Lost the Product Key for Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac?

I was round at a friends place last night, delivering my old MacBook which I sold to them (after having it repaired). Of course I got roped into fixing the other problems that they were going through with their new Mac setup.

You know the usual in regards to changing from PC to Mac (they also got a new 20″ iMac), printer issues, Mail issues, etc.

Last thing that was going on as I was planning on leaving was that they were installing Adobe CS3 Design Standard (Academic) and Office 2008 for Mac (Home and Student Edition). And here came the problem…

Having just bought new equipment, there had been boxes everywhere, and a clean up had been done to cull all the boxes, and stuff that wasn’t needed anymore.  With all the stuff thrown out was the Jewel Case that the Office 2008 DVD had come with, and hence the Product Key. 🙁

I googled “recover product key from Office 2008 for mac” to see if the was software or a method for extracting the Product Key from the currently installed version, but all methods for doing that were Windows related, and useless for me. But the forth link turned up a forums post on macrumors.com that had the comment

“Simply copy the Microsoft Office 2004 (or whatever version you have) folder in Applications to the new Mac’s Applications folder. No need for anything else. :)” find it here

Really…. That can’t possibly work… This is Microsoft your talking about… The company that forces you to phone someone to update your product key for windows if you change your hardware too much.

Well, I decided that It wouldn’t hurt to try, plenty of space on the HDD, and I wasn’t doing anything else. So I copied the Microsoft Office 2008 folder from the Applications folder on the iMac to the Applications folder on the MacBook.  15mins later….

I tried opening Word on the MacBook, and it was happy as Larry. So I tried to do a Check for Updates, and that failed. Came up with a message telling me to reinstall Office. So I inserted the DVD and ran the Setup program.

“A previous Installation of Office 2008 with Product Key …. has been found… Continue Installation?”

Yep.

Took 20mins to run the Install Program, and it automatically ran the Auto Updater Program.

All working Fine.

So to Sum up;

  • You’ve lost your legitimate product key and have Office installed on another computer already
  • Copy the Office folder from the Applications Folder from existing Computer to the New Computer
  • Insert the Install DVD in the New Computer
  • Run the Installer
  • Let Auto Updater do it’s thing
  • SWEET

As far as I know this process works with the previous versions of Office for Mac also.

Microsoft Copy Security for Mac = FAIL