Office 2011 Requires Activation after Time Machine Restore

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Pak^Man, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Pak^Man macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Hi community!
    I’ve done some searching on this issue, but could not find a satisfactory thread.

    I had my MBP SSD corrupted a week back, and had to reformat and re-install OSX. I then used my Time Machine backup to restore all my data and programs. But now, MS Office 2011 is asking for me re-enter my Authentication Key.

    While I have the Office disk; here is my issue. The disk is a family pack (3 licenses). But it had only 1 Auth Key (alpha numeric). The infinitely annoying Office activation requires entering that key and then using the generated Activation Code (numeric only), to activate the program.

    I tried using the numeric Activation Code, but that is not working…. The program insists on the longer Auth Key. But I’m afraid if I re-enter that, I’ll lose an additional license on the same Mac. (I’ve been saving the others for an upcoming MBA purchase, and the third for my sister’s MB when she visits this summer).

    What can I do restore my first license?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Pak^Man thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2008
    Columbus, OH
  3. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    Yes, MS Office uses some hardware ID info as part of the activation process. So it thinks your restore is actually now a different machine. Just reactivate it and it will work. This happened to me when I migrated from one machine to another. Even though I removed MS Office 2011 from the old machine I still had to activate the migrated software on the new machine.

    I did it via the automatic activation process and it worked without issue.
  4. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2011
    Correct, the activation is tied to the drive.
  5. space1nvaders macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    Deleting MS Office

    Yes I bought it but no way I can activate it. Spent hour on phone with MS and they could not fix. All I did was install a new drive. I am deleting it and never going to spend a $ on MS again.

    The only software I ever bought that I can't use because someone in Redmond has no brains about licensing.

    Why on Earth would you link software to the hard drive hardware??? We have the INTERNET so all you need is a link to a server for validation. What is wrong with you people!!!!

  6. tigres macrumors 68040


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    The upgrade toasted my Main Identity on an 8GB mailbox. Not fixable. have to do a restore as well.
  7. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    Ok, I haven't dealt with any of MS's latest activation stuff, but I remember back with Office XP and Windows XP you could just call up a number and let them know you had to install a new hard drive or had to reinstall Windows and they would give you a new activation key.

    Is this not how it is anymore? I remember it being a pain but at least, in the end, I was able to get everything taken care of.

    Just curious, and I hate to hijack the thread, but is this how it is with Adobe stuff too? I'm looking to purchase an old/used copy of Photoshop for just messing around with. Will I have issues if it's not uninstalled properly?
  8. spaziobds macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2011
    office 2011 mac, hard disk changed

    had the same problem, changed hard disk in an Imac, used time machine backup, no way of reinstalling office 2011 (3 seat license), keeps saying that I used up all available licenses.
    Tried to get in touch with phone assistance (Italy), no way
    don't really know how to proceed, would hate to buy a new license
  9. klover macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2009
    No need to buy a new license. During the activation process (i.e., when you are entering the unique activation code), there is an option to activate by telephone. Select your country and dial that number.

    DO NOT try doing this using the automated process (it won't work); instead, select the option to speak to a CSR.

    You can simply explain that you are having difficulty activating after a restore/upgrade/whatever and they will ask you to:

    a) read the product code on the screen (it is not the same as the activation code you are trying to use).

    b) enter a one-time activation code that they will read to you over the phone.

    I've done this twice for Office 2011 for MAC - very easy process.

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