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  • Question

  • In September '09, I purchased Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 through my employer's "Home Use Program", received a CD in the mail, installed, and activated with no problems whatsoever.  Recently, I had some corrupted files and Dell advised me to reinstall my Windows Vista Home Premium (64 bit), which I did,and as expected, all of my files and other programs were erased.  No problem, I thought.  I had backed up my data files and had the CDs and/or activation keys for my more important programs that I had purchased.  I installed Office from the CD and when asked for the activation code, I began entering my code, but when I tried to enter a "0" (zero, not the letter "o"), I got the message, ""0" is not a valid character in a Product Key".  I tried both entering both zero and the letter "o" to no avail. 

    I searched Microsoft help screens for hours and couldn't find an answer.  Then, I ran across this forum and found someone that had this same problem, except with Microsoft Office Standard 2007 (1/8/08 re:  Office Standard 2007 does not accept the 25 character product key on the label).  Darin Smith (MSFT Moderator) responded to my comments on that thread and wrote, "Your are posting to a thread from 2008.  Please create your own thread, describe the issue as post a Diagnostic Report.  That's why I'm here.

    I also ran across someone who was using the wrong number as the activation key.  I was trying to use a number from a Microsoft Certificate of Authority sticker on the inside of the cardboard CD envelope.  Now there are four numbers on this sticker:

    1-A code under a bar code on a pink background at the top-center of the sticker.  This code has only 22 characters (25 counting the dashes) and is in the following format (A-alpha; N-numeric):  "NNNNN-NNN-NNN-NNN     ANN-NNNNN".  I would subsequently enter this code; however, the 8th character (9th counting a dash as a character) was a zero, and upon entering that zero, I got the error message:  ""0" is not a valid character in a Product Key".

    2-A code under a bar code on a blue/white background in the upper right-hand corner of the sticker.  This code has only 12 characters and is in the following format:  "N     NNNN     NNNN     N".

    3-A code on a blue/white background in the center of the sticker.  This code has 22 characters (25 counting dashes).  This code is in the following format:  "NNNNNNNNNN-NN-NNNNNN-AAAA".  This is the code I thought was the activation code and tried to enter; howerver, the third character is a zero, and upon entering that zero, I got the error message:  ""0" is not a valid character in a Product Key".

    4-A SKU on a blue/white background, just above a bar code on a green background, in the lower right-hand side of the sticker.  This SKU11 characters (13 counting dashes) in the following format:  "SKU-NNA-NNNNN".

    Finally, either someone gave me a link, I found a link, or I got a link from my purchase e-mails to the Microsoft Volume Licensing site.  I followed some instructions on that site which got me an e-mail from Microsoft Volume Licensing at the office (seems I had to use my office e-mail address just like when I purchased Office under the Home Use Program).  The instructions told me to sign into Windows Live which I don't have at the office.  I forwarded that e-mail home and installed Windows Live on my home PC.  I couldn't figure out how to transfer my folders in Microsoft Mail into an account I created in Microsoft Live.  Then all sorts of wierd things, including freezes, started happening.  I ran a scan with Trend Micro Internet Security which came up clean.  I then ran "Dell PC Tune-Up" and found a number of errors, not the least of which was a critical hard drive error.  I uninstalled Windows Live and had Dell PC Tune-Up fix the hard drive problem, which I think was successful.  I least the wierd things stopped and I have not yet had another freeze up.

    Finally, I loaded Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 in a trial version without entering an activation key.  That installation seemed to have been successful; however, each time it asks for an activation key, I get the same error message, ""0" is not a valid character in a Product Key".  I know I have only a limited number of tries before the trial version loses much of its functionality.

    Sorry to be so lengthy, but I wanted to disclose a long chain of events (and I'm a little, no, alot OCD).  So hopefully, someone else who had the same problem can tell me (like I'm in 1st grade) how to get this activated before it shuts down.  Thank you.

    • Moved by Carey FrischMVP Sunday, January 31, 2010 8:54 PM Moved to relevant forum (From:Windows Vista Validation Issues (Windows Vista))
    Saturday, January 30, 2010 10:19 PM

Answers

  • Carey...I got my activation code and was able to sucessfully install Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007.  One does not receive a "Proof of Purchase" label when purchasing through the Home Purchase Program.  Rather you are sent an e-mail to your office PC with the activation code, which you must then forward to your home PC to activate.  Once I got there, it was simple.  It took me a while to get here, but with your help, I'm back in business.  Thanks so very much!
    • Marked as answer by JimmyFred Sunday, January 31, 2010 6:30 PM
    Sunday, January 31, 2010 6:30 PM

All replies

  • Microsoft does not use zeros or the letter "O" in product keys.  Perhaps you should try entering the letter "Q" (as in Quintessential) and see if that works. Also, a product key for Microsoft Office has 25 alphanumeric characters.
    Carey Frisch
    Saturday, January 30, 2010 11:05 PM
  • Thanks for the reply, Carey, but that didn't work.  It accepted a "Q", but after I got past the "0" roadblock, I got the same "...not a valid character in a Product Key" error message for "1" (also tried "I" and "l") and "5" (also tried "2" and "S").  I got out a magnifying glass, and the characters on the sticker are absolutely zeros ("0") or the letter "O", but not "Q".  The number one ("1") was absolutely a one and the five ("5") was absolutely a five. 

    Upon entering, dashes ("-") were automatically added in different places that what is on my sticker.

    Any advice on how I should proceed?

    Furthermore, can you tell me which of the 4 codes I listed above is the activation code.  Only the 1st and 3rd codes listed above have 25 characters, but I must count the dashes ("-") as characters to reach 25 (otherwise only only 22)?

    Thanks!
    Sunday, January 31, 2010 5:38 AM
  • The product key should have 25 alphanumeric characters (not including dashes).  Example: HXXXX-YXXX-BXXXX-RQJ3P-9T9VT

    Look at this typical Proof of License Label

    Carey Frisch
    Sunday, January 31, 2010 4:29 PM
  • Carey, I think you have shined some light on this.  Following your link to "Proof of Purchase", I see that I have been looking at a Certificate of Authority.  I don't have a "Proof of Purchase" label.  Could it be that software purchased under Microsoft's Home Use Program have a different activation process?  Any ideas of where I can go next?  Thanks again for staying with this for me.
    Sunday, January 31, 2010 5:01 PM
  • Carey...I got my activation code and was able to sucessfully install Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007.  One does not receive a "Proof of Purchase" label when purchasing through the Home Purchase Program.  Rather you are sent an e-mail to your office PC with the activation code, which you must then forward to your home PC to activate.  Once I got there, it was simple.  It took me a while to get here, but with your help, I'm back in business.  Thanks so very much!
    • Marked as answer by JimmyFred Sunday, January 31, 2010 6:30 PM
    Sunday, January 31, 2010 6:30 PM
  • Congratulations JimmyFred! I'm pleased to learn you found the solution and that you have Microsoft Office activated!
    Carey Frisch
    Sunday, January 31, 2010 9:17 PM