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Reactivating old software

Question : When I installed Microsoft Office, I had to "activate" the program so it would run. If I buy a new PC with Windows Vista, can I install the old software on the new computer, or will the previous activation on the other machine prevent me from doing so?

Answer : As part of Microsoft's battle against software piracy, several of the company's programs (like Office XP, Office 2003 and Windows XP) require you to activate the software after a certain number of uses, or the program will not work properly.

This product activation process is usually carried out over an Internet connection with Microsoft's servers and it takes note of the hardware that you are using in installing the software.

By locking the software to a specific computer, Microsoft hopes to cut down on unlicensed installations of its programs. Buying a new computer should not stop you from installing the older version of Office from the original discs.

Once you have the program on the new PC, Microsoft suggests trying to activate the Office software again over the Internet when the Activation Wizard pops up. If enough time has passed between installations, it may work.

If the Internet activation fails, the company advises using the telephone number that appears on screen to call a customer-service representative at the Microsoft Activation Centre and explain your situation.

An article in the company's Knowledge Base has more information on activating Office software (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828958) and there is general information about Microsoft activation policies at www.microsoft.com/piracy/activation_faq.mspx.

Before installing your older Office software and to prevent conflicts, you may want to remove any trial versions of newer Office products that may have been included with the new computer.


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Reactivating old software


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