I've lost my Microsoft Office install disk. Is it possible to transfer the software from one Mac to another?
January 14, 2005 7:44 AM   Subscribe

I've lost my Microsoft Office install disk. Is it possible to transfer it from one Mac to another? If so, can I run both Macs on the same network without any troubles? (MORE INSIDE)

About two years ago, I purchased a version of Office that came with a license to run it on up to 3 home computers. At the time, I installed it on my G4 desktop. Now I'm thinking about buying an iBook as a second computer, but (as I said) I've lost the install disk. Can I just copy the Office applications over to the new hard drive, or would they have been somehow locked to work on only one computer when I installed them? And if I can copy them over, will I have any problems running two copies of Word wth the same serial number on the same network?
posted by yankeefog to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I've never had any trouble running MS Office v.X after just dragging and dropping between two Powerbooks connected using a FireWire cable...
posted by moxyberry at 7:56 AM on January 14, 2005

The first version of Office v.X, at least, let you just drag the Office folder from the CD to /Applications (or wherever else you wanted to put it), and that counted as a valid install, so I suspect copying the folder between computers would work just fine.

Of course, other things on the CD (like extra fonts) wouldn't make it over in that case, but it doesn't sound like you're worried about that.
posted by esd at 8:17 AM on January 14, 2005

Best answer: As others have said, yes, you can drag and drop, and most recent versions of office will recognize that it hasn't been installed yet and throw crap all over your hard drive.

However, running both versions on the same network might be a problem if you've also lost your serial number. As I recall, Office checks on your local network for other versions running the same serial number before starting, so it will almost certainly refuse to run if it finds something.
posted by willnot at 9:33 AM on January 14, 2005

Best answer: The serial number (for at least the one copy you've installed already...) should be on your computer. Open Word, go to About Word in the Word menu, and look for the "Product ID."

I don't remember the number or the URL of the page I found the number on, but about a year ago or so I was in the same position as you and needed another install disk. After calling MS and providing them with some sort of proof I was a legit Office owner (my serial number I think, but maybe it was a copy of the back page of the manual or something...) they sent me a new install disk for something like $5 or $10. If you can find the number, give it a try. It was amazingly easy and painless, I was really expecting more trouble out of them.
posted by pwb503 at 9:49 AM on January 14, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks to all who responded. At this point, nobody is reading this thread, but I think it's polite to close an AskMe thread by reporting on the resolution of the question. And in this case, it was resolved with a sudden twist ending.

Today--a mere four days after I posted my question--as I was walking to the grocery store, I discovered a pile of computer software sitting on the sidewalk, waiting for the garbage collector. In that pile was -a copy of Microsoft Office v. X. The box was a little rainsoaked, but the CD seems to be in perfect working order.

I have to admit that I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I'm glad to have stumbled across a free replacement disk. On the other hand, if I had known that the gods have decided to magically intercede in every 13,999th AskMe query, I would have asked for advice on getting a burlap sack containing $1,000,000 in cash.
posted by yankeefog at 4:54 AM on January 18, 2005

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