Office 2013 licensing. Determining product code for reinstall.

Posted on 2014-07-28
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I need some help. Previously if I had to reload a computer for a client I would run Belarc Advisor and could obtain the product key for MS Office versions 2003-2010.
Since I began using 2013 I've had an issue keeping with licensing and have discovered that Belarc advisor no longer reports the product key (unless I'm overlooking somehow.)

There are 2 different scenarios
1. Purchase Office 2013 via click 2 run with a new computer and select "purchase" when the choice to "activate or purchase" options appears at the beginning of installation

When you purchase from here, you receive a product code. Initially I logged that product code and which machine it belonged to. I didn't know that when you performed to the required "link to ms account" that the product code changed. When I say it changed I mean, by looking in the msaccount at my software, selecting "install from a disk" then "view product key" it shows a different product key. Before I figured this out I had a a single email that I'd linked several product codes given at purchase, thinking that since I recorded the product code I was given at purchase I'd be able to keep track of what went where. But since the product code changed after linking I had several products with codes that I have no idea of what goes where.
Since I've discovered this I began keeping track of what the codes are initially, then recording what they changed to.

My question on this one is "How can I tell which product code belongs to which computer?" Is there a way for me to look at the changed product key and determine which original code it went with?
I did find this site that helps You can determine the last 4 of the installed/changed product code, but it doesn't help match to the original code given.

2 Another twist is that I purchased Office from dell, and at the click to run I provided the code they gave me. The product activated with no need to "link to a Microsoft account" Does anyone know if this product gets changed? I did something similar with CDW and two other machines. I believe they also sent a COA with product key that had no requirement of linking to a ms account. If so the product definitely changed because I look at the numbers I logged and compare to the last 4 of the script mentioned in the link above and there is no match.

Sorry if I'm confusing. it's a confusing/frustrating topic.

Question by:bwierzbicki
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40225095
The last time I did the annual renewal for Office 2013, they were not supplying keys but rather using your email address to verify the purchase and then use on the computer.

Author Comment

ID: 40225191
Thanks John.
This isn't a subscription though. It's a straight purchase. One method of purchase is a retail box from the big box stores that give you a package with a card in it that has the Product Key.

The other is from Dell and in their packaging there is a Certificate of Authenticity with the Product Key.
LVL 90

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40225287
I use Recover Keys  which is very good and it does not find a key for Office 2013 either (but does on my other computer with Office 2010).

It may not matter whether subscription or not in terms of their licensing.
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Accepted Solution

DIIRE earned 500 total points
ID: 40231007
See this link for how to match the product keys with the pc's.

Basically the first key you get is a temporary key, it's not until you click install from disk, I have a disk that you see the real office key.  So run the script on the pc's to list the last 5 digits and then match them to the keys on your Microsoft account as per instructions in the link above.

I don't believe there any key finders around that will show you the entire key.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40231876
Thanks for everyone's comments DIIRE, you confirmed what I suspected. I had run the script prior to posting, and compared to the Install from Disk product key. My problem is that some of the installations I've performed have been for laptops, which are out in the field. I had recorded the temp key/machine installed to, but didn't know initially that it would change and that the number would be useless later.
I'll just have to get the laptop users to run the script and report back. what a pain.

I will say though that the product key I got from Dell didn't require "link to MS Account" and I have to reinstall that machine so I'm curious as to how that will turn out.

Expert Comment

ID: 40235650
Yes it's only when you buy it online that the key is linked to an email and if you lose access to that email you can't retrieve your keys.

I think the reason that you don't have to link to an email account when you buy key from Dell, Store, etc is that there's no way to tell if the people buying it have internet access.

When you buy it online you obviously have internet access.  Also you can only buy 30 online keys with one email.  After that you have to use a different email for the new keys.  I'm not sure if Microsoft have changed this or not as I don't buy keys online anymore because the online process wastes time in my opinion and then you have make a note of which keys were bought with which email.

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