Windows 10: Caught in Office activation loop

  1. Posts : 63
    Xp, Vista, 7, 8.1, 10
       13 Mar 2017 #1

    Caught in Office activation loop

    I have this Dell computer that I reinstall the operating system once in awhile on. (It clears all the junk off of it and makes it run much faster.) At the same time I usually upgrade the hard drive for a larger/faster one.

    So I'm doing it this time just like I did before. Then when I installed Office this thing popped up:

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    OK, so do Internet activation. For which I get this:

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    Hmm. Strange. OK, I can call them. So I go back and pick "Phone activation", for which I get this:

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    So any idea how am I supposed to make this thing work?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Posts : 6,959
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1709
       14 Mar 2017 #2

    Hi ahmd.

    In reading some posts it suggest uninstalling your old version will de-activate. Not sure how this happens but assuming you still have your older, smaller drive you could boot and try.

    Then there is this page. Not sure if it will get around the fact that MS thinks it is installed.

    Finally I think you may just have to find a number and call them to plead your case. If you bought this retail and you are only using one license as per the agreement then this should be a no brainer. As well since the product is supported not sure why they would shut Telephone activation. Try this page.

    "Telephone activation is no longer supported for your product" error when activating Office - DefaultTitleSuffixPlaceholder

    Please post back if you find a solution, others will likely have the same issue at some point.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 4,502
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint
       14 Mar 2017 #3

    The EULA/End User License Agreement for many versions of Office allowed installing on a work station [computer] and a portable device [Notebook/Tablet, etc.] in control of the same person. The EULA didn't seem to distinguish between different devices, could have been 2 computers. There were some Upgrade versions that could be used on more devices but I think that ended with Office 2007. That EULA has always been a downfall to those that perform more frequent clean installs, to that end it could be recommended to use the Free LibreOffice that is compatible with Microsoft Office files, just doesn't have a comparable E-Mail Client like Microsoft's Outlook.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    14 Mar 2017 #4

    You call the number, then when prompted you read them the code shown as the installation ID in step 2. Then answer the next question, if answered to their satisfaction, they will read you back the code to type and activate office. I've done it for Window's and the question asked is how many PC's is this software installed on, to which I answer 1. Then I get my code. It's all automated with voice recognition software. At the end if they refuse to give you a code, you have the option to talk to a real person.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Posts : 63
    Xp, Vista, 7, 8.1, 10
    Thread Starter
       14 Mar 2017 #5

    Thank you, guys!

    I guess I'll try to plug back my old hard drive (luckily I haven't done "hammer erase" method on it yet) and see if I can uninstall Office from it. Hopefully that will free up one copy. Otherwise will have to call that number...

    Although it's ridiculous that we have to go through this. Why are they doing it to their legitimate license holders? And yes, I think I bought it from Dell back in 2012. Or, can Dell be selling "lemons"? I heard that one should be careful buying software on eBay.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    14 Mar 2017 #6

    They do it because everybody isn't as honest as you are. There are those that will abuse the system and look for any loophole they can find. Checks and balances are a way of life these days. The ones trying to cheat "usually" won't come to a reputable forum looking for help to keep cheating. So most of the time its people like you that are inconvenienced as a result of the others trying cheat the system, who post looking for answers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Posts : 6,959
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1709
       14 Mar 2017 #7

    They are just protecting their IP. Only want it installed once. If there is enough time between installs it won't even ask. I think that was Berton's point. I have 2013 and it was years between installs so no questions asked, it just activated.

    I think what was interesting is that you got the message Telephone activation is not supported and they had issued an article addressing the error. Wonder why it wasn't fixed.

    I'm sure when you call they will activate. You bought and you are not trying to cheat. Good luck.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    14 Mar 2017 #8

    I didn't see the "no longer supported" message. I guess you call the number anyway and talk to a real person?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  • Posts : 6,959
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1709
       14 Mar 2017 #9

    That is where the team work comes in
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  • Posts : 63
    Xp, Vista, 7, 8.1, 10
    Thread Starter
       14 Mar 2017 #10

    Thanks, Guys. I'll update you when I get somewhere. I'll try to uninstall it from the old hard drive first. That makes sense. Maybe it will free up that license.

    Although since you brought this up I did try to install OS a couple of days ago and screwed up my printer drivers and couldn't remove them so had to wipe it clean and start over again. So maybe that is why it didn't like it this time....
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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