Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Changing Office 2007 Product Key without Reinstalling

Hello Everyone,
Once in a while, we all encounter sme strange, unknown problem. Think of it, you accidently got a counterfeit version of the Shiny new Microsoft Office 2007 and suddenly you got the "news" about it while downloading a template from Office Online, by the OGA system. So your conscience tells you :-D that it is wrong and you go an purchase a legal product key for yourself. Now comes the hard part! Where to insert this key? There is no visible place on UI from where you can change your product key. So now all you can think of is just uninstalling and reinstalling Office and all the other Service Packs etc. That is indeed a time consuming process and is cumbersome.
So here is the way to do it without reinstalling :
1. You have to be login as an administrator for this, as standard users cannot edit the registry directly. Apart from that, please back up your registry or create a manual restore point first as messing with registry can be quiet dangerous. :-)
2. Go to Run, type regedit and press enter. In Vista, press OK when the UAC prompt comes, if it is enabled.
3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Registeration.
4. Under this key, u'll see one or more subkeys with GUID type names (names made of random nos and words enclosed within { } )
5. In all of these subkeys, one by one click on them and check for the presense of these two values
(i) DigitalProductID - Type : Binary - Data: some long binary string written in multiple pairs of two characters .
(ii) ProductID - Type: String - Data: A product id made of numbers only in the form xxxxx-xxx-xxxxxxx-xxxxx.
6. Delete these values from each of these sub keys. Please be sure what you are deleting. If you delete something wrong, you might end up ruining your system.
7. Exit the Registry Editor and start any of the Office Applications. On starting, it will ask you automatically for the new Product key.
And thats that! Your office will turn to legitimate without reinstalling.
Enjoy! :-)
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