Headspace by Greg Bray

Thoughts and observations of an often displaced Aussie, working to rid the professional world of paper - one page at a time - visit me at OzDox.com.au

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Do you know your software key code?

Several incidents at client offices over the last few months have highlighted an issue that has cost my clients dearly - the loss or misplacement of key codes for Microsoft Office products.

My experience is that most users just accept the presence of the MS Office suite on their PC, as it typically comes pre-installed on the PC from purchase. Consequently, the CDs that actually contain the installation files and the license key codes are neglected and lost.

The problem comes when we have an integration issue with MSOffice (API dll files are often damaged or missing) and a 3rd party product (such as Worldox), where we have to repair the Office installation. This will require the original installation CDs for that particular flavour of MS Office. As MS Office is offered in a myriad a of different suites, it is impractical for us to carry the complete catalog of MSOffice CS, we request the installation disks from the client - only to find out that the CDs can not be located!

Similarly, and much more serious, we sometimes have to uninstall and reinstall MSOffice completely and will need the product keys for MSOffice - which is located on the back of the CD case. We have had cases where clients who claimed that owned the product having to go out and buy another copy simply becuase they could not located the CDs and key codes. This is a waste of hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.

To avoid this unecessary issue, I would suggest that you make sure that all CDs are stored in a safe (and known location), and that you pr0actively record the product keys for MSOffice on your PCs (and all other installed products for that matter). This can be accomplished for free using the personal auditing software from Belarc.

Called the Belarc Advisor, this downloadable utility will analyse the hardware and software installed on your system, and even provide your with the license key codes for all your applications. Simply print out this report and store it with those CDs...you'll have prrof of ownership and piece of mind...and make my job so much easier!

You can download Belarc Advisor here.

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