Lost Office Key

A customers PC was infected with lots of malware.  So to completely remove the malware it was decided to wipe the PC and reinstall the OS.  When we came to install Office 2007 the Office 2007 OEM key could not be located.  For those who aren’t aware it comes in a cardboard folder, with a credit card size piece of plastic with the key printed on it.

We thought ok, not an issue we’ll just give Microsoft a call and they will reissue, because this was a legally purchased version of Office.  It was bought by us thru an authorised distributor and then resold to the end user, we have an audit trail.

After getting passed around and eventually speaking to someone at Microsoft, I was told that it would have to be repurchased!  I feel this is unacceptable.  Microsoft wants people to purchase software and when they do, they don’t get any help.  Why should it have to be repurchased after speeding over £100!   I explained to the Microsoft representative that I didn’t think that it was acceptable, he said he would give me a call back and here we are months later and were still waiting.

While we were waiting for a solution from Microsoft we installed an trail version of Office, well yesterday it expired so the customer was left with office in a reduced functionality.

A little look on the web and I discovered a great utility, Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder, http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/.  Which scans the registry and pull’s the keys out.  As we had a ghost image of the PC before it was formatted we mounted the backup image so we could access via a drive letter and used the software to open its registry which gave us the original key.

This was the only way we could recover the key legally!

It would be better if the OEM worked online, so the key could be retrieved more easily.

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