Swapping SATA HDs = can't activate Office 2011

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by briguybro, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. briguybro macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2011
    I'm posting this assuming that there is no solution, and more of a for-your-information. But if you happen to think of a solution please tell me. I have extended an unused SATA port (and adapted a power connection) from the motherboard of my 12-core Mac Pro (current version) to exit through the unused 2nd optical drive slot out the front. I use it to back up/get data from many "internal" SATA hard drives that I have laying around the house. It works great and my drives are read as if they were internal drives. It is very simple and effective.

    The problem - Last week I installed Office 2011 and am having MAJOR activation issues. Every time I switch the hard drive connected to that cable or have no drive at all Office requires me to reactivate my license. I quickly used up the allotted number of activations Microsoft allows and now I have to personally call their phone number to reactivate each time. It's very annoying. Apparently adding hard drives (not even touching the system drive) triggers Office's activation to believe you are on a completely different computer. I am only willing to connect my SATA drives through SATA or eSATA and do not wish to buy an eSATA adapter because PCIe slots are limited after adding an AJA KONA and RAID card and connecting the drives directly to the internal SATA connector works better and is free.

    Has anyone else installed Office 2011 and then tried to add an internal hard drive? That's basically what I'm doing - adding an internal hard drive, but mounting it outside my case. I've also spent many hours with Microsoft tech support and they finally had to schedule a phone call for me with a Senior advisor who will call me back in the next week.
  2. reel2reel macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    Ugh. God copy protection sucks. Have they not figured out yet that it's the legit users that are suffering, not the ones using a hacked installer that spoofs the activation.

    It must create a machine ID based on all the hardware at a given time and changing out your drives is affecting this. Big companies will never get it.

    In fact, I just went through this with a well-known maker of compositing software products and it was painful trying to convince them that one workstation's hard-drive just went bye-bye and we had to reinstall a new system. Their initial "customer service" tactic was to treat us like criminals. Until the guy looked into his records and saw that our company has already spent thousands of dollars on multiple copies of the same plugin.

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