In our previous article, we talked about how Microsoft’s latest OS Windows 8 can be activated by using a rogue KMS activation server. But it gets even better – Microsoft is running a promotion giving away the Windows 8 Media Center Pack for free. Pirates have found a way to exploit this offer to convert their pirated Windows 8 copies into legitimate copies WITH the MC pack! Yes it does work on pirated copies activated using the rogue KMS method. Proof below:

11-24-2012 9-27-59 AM

Exploiting this does not involve running any sort of crack, patch or custom code on the OS. You simply need to visit the Microsoft Media Center offer site on an activated Windows 8 machine (activated legitimately, or otherwise) and enter your E-mail. You should get a product key in your inbox in about 24-72 hours. This product key can be used to upgrade your copy of Windows 8 Pro to Windows 8 Pro + Media Center Pack and can be used when reinstalling Windows as well . Product key ( as of now ) is WGA safe and is considered legitimate. The MC offer is valid till 31st January 2012. Step by step instructions on how to do this is already posted on My Digital Life forums [Link]. This has also been covered on high profile publications such as The Verge and is pretty much all over the web. Patch this soon Microsoft. You are losing a lot of $$$ here.

Edit: I just went to the offer site on a Windows 7 machine and entered a different E-mail address just for the lulz, and it still said “A key will be emailed within 72 hours”. So this might actually work for anyone with internet access and a web browser.

Edit 2 : Whether a fresh reinstall of Win 8 Pro using the MC key will activate the OS after January 31st, 2013, is still unclear. If it doesn’t activate for the MC key directly, you should be able to activate it after first activating Windows against a rogue/legit KMS server and then entering the MC key. In any case, activation is permanent until you decide to reinstall.

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Has Windows 8 Really Been Cracked?

Posted by TEAM FILEnetworks | 11/15/2012 | , | 65 Comments »

Whatever tech site you go to these days, the buzzword everywhere is “Windows 8”, latest update to Microsoft’s flagship operating system. I’ve been playing with it for the last couple of weeks and I’ve got to say, although the Metro UI has received a lot of criticism from fans this is a rock solid OS. Just one advice if you are a new user to Windows 8 – don’t give up on the OS based on first impressions alone. The more you use it, the more it will grow on you. Either way, coming back to the most important question if you are a pirate, has Windows 8 really been cracked?

Windows 8 Logo

Probably the most famous “crack'” for Windows 7 and Vista were the BIOS emulation hacks (i.e. DAZ Loader) that emulated the BIOS of an OEM build to fool windows into thinking it was activated. Not only did these hacks work, they even had the capability to pass WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) online validation as well. If you browse file sharing portals such as BitTorrent trackers in search of a cracked copy of Windows 8, you’ll notice that a number of “activators’, cracks and loaders will come up in search results. Unfortunately, a good percentage of these don’t work.

As of 14/11/2012, all working rogue activation methods for Windows 8 are based on the “KMS host emulation” method. As you may know, Windows has a Key Management Service (KMS) which allows it to use a KMS host key to activate itself on a KMS host and to establish a local activation service in your environment. Pirates have created their own KMS servers which authenticate even rogue, duplicate or invalid product keys. Once you find a working server, it’s just a matter of setting it’s URL in Windows and forcing an activation (both of which can be done using the command line) – the rogue server will return the result saying your key was authenticated and Windows will switch to activated state.

Some frequently asked questions about this method:

Are KMS host emulation hacks 100% working?

They do, albeit not 100%. For example, this type of activation may not pass Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation. Except for that, it should work and bring your Windows to an activated state.

Can you provide a list of rogue KMS servers to activate against?

No. First, that may be illegal and second, these servers are very unstable. They go down frequently, old servers get taken down and new ones pop up all the time. You have to get the activation done during the small window of time they are up.

What are the command line instructions for activation using a custom KMS server?
[words in bold italic are variables that need to be replaced with your own values]

  • slmgr /ipk productkey – Set a KMS host key to use during activation. This is essentially a Windows product key.
  • slmgr -skms – Set a custom KMS authentication server for Windows.
  • slmgr /ato – Perform activation

What happens if I don’t activate Windows?

You will not be able to install/download products that require WGA validation. And you will see a watermark on the bottom right of the screen which says “Activate Windows” – this watermark will appear on top of videos as well. Additionally, Windows needs to be in an activated state to change some personalization options and system settings.

How can I obtain a legit coy of Windows 8 for a reasonable price if I already have Windows 7?

If you are running a legit version of Windows 7, you can upgrade to Windows 8 for just $39.99 . If you bought a Windows 7 based PC between 1/1/2012 and 1/1/2013, the upgrade will only cost you $14.99 (check this site) . Note that once you upgrade, you will no longer be able to activate a Windows 7 installation using the same key. It will then only be usable on Windows 8 thereafter. This is something Microsoft doesn’t tell you very clearly.

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Let’s Try This Again, Shall We?

Posted by TEAM FILEnetworks | 11/11/2012 | | 126 Comments »

Last time we attempted to boost the activity of this blog, it ended up being a "major" failure. Not only did we fail on our promises of daily updates, the blog stopped being updated for more than 10 months. This was the longest time the site ran without an update ever since its inception back in 2006. Anyway here we are again, attempting to wake FILEnetworks back from its slumber.

As our long time readers would know (if any of you are still here), FILEnetworks was primarily a blog revolved around BitTorrent news. However, things now are a lot different than they were a year ago. To tell the truth, the frequency of good, new, unique torrent trackers popping up has dropped. We always used to feature fresh new sites that were interesting to our readers and without good new sites we sort of ran out of content to write. This was one of the reasons why we lost interest in updating the site frequently. So does this mean the new FILEnetworks won’t be featuring BT trackers? Of course it will, but maybe not as frequently as we used to a year ago.

In this resurrection, we hope to return to our roots and cover not only BitTorrent but scene news, hacks, interesting tech news, PC Gaming and XBOX 360 articles, etc you won’t usually find on other sites. This time around we won’t promise to provide daily updates, but let us assure that the next update won’t be in 10 more months. So, let’s try this again, shall we?

To keep track of our updates, stay connected on:

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P.S. – Massive thanks go to everyone who sent us mails and contacted us on Twitter/Facebook during the downtime. The downtime was mostly due to R/L commitments and lack of interest- it wasn’t because something bad happened to any of us.

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