise.

Important piece of news, of course, but like I said I don't understand why anyone would need to bypass activation for any reason.

IT pros who want enterprise at home.

wow, neowin has really deteriorated. Neobond jumps in way too often to defend pointless statements, and it's such an immature atmosphere.

I've been a member for a long time, but this is the last time i will login to neowin.net

aero9 said,
wow, neowin has really deteriorated. Neobond jumps in way too often to defend pointless statements, and it's such an immature atmosphere.

I've been a member for a long time, but this is the last time i will login to neowin.net


+1

I'd agree. Even tho Neowin ain't providing links to activator (which is good job on their part), most people (look at your poll for ammounts) are curious and go to google and look up. If neews like this don't show up, no one even bother to google.
How many tech site I read or even ign has this sort of news? lol

It's a pretty fast snail as far as snails are concerned.

Garbage? Oh wait you are a probably a wannabe script kiddie Linux haxor that thinks everything MS is garbage because Linux is the best ever and Windows 8 is a confused pile of dog dung that smells like roses.

mrmomoman said,
It's a pretty fast snail as far as snails are concerned.

Garbage? Oh wait you are a probably a wannabe script kiddie Linux haxor that thinks everything MS is garbage because Linux is the best ever and Windows 8 is a confused pile of dog dung that smells like roses.

Nope I refuse to use Linux as my desktop OS. I have been a avid supporter of Microsoft products since DOS 2.11. Then MS had to come out with the Turd that is Win8/8.1 and even worse, the HUGE TURD that is Windows server 2012/R2.

im against piracy, but, I don't think Microsoft cares. actually they do, but if youre a pirate either way, better to use windows 8. didn't bill gates say this?

+1 to RIAHC3 - might as well given it away.

"As usual, we won't provide links to any such products but we bet your Google search skills will lead you right to the source, which is MDL by the way.."

Really? MDL by the way...Is about the same as posting the link.

You could have said nothing about not providing links which would have pretty much been the same thing.

neonspark said,
the last sentence wasn't needed. it almost sounds like neowin wants you to do this...which is ethically wrong and sad.

I know right! I'm surprised to see this article here myself. This website I thought was to report news on the latest technology from companies, not report ways to steal from the very same companies neowin reports on. Oh and not to mention Microsoft supports neowin! I see ads from Ms here every day.

You would think, since neowin likes to "reach out" to Microsoft all the time for information that they would "reach out" to them about this, but then neowin advertise themselves as unprofessional journalism.

bridges said,

I know right! I'm surprised to see this article here myself. This website I thought was to report news on the latest technology from companies, not report ways to steal from the very same companies neowin reports on. Oh and not to mention Microsoft supports neowin! I see ads from Ms here every day.

You would think, since neowin likes to "reach out" to Microsoft all the time for information that they would "reach out" to them about this, but then neowin advertise themselves as unprofessional journalism.

+1

Hello,

I disagree with this being posted. "MDL" is the 2nd search on Google.com (on other .uk and etc varients it may be different) so its pretty much a give in.

Personally, if I was MS, I would send Neowin a letter saying to remove this article. Its not iilegal or giving out information but still...

SCOOBY - if you have a legit key then you can always call MS and have it resolved. So you are going about doing this method to bypass your "blacklisted" key because you can't take the time to make the call to MS? Would love to see a receipt of that copy of MS that you purchased.

I am not holier than thou by any means. But when I see posts like this it reminds of me people who say they just recently bought "something" a few days ago and can't find the receipt so they can't return it to the store and sell it at a loss. Really? I am sure the store can find your receipt a few days ago. Often times even a few years ago.

I have the receipt in my e-mail... I will be contacting MS, but for the time being... it's easier to use the bypass. Also the fact that it's really p1$$ing off that my genuine key has suddenly been deactivated.

Especially if you had gotten a Media Center key back then when the offer was active...

Activate via phone with some keys that work, and then put your unique -free- key, download Media Center and there you have a fully legit copy without any hesitation. Not that phone activation will disable your activation, just saying that having your own unique key is even better.

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center - Free of charge! Otherwise, better stay on 7 with Dazinga!

This isn't even news type stuff anymore though.

I found a patch yesterday already and wasn't even looking for it!

No,
I haven't used it or downloaded it even, and in fact, don't use or want Windows 8/8.1!

cork1958 said,
This isn't even news type stuff anymore though.

I found a patch yesterday already and wasn't even looking for it!

No,
I haven't used it or downloaded it even, and in fact, don't use or want Windows 8/8.1!

Another university network admin that doesn't know how to block TCP 1688 I wouldn't be surprised if the students could abuse the activation server also lol

And if you have been following Windows as a whole, it won't take long at all - in my case, I found it less than an hour ago (and it had nothing to do with the above post).

Note that I said merely "Windows as a whole" - not Windows 8 or even 8.1 in particular.

More quibbling by the quislings - the same folks that don't give Microsoft respect for what they have done right.

I was responding to the general anti-Microsoft tone expressed by most of the editorials, and especially about anything having to do with either Windows 8 or 8.1. I get it - they want to relegate Microsoft to being an old-school company - if Microsoft does something different, they need to be like Google (and give the OS away). Why does Google give Android away? Because Google, first and foremost, is an advertising company - Android, the Chrome browser and everything based on it (including Chromebooks and the Chromium OS) is used to push those ads. While Microsoft ALSO owns an advertising company, unlike Google, it doesn't drive the bus. If that sounds familiar, it should - Apple (and especially with iTunes and their App Stores) is the same approach, but tweaked differently. The back end is Apple-owned, and it gets a cut on everything that goes through that back end - that is why Apple has that hoard of cash that even Carl Icahn has noticed.
Microsoft is actually building a smaller hoard of cash (not of the size of either Apple or Google); however, Microsoft's own services push is, in fact, working. (One example of how WELL it's working is that the expansion of iCloud, Apple's own App Stores, and of iTunes itself, is all made possible by, believe it or not, Windows Azure, for the most part. As part of the "quid pro quo", there is, in fact, an iCloud application for Windows.) However, unlike Google or Apple, services don't drive the bus at Microsoft - and aren't intended to do so. While services income is sought, it's more of an additional source of revenue - it is not intended to really take away from what Microsoft has been historically. It's in addition to - not instead of - what Microsoft has been doing.

All Microsoft wants to do is compete.

Thanks to Faikee for the tip! - finally I can install windows 8.1, that's what this article is sending to the reader, and if Neowin's employes are using pirated software... well its bad I guess

Zaic said,
Thanks to Faikee for the tip! - finally I can install windows 8.1, that's what this article is sending to the reader, and if Neowin's employes are using pirated software... well its bad I guess

We also reported about the Windows 2000 source code leak, but that didn't mean our staff went and made their own copies of Windows? lol

I think you're projecting a bit... The article doesn't encourage piracy, nor do Neowin employees condone it. And I was thanking Faikee for the NEWS tip.

-adrian- said,
Well i think google is the encouraging part here

Even at MDL they aren't allowing people to post the host ip that is activating the pirated versions.

The host IP where the Activation workaround is hosted? was just wondering after i followed the guys twitter post what the red text meant

And I use OEM versions in virtual machines (not for more than 30 days). Microsoft still owe me "extra features" for buying Vista Ultimate (a free copy of Windows 8 would be even nicer).

68k said,
And I use OEM versions in virtual machines (not for more than 30 days). Microsoft still owe me "extra features" for buying Vista Ultimate (a free copy of Windows 8 would be even nicer).
As if all the features from all the editions of Vista consolidated into one package wasn't enough...*facepalm*

Shaun said,
It's called raising awareness rather than advertising the fact

It's Microsoft that they should be raising awareness to, not the masses. Nice try.

This is no more than a you heard it first "here" article.

Steven Parker said,
We've always covered news like this, for Windows 8, 7 etc etc.. whats so different about this, pray tell!

Because its immoral and you shouldn't cover such lowlife news in general

testman said,
As if all the features from all the editions of Vista consolidated into one package wasn't enough...*facepalm*

The point is that Vista Ultimate was supposed to have " all those features" plus others.... that never materialized.
Personally I did not care for a magazine, exclusive games etc. but my personal opinion does not change the facts.

Steven Parker said,
We've always covered news like this, for Windows 8, 7 etc etc.. whats so different about this, pray tell!

I was warned (2 points) in the forums last week for saying that I got a leaked MSDN ISO and used my retail key to activate it. The post I made was no less vague than just that.

I've been puzzled by this. Are there different rules on the front page as compared to the forums as to what can be mentioned and what cannot?

Steven Parker said,
We've always covered news like this, for Windows 8, 7 etc etc.. whats so different about this, pray tell!
Add Server 2012 R2 DataCenter because this also activates that too.