Read my answer to TechRepublic reader Kyle Strong’s question, and then please post additional tips for the member in the discussion.

Q: Where can I locate older versions of MS Office software?
A: Ah, the old standards. I have been getting this question for years now, and my answer is always the same: you really can’t. You might get lucky and find a torrent site that offers a download or two, but those downloads are more than likely going to be of the nefarious sorts. The problem with earlier versions of MS Office is that you can’t even contact Microsoft, because they are simply going to attempt to sell you a newer version. Your best bet is to cut your losses and either purchase a new license for a newer product, or better still download the latest version of LibreOffice and be done with it.

If you really must have that MS Office 2003 suite, you can either do a search for the string “ms office 2003 torrent” and take your chances, or do a search on eBay for an old copy. After running an eBay search, I managed to find a copy of MS Office 2003 with a bid of $32.00 USD at the time of this writing.

I also suggest that, when you purchase CDs, copy those discs onto a hard drive and keep them around that way. You could even set up an ISO server to hold all of your installation discs so they’re accessible by every machine on your network.

Ask Jack: If you have a DIY question, email it to me, and I’ll do my best to answer it. (Read guidelines about submitting DIY questions.)