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I work in the IT Department of my company and we use one multi-license Windows 7 Ultimate Productkey for our in-house machines. Lately I've come to the strong suspicion, that workers from other departments somehow got a hold of the key and are using it to install Windows 7 on their private machines at home.

I'm worried that it might leak further and be blacklisted (which would cause serious headache).

Is there any way to check how many machines are currently activated on the key or how I might be able to frame down the specific people doing this?

Thanks in advance!

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You have to love a company policy that treats paying customers as criminals until proven innocent. It's always a hassle to work around that. – Roger Pate Dec 11 '09 at 6:33
What is making you suspect someone else is using them? – p858snake Dec 11 '09 at 13:56

Check your licensing documentation from Microsoft. I only deal with Windows on rare occasions, but I have to imagine they'd define some sort of procedure for dealing smoothly with a problem like this. It can't be that unusual.

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Good idea. I would assume Microsoft can just issue you a new volume licensing key and blacklisted the old one with a future Windows Update. There might also be a straightforward way to push the new key onto all of your department's machines. – rob Dec 11 '09 at 0:27
When working at a major university where we had a university employee as the liaison to MS this was a trivial process. When I was IT for a small company with just a hundred machines this process was nearly impossible. – Brian De Smet Dec 11 '09 at 5:47

I'm not so sure about Microsoft being nice about this unless you are a large account. I know when I login to the key section on the Microsoft licensing site I get a warning the security of the keys is my responsibility.

Taken directly from Microsoft Licensing center:

Product keys are assigned to and intended for the sole use of your organization. You will be held responsible for unauthorized use of product keys issued under your agreement. Take measures to keep your keys secure. Do not disclose your product keys to any unauthorized parties.

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Oh teh noes!!11! – Wesley Dec 11 '09 at 2:00

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