How to recover Office 2003 from external HDD?

  John Ba 09:41 10 Jul 2009

A friend restored his laptop to factory condidition using it's hidden partition. This dumped all the existing files and programs into one folder and these have now been transferred to an external hard disk. Unfortunately, his copy of Microsoft Office did not get restored and nor does he have the original Microsoft disk. The files though are still on the external HDD.

Is there anyway to recover this copy of Microsoft Office? Or to recover it's key? I have a CD for one version (a non-OEM one) of Microsoft Office 2003 for my computer. Could we use this media if we managed to recover his key? And would it have to be the exact same version as was originally installed on the laptop?

With thanks in advance for any help or advice you may be able to provide.

  Technotiger 09:57 10 Jul 2009

Run this with the external drive connected, you may then be able to see the Key listed.

click here

  johndrew 10:03 10 Jul 2009

You should be able to read all MS Office documents with the same or any later version of the software on which it was produced. Using an earlier version can cause either rejection, corruption or failure to open in some instances.

If you have the original key, you should be able to use any copy of the media to install it. There may be MS updates to add through the usual download/update system.

An option would be to use Open Office click here (or on the PCA cover DVD on a regular basis) which is totally free and will both open and produce MS Office documents.

  John Ba 10:19 10 Jul 2009

Thanks Technotiger

I've run the Belarc Advisor with the HDD plugged in and it can't pick up the Microsoft Key from the files on the HDD.

  John Ba 10:25 10 Jul 2009

And thank you johndrew

I've recommended Open Office to my friend if he can't get Microsoft Office going.

What I really want to know is if the Microsoft key is obtainable from the files which are on the HDD or if we could somehow restore the files to a working copy on the laptop. (Obviously, there are no details of the key in the laptop's registry now).

With thanks in advance for any further help anyone can provide.

  johndrew 16:34 10 Jul 2009

I feel it likely that the key is lost, but I know that SIW click here will pick it up under `Licenses` if it does exist. Again you should run it with the HDD plugged in as for Belarc.

  woodchip 16:45 10 Jul 2009

I know its too late, but this is one of the reasons for buying Acronis True Image, and creating a Backup Image to a External Drive. It then puts everything back in one go no messing loading each piece of software. Operating System the lot

  six-h 17:47 10 Jul 2009


  John Ba 09:48 12 Jul 2009

Thanks for all your help. I'm fairly sure that the key has been lost. I'll recommend my friend tries SIW. And I've already put Open Office on the laptop.

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