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
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
and there is general information about
Microsoft activation policies at
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.