Saturday, November 28, 2009

Personalized Marketing - FAIL!

I received a birthday card today. Someone must really love me as my birthday is still a few weeks away. Funny thing is, it's not very personal.

Happy Birthday to me. Tear along dotted line for your birthday wish... Geez...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Microsoft Office 2007 Telephone Activation

A tip for those who may be wasting your time finding out how to obtain the telephone number for MS Office 2007 Telephone Product Activation in your area. Below is my experience which should save you about one hour of frustration.

Here's the simple fix before I address the longer explanation:

Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business
Microsoft Office 2007 (all others) - I assume (attempt at your own risk)
Microsoft Office 2003 (?? maybe - attempt at your own risk)
Same results in MS Word 2007, Excel 2007, etc. because they all use the same activation wizard.

Clicking the "activate over the telephone" option and then "Next" does not display the dialog to select region by which you can obtain the product activation telephone number for your area. The dialog box closes, leaving no options to activate.

CAUSE (My perspective)
Activating a product writes off a file with the activation results. If this file does not contain previous activation results, you can select to activate over the internet or over the telephone. If this file already exists and has a previously valid activation, then MS Office will not provide you the option of activating over the phone. I believe this is a bug in the activation wizard.

RESOLUTION (attempt at your own risk)
The activation files are contained in the directory, "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\OFFICE\DATA". These directories are hidden, so you'll want to unhide hidden files and folders before continuing. In the directory are a number of files. Here's my best explanation:

The pre-activated office product activation file. "OPA" probably refers to Office Product Activation, 12 probably the revision (12 = 2007, 11= 2003).

The post-activated office product activation file. This is the file that you will have if you have previously activated successfully.

I believe this refers to the product ID - 81606 being Microsoft Small Business 2007 edition.

To force re-activation
Close all Microsoft Office programs.

The support representative removed the files from the directory and re-opened Excel (probably any MS Office program can be re-opened).

MS Office will then perform the first-install configuration (really, gathering product information and writing out the activation files). The activation files are added in their initial states.

The activation window then displays and the user can successfully select telephone activation and see the correct region dialog.

You should be done!

My circumstances
I needed to reactivate due to a hardware change. I swapped drives in computers which caused Office 2007 (Small Business Edition, BTW) to prompt me to reactivate by internet or reactivate by telephone.

I couldn't reactivate over the internet due to excessive product activations using my product key. The product key was perfectly legal and I had the box, CD, etc. with me.

I was passed to support multiple support reps and spent a bit over an hour on the phone (mostly on-hold). It was frustrating, but they did get the issue resolved after using Microsoft Easy Assist , part of MS LiveMeeting.