How do I update the product key without the major Office XP applications? RRS feed

  • Question

  • How can I update the product key for Office XP Pro, if I don't have Word, Excel, etc. installed? The only installed components are the Office shortcut bar and Microsoft Photo Editor, and they don't ask for the product key when started, unlike Word etc.

    This was the question, now some background. I have both Office XP Pro and Office 2003 Pro installed. At first, Office XP was installed in full, but at some point I decided that having the two together is counter-productive, and uninstalled the large apps I was not using. What I left was what had no counterpart in Office 2003 - the shortcut bar, the photo editor, and a collection of clip-art.
    Initially, both had been installed by somebody else. After the computer came in my possession, I re-installed both packages, since I did not like the set of features and settings. That being more than 3 years ago, I no longer remember whether the installation asked me for the product keys (is it possible that it didn't?). Anyhow, I was quite surprised when the validation tool reported non-genuine, since my installation CDs are quite genuine. I came here to this forum, and found both an explanation and a solution (up to a point). Apparently, the previous owner had installed Office with that infamous 114 leaked key (that's what the diagnostic tool said). Running the Belarc advisor revealed that indeed the product keys were quite different from what I have on the CDs. Next, I found the solution to delete the registration registry entries, and everything worked fine for the Office 2003 installation - starting Word invoked the key entry dialog, I input it, and now Office 2003 is genuine as per the diagnostic tool (duh). However, none of the remnants of Office XP is smart enough to invoke the key entry dialog. This wouldn't be a problem per se, except that the validation tool still insists that Office is not genuine (it apparently lumps the two installations together, and interprets the lack of key - diagnostic code 104 - as non-genuinity).
    How do I input the correct key in this situation? One solution would be to install Word XP, have it ask for the key, and then uninstall it. But I'm really paranoid about it screwing up the settings and file associations. Is it a safe thing to do with respect to the settings in Office 2003 (this is a really really big concern for me). Are they sufficiently separate?

    EDIT: Problem solved! I'm still posting this message, because it might be helpful to somebody in a similar situation (hardly, but still). And, why waste so much typing. :)
    In short, after removing the registration registry entry, starting up "Activate Product" asks for the product key! It does not normally (what I had hoped initially it would do to change the key), it just says that the product has already been activated.
    To summarize, for the benefit of whoever may need: If you have an Office XP/2003 installation and need to change the product keys:
    1. Follow the instructions for changing the Office product keys
    2. If you don't have an Office program to start, like the link advises, run "Activate Product" from Office tools. Now it will ask for the product key.

    Hoping this will be of use to somebody.
    Sunday, October 4, 2009 10:49 PM


  • posting so I can mark the thread as answered.

    Thanks for the information Black Elk,

    Darin MS
    Monday, October 5, 2009 9:31 PM