Q: windows 7 retails vs MSDN key - how to tell


I recently purchase windows 7 home premium retail from a reliable source with bill and everything looks good and windows is activated.
However being a geek I want to make sure the copy is 100% genuine retail and not MSDN, OEM etc - trust but verify :)

Past few hours I have spend searching how to tell if your windows is retail or not but did not find any method - hence this post.
I tried online activation , phone activation tried typing slmgr /dlv in cmd line and even installed  MGADiag tool - however nothings tell me the license I am using is retail or MSDN

Looking for experts to pitch-in and help me to find a fool proof way to know if I am using retail copy and not MSDN?

may be my copy is indeed genuine - but I will not be happy till i know how to find this myself !!

Thanks, Nitin



To check your PID press the win key and pause at the same time, or open system properties through the control panel, scroll down to activation section and look at the PID It will look something like this 12345-067-1234567-54321, the portion you are interested in is the three digit section, if it matches or is within one or two digits of the examples below you probably have an MSDN key.

065, 066, 067, 068 for Ultimate, 220, 221 area for Pro and the 230, 231, 221, 232 area for premium, there are probably others but they should be close to those posted

About MSDN or TechNet Product Keys
They are genuine Microsoft product keys, they are actually retail licenses, but it is intended for a particular product channel either the Microsoft Software Developer Network (MSDN) or TechNet for IT Professionals who pay a subscription fee. The main purpose is for evaluation purposes. The great thing about them, unlike trial Microsoft software, MSDN or TechNet keys don't expire. Because the agreement under which the subscription is provided is a single license, none of the software should be distributed outside of it. Even though its $50,000 worth of licenses, it is for one person only to use and no one else. Unfortunately, regardless of the licensing terms, persons still abuse the program, either giveaway product keys or resell it on auction sites. Microsoft licenses it in good faith that customers won't do so, but I guess human nature wins out.

In your case, what probably happened is, you bought an MSDN licensed key, which carries up to 10 activations unlike full packaged retail licenses which only carry 1 activation. The person who sold it to you probably sold it to 10 other persons. Somewhere along the way, one of those persons might have installed it on a second system, activated it, because it went past 10 activation threshold, Microsoft detected it that it was being abused and blocked the key from further use.

Validate Now:
You can confirm that your software is genuine now. It’s quick and easy.

Click the 'Validate Windows' button, if the validation check fails, then click on the 'Get Genuine' button to get a WGA Kit.

Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT

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Where did you purchase this?

They best way to determine validity is to post a MGA diagnostic report:

  In order to analyse and diagnose activation and not genuine issues, we request all users initially download and run the Genuine Diagnostics tool (MGADiag.exe) at this link Click "Continue", click the "Copy" button then “Paste” the report into a reply message in this thread.


Have a look at this video:

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Views: 9,092 Last updated: May 26, 2018 Applies to: