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Microsoft Product Activation

I just got a new computer and wanted to install MS Publisher on it, I uninstalled it fom my old computer. I called Microsoft to get it activated on the new computer, their response was to purchase a new copy. Any ideas on what to do? I would hope that MS was more understanding, since computers get replaced or crash. They should be able to design a system that would allow the program to be uninstalled and recorded at MS that it is ready to reinstall. Any thoughts?

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Product Activation

by timwalsh In reply to Microsoft Product Activat ...

How many other times had you reinstalled/ activated that same copy of project?

All Microsoft does is record Activation attempts. It has no way of recording when software has been uninstalled.

I have had to deal with Microsoft on the subject of Product (re)Activation on several occasions. Once I explained the situation, I had no problems getting the new activation numbers.

The fact that Microsoft told you to purchase a new copy tells me that a red flag popped up in their system for one of several reasons:

1. The same individual Product key (vs. corporate licence product key) has been used for activation on a number of DIFFERENT computers (over and above the number that would be considered normal for most users). If this is your situation, you need to come up with a good story as to why this has happened.
2. You have used the same product key for reactivation on the same system a number of times during a short time span (which might indicate you are cloning systems).
2. You are using a corporate license product key that is known to be openly available on the Internet.

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by timwalsh In reply to Product Activation

Please don't take me wrong. I'm not being judgemental or accusing you of being a pirate. But Microsoft obviously thinks there is something fishy with the product key you are using. If you have a reasonable explanation, you need to give it to Microsoft.

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Additional Info

by DAKSPORT99 In reply to Product Activation

The software (Publisher) was purchased from CompUSA and I installed it on the computer. It was activated at that time, we purchased a new computer and gave the old one to Goodwill. I formated the drive and reinstalled Win 2000 (which came with the computer). The computer is owned by the local "HOG" chapter. In my real job I am a System Admin and security for 500 computers. The software has never be reactivated before. It could be that I got the wrong person at MS to talk with.

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Was this OEM software

by TheChas In reply to Microsoft Product Activat ...

Was the version of Office that you were attempting to install on the new PC an OEM or Academic copy?

Microsoft is VERY adamant that OEM software may ONLY be installed on 1 computer, and NEVER another PC.
This holds true for the OS and application software.
In fact, the EULA goes so far as to state that the software is only valid for the original purchaser of the hardware.
Technically, if you sell a PC with OEM software installed, the new owner is supposed to buy their own license for the software.

Microsoft should help you out if you replaced damaged hardware, but left the PC basically intact.
Also, if you re-install the software onto the same original hardware, they will usually assist you in re-activating it.

If the version of Office is a FULL retail version, then you do have the right to remove it from 1 PC and install it on another.
If it is an upgrade version, and the original version was OEM, Microsoft may interpret the license agreement to not allow installing the upgrade on a different PC.


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The Chas is quite right here

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Was this OEM software

Microsofts ENLA specifically states that all OEM Software is only Licenced to the Original Hardware so if you make any radical changes then you should by all new software and this includes the Operating System as well.

Now that is the Legal view but MS is a little better as they understand that things get upgraded and need replacing after all they don't expect to sell all new software if an IDE lead is changed {Though I'm sure they would like to.}

What the current understanding is if you change the M'Board and CPU to something that is superior then you have to buy new software and if you had Retail versions then you should sell them with the old hardware even if it is the current version. Currently as I perform testing on new hardware all the time I am constantly making phone calls to MS for new Activation Keys on 18 products and once I explain what changes I have made I always get the activation Keys but it does get a bit of a nusiance change three items inside a computer and you have to reactivate everything. One time I recently added 6 X 146 GIG SCSI and I had to reactivate all the software and the fellow on the end of the line accused me of Pirating the Software to which I imediatly demanded to speak to his supervisor and put in a formal complaint the following day as it was then 3.00 AM and I think that I was speaking to someone in India or somewhere.

But provided that you haven't changed the M'Board & CPU you should not have a problem in getting a new activation key and I've even had to get new product keys from MS because the Dells of thsi world don't use the provided product key and on reinstall it will not work. What hqappens then is that you have to read the number on the CD and they will e-mail you a new product key. and then you can reactivate it after you get the new key. If you are after something that isn't current then they will just provide you with a generic key but all the current stuff has to be sent through the main office and worked out from there.

The person who claimed that you might have a volume licence product is quite wrong as these don't need activation or we would be spending all out time activating business computers just imange a roll out of 2,500 computers all of which had to be activated on a single product key from a volume licence. Just couldn't be done. It is however worse when MS make a legal product key illegial because of someone pirating it in volume and it then requires all the legal computers that have a product key within the range to have their product key changed or any updates could damage the OS a team of us spent all of the last Easter changing 3,000 computers over for this very reason.

There are however ways around this problem and provided you don't tell them a direct lie you will be fairly safe from any form of legal action but the reality of the situtation is that you have bought new hardware so you need to buy new software. After all you got a new version of Windows didn't you?

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You could always lie to MS

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Microsoft Product Activat ...

And claim that you have changed a few items flashed the BIOS in the CD/RW drive/s added more memory a new HDD all you have to do is manage to list 3 items and they will give you a new activation key but if they check up then you are in it deep and it will prove expensive. If as you say you administed a network it coulds even mean that your work place gets a MS audit which at the very least is very counter productive and could even cost you your job.

What you have to consider is it worth the possible grief of saving a few dollars to effectively pirate the software in question? All the people that I know within the industry would never consider thsi form of action and cost it into the price of the new unit when they upgrade and since quite often the software component is the big bit it gets very expensive changing hardware and trying to save a few dollars on a piece of software that you think you own when in actual fact you have only bought the right to use it on one computer {the original one at that as well.} You should actually read the EULA that is supplied with the product so that you fully understand the potential problems.

On the other hand I understand that there is a Class Action Suit against Symantec for only putting their Licence agrement inside the box and once you open the box and don't agree with the licence agreement you can not return the product so you have effectively wasted your money. I think this is a fairly silly Suit but knowing Americians it will probably be sucessfull and then every computer that is sold will have to have you agree to the licence agreement before you can actually use it. This would only be a simple rewrite to acomplish but a real pain for us that supply systems.

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Additional info 2

by DAKSPORT99 In reply to Microsoft Product Activat ...

The problem I have is that I paid for a piece of software and I installed it on a computer, now I replaced the computer (wiped out the old one)and have to purchase the software again. MS should be able to allow you to uninstall software and allow it to be reinstalled. They should be able to write info the the program you want to uninstall so that it has to be reactivated to be used again. It should not be too dificult for MS to allow their database of registration numbers to be flaged that it has been uninstalled since they have it flaged now that it has been activated. I know the cost is small compared to the price of the computer.

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Try and find

by LordInfidel In reply to Additional info 2

Office 2000 professional.

Check Ebay. It does not require the same product activations as Office XP.

1 key code and your done.

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Ok lets get serious

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Microsoft Product Activat ...

The product in question is it OEM or retail?

If its OEM then you're screwed as the EULA very clearly states that this piece of software is only licenced to "Original Hardware" however on the good side you can buy another OEM copy provided you by some hardware so for something as little as a mouse Cat 5 cable you are entitled to buy an OEM version of the program which isn't a bad deal.

Now if it was a Retail Pack you just might have some comeback but you would have to try the original computer died and this is the repaired one {doesn't matter what was replaced in the repair} as long as you make out that you are only reinstalling on the repaired computer.

This is one case of where less information is better but if you've already told then the truth then the item is probably marked on their data base "as not to provide an activation key" so you're still screwed.

You could always ring back up and claim that you have just reloaded a repaired computer and you got an error message so you have rung up for the activation key as you where told to but remember that you have to list at least 3 items that have been changed but not the M'Board or CPU unless you have a Dual or Quad CPU M'Board then you can always say that the server needed some new CPU's because they wern't working properly, but the best way I've found around the problem is to tell them that you have Flashed the BIOS on the Optical Drives so while they are still the same units Windows reads then as different units and then flashed the bios on the Video card and changed the amount of ram installed like you have gone up to 1 GIG just to make things work better MS will love that one.

You have to be able to list 3 items that have been changed in Windows eyes and they will give you a new activation key and the best time to try this out is at about 3.0o AM and tell them that you have just finished reloading the computer for a customer who requires it for work latter that day.

But if you where silly enough to tell them that you had changed computers then it will be marked on their data base and your only option is to buy a new OEM copy. I know it stinks but how do you think M$ got where they are today. Or you could threaten to drop all MS product and go Linux and tell all your customers to do the same as well as where you work that might just get their attention as they are still smarting from the impact that Linux is having on their market share.

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If all else fails

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Ok lets get serious

Then write them a letter complaining and make sure to add that if they don't come to the party and give you a new activation key you are switching to Lycoris Desktop/LX that version of Linux is very like Windows Xp in looks and has a massive following. But if you want to go the whole hog then try Debian as there is nothing that M$ makes that can't be found from Debian and it works as well as apposed to M$ undocumented features which most people call glitches. Remember that while Debian isn't the lattest version of Linux it is the most stable and works with most hardware and best of all it's free unlike Microsoft stuff. Open Office can produce docquments that are readable in word or PDF or whatever or if you really need to stick to M$ then try out 602 Pro PC Suite as it has everything MS Office has including a graphics program and it costs nothing other than the time to download it. You may even find a mag that has some cover disks that are titled "Dump Microsoft" there are some really good programs out there that do everything that the MS stuff does but don't cost you anything or at least don't require you to promise your first borm to M$ as part payment.

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