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How to tell if it's illegal copy of Windows Server before buying.

I was browsing ebay, found a bunch of very cheap Windows sever 2008 copies. The picture shows the complete retail box with contents inside, product tag, looks very authentic. They sell it with 30 day return and validation through phone or web have no problem(of course it should). The ebay seller has 100% positive feedback with 2000 sale history.

Now, the price is $99+shipping.

I think this is illegal copy even though it looks authentic. But I don't have any method to check if it is.

Is there any way to check if the copy of windows is a legal copy and whether it's already activated in use by looking at bar code? They posted a picture of bar code.

http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Microsoft-Windows-Server-2008-Standard-32bit-64bit-SKU-P73-03883-with-5-CALs-/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/$(KGrHqZ,!oIFB(p6C2ZKBQWS2tslL!~~60_14.JPG
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crcsupport
Asked:
crcsupport
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2 Solutions
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if its too good to be true it probably is!

Check they are a valid Microsoft Reseller.

Call Microsoft.
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crcsupportAuthor Commented:
Yes, sir
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crcsupportAuthor Commented:
I just found a youtube video, it says, if there are some spots on holographic ribbon, it's bogus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzqNNiOM0cs
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Subscribe to Microsoft Technet for Approx $ 200, and obtain access to ALL Microsoft Software!

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/subscriptions/hh442910.aspx

at least for $199 you know the software is GENUINE!
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crcsupportAuthor Commented:
technet allows that only for evaluation, not for production in my knowledge..
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Thats correct, Software is for Evaluation Purposes.

What to look for

Learn how to tell whether your Microsoft software and hardware are genuine.
To get started, select either hardware or software from the product types below, and then review specific features, including sample images where available.

see here

http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/howtotell/whattolookfor.aspx
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
How to tell?  It's on ebay.  It's pirated.  Even if it's not, is saving a few dollars really worth the potential headaches and risk?  Go buy a Volume License of 2012 and you get downgrade rights and two virtual instances for $900 or so.
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crcsupportAuthor Commented:
Leew,
I have  questions.

1. If I want to run windows server 2003 on either of upper version of windows' hyper-v as a VM guest, am I compliant with existing Windows Server 2003 CALs or do I need to purchase Windows Server 2008/2012 CALs?

2. With 2012 CAL, does it allow to access all three versions of Windows Server, 2003 and 2008?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@crcsupport, and those new questions should be addresses in a new post.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Agreed - those questions can be guided here... but they are separate from the original question about sourcing a copy of server.

And as a further point on buying from Ebay - the lower the asking price, the more likely it's pirated is, in my opinion, a fair general rule.
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crcsupportAuthor Commented:
I actually worked with the Ebay seller to find out because his rating has 100% positive with 2000 feedback and I thought he's making mistake if he really sells a illegal copy.
I asked him to call Microsoft to find out if his product key is listed in Microsoft's blacklist, he said it's not.
And as the video shows, I asked him to check of the hologram is embedded, not sticker, he said it's not.

I don't know if he's telling me the truth. But, since he has very good rating, Once it's  bought, installed and found to be illegal copy, I'm sure he will refund as he said, anyway.

I think it's good to know how to find if it's genuine or not without installing, that was my intention for this post to find out if there's any other way. it's true not to buy software from Ebay. I don't buy software on ebay, use only to check currently market price of outdated software.

I just reported to ebay investigation for sellers with fake windows server 2008, maybe 20 of them. lol
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