How to troubleshoot problems that you may experience when you try to activate an Office product

This article describes how to troubleshoot problems that you may experience when you try to activate a Microsoft Office product.

When you activate an Office retail license, you enable full product functionality. Additionally, you are no longer prompted to activate the retail license every time that you start the Office product.

When you try to start or activate an Office product, you may experience symptoms that indicate one of the following:

  • You have not successfully activated the Office product.
  • You must reactivate the Office product.
  • There may be part of a previous Office installation in the registry or in the Office folders.

The following symptoms indicate that there is a problem with the activation of the Office product.

The Office product runs in reduced functionality mode

When you start an Office product that worked correctly in the past, the Office product runs in reduced functionality mode.

For more information about reduced functionality mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

316032

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316032/
)

“This command is not available because the document is locked for edit” error message when you try to edit old or new documents in Office XP and in Office 2003

You have reached the limit of computers on which you can activate the product

When you try to activate the Office product, activation fails. Additionally, you receive a message that states that you have reached the limit of computers on which you can activate the Office product.

Significant changes were made to the configuration of the computer

When you start an Office product that worked correctly in the past, you receive an error message that states that significant changes were made to the configuration of the computer. In this scenario, you may experience any one of the following symptoms:

  • When you start an Office product, you are prompted to enter a product key. When you enter the product key, you receive an “Invalid Product Key” error message. This behavior occurs even though you entered the product key that is supplied with the Office product.
  • When you try to activate the Office product, the Activation Wizard disappears.
  • When you try to activate the Office product over the Internet, you receive a communication-related error.
  • When you try to activate Microsoft Office 2003 after you successfully install it, the Activation Wizard does not start. You do not receive any error messages.

Telephone activation fails

You try to activate the Office product by using the telephone. However, after you enter the confirmation ID that was supplied by the support staff, you receive an error message that states that the confirmation ID is invalid.

The Activation Wizard does not start

When you start an Office product or click Activate product on the Help menu, the Activation Wizard does not start.

Use the following methods in the order that they are presented to resolve activation problems in Office products.

Method 1: General troubleshooting

  • Make sure that the date and the time are correctly set in the operating system that you are using.
  • If the Office product runs in reduced functionality mode, you may be using a trial version of the Office product. If you are using a trial version of the Office product, has the trial version expired?

    For more information about trial versions of Office products, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    831023

    (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/831023/
    )

    How to convert an Office 2003 Trial edition to a full retail edition

    295167

    (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/295167/
    )

    Installation considerations for the Office XP Trial version

  • Check your Internet connection. Can you connect to the Internet? Do you have a firewall or a proxy server that requires authentication?

    For more information about potential communication errors that may occur when you activate an Office product, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    822519

    (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822519/
    )

    When you try to activate Office programs over the Internet, you receive an error message

  • Do you receive an “invalid product key” error message when you try to activate the Office product? You may have more than one installation of the same version of Office on the computer. For example, do you have an Office 2003 Trial version and an Office 2003 retail version installed on the computer? Alternatively, do you have an individual Office program, such as Microsoft Office Excel 2003, installed together with a full Office 2003 edition on the computer?

    You should have only one installation of the same version of Office installed on the computer.

    For more information about “invalid product key” errors, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    836178

    (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/836178/
    )

    You receive an “invalid product key” error message when you start an Office 2003 program after you install Office Professional Edition 2003

    321346

    (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/321346/
    )

    You are prompted for the product key when you open an Office program

  • Are you trying to install an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) version of an Office product on a different computer? You can have only one installation of an OEM version of an Office product installed on a single computer.

    For more information about how to install an OEM version of Office on a different computer, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    826526

    (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/826526/
    )

    “Your installation cannot be activated” error message when you try to activate Office 2003

    300273

    (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300273/
    )

    Cannot activate OEM edition more than once in Office XP

  • If you replaced your previous computer with a new computer, try to activate the Office product over the Internet. If you cannot activate the Office product over the Internet, try to activate the Office product by using the telephone.

    Note Trial versions of Office products cannot be activated by using the telephone.

Method 2: If the Opa11.dat file or the Data.dat file is corrupted

Some activation problems indicate that the license file is corrupted for Microsoft Office 2003 or for Microsoft Office XP. If the license file is corrupted, you cannot resolve the problem by removing and then reinstalling the Office product. The license file is not removed when you remove the Office product. Additionally, the license file is not overwritten when you reinstall the Office product. If the license file is corrupted, use one of the following methods to delete the license file.

To have us delete the license file for you, go to the “Fix it for me” section. If you prefer to delete the license file yourself, go to the “Let me fix it myself” section.

Fix it for me

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To delete the license file, click the Fix it button or link. Then click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.

For Windows 8

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Fix this problem

(http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9824110 )


Microsoft Fix it 20053

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For Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003

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Fix this problem

(http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9684287 )


Microsoft Fix it 50302

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Notes

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  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.
  • We would appreciate your feedback. To provide feedback or to report any issues with this solution, please leave a comment on the “Fix it for me

    (http://blogs.technet.com/fixit4me/)

    ” blog or send us an email

    (mailto:fixit4me@microsoft.com?Subject=KB)

    message.

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Let me fix it myself

Office 2003

  1. Click Start, click Run, type C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataMicrosoftOfficeData, and then click OK.
  2. Right-click the Opa11.dat file, and then click Delete.

    Important Do not delete the opa11.bak file.

  3. Close the folder.
  4. Start an Office 2003 program to start the Office 2003 Activation Wizard.

Office XP

  1. Click Start, click Run, type C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataMicrosoftOfficeData, and then click OK.
  2. Right-click the Data.dat file, and then click Delete.

    Important Do not delete the data.bak file.

  3. Close the folder.
  4. Start an Office XP program to start the Office XP Activation Wizard.
875452

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/875452/
)

The Microsoft Office 2003 Activation Wizard disappears when you use the telephone option to activate a Microsoft Office 2003 license

823761

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823761/
)

Product activation fails when you try to activate a Microsoft Office XP Enterprise Subscription License product

823527

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823527/
)

Activation Wizard does not start in Office 2003

313938

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313938/
)

Activation Wizard does not start

Method 3: If you made significant changes to the configuration of the computer

If you made significant changes to the configuration of the computer, the changes can affect Office XP activation. When you start Office XP, you may receive an error message that states that Office XP has detected a significant change in the configuration of the computer. When this behavior occurs, Office XP runs in reduced functionality mode.

For more information about how to troubleshoot this problem, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

296924

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/296924/
)

You receive an “Office has detected a significant change in your machine configuration” message when you start an Office program

Method 4: If the Office XP Activation Wizard stops responding

In this scenario, the Activation Wizard dialog box appears when you try to activate Office XP. However, the Activation Wizard stops responding. This problem occurs if the Windows Script files are missing or corrupted.

For more information about this problem, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

303048

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303048/
)

You receive a “Please wait while the wizard initializes…” error message when the Activation Wizard dialog box appears

For an overview of Microsoft Product Activation, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

For more information about Microsoft Product Activation, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

302806

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302806/
)

Description of Microsoft Product Activation

For more information about the Office Activation Wizard, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

293151

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/293151/
)

Description of the Office Activation Wizard

For more information about how to activate Office products, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

828958

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828958/
)

How to activate a license in Office programs

By using the Microsoft Visio Activation Wizard, you can update or change your personal customer information that is held at Microsoft at any time, either over the Internet or by telephone.

For more information about Reduced Functionality Mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

293466

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/293466/
)

Reduced functionality, missing menu commands, and unavailable features in Visio

For more information about the Microsoft Visio Activation Wizard privacy policy, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

293477

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/293477/
)

Information about the Microsoft Activation Wizard Privacy Policy for Visio

For more information about how to activate a perpetual license of Visio 2002 or of Visio 2003, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

297247

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297247/
)

How to activate a perpetual license of Visio 2002 or of Visio 2003

For more information about the activation of a Microsoft product and about how to activate a Microsoft product over the telephone, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

326851

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326851/
)

Activation and registration of a Microsoft product

Article ID: 903275 – Last Review: February 1, 2013 – Revision: 8.0


Applies to
  • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Access 2003
  • Microsoft Office OneNote 2003
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
  • Microsoft Office Publisher 2003
  • Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2003
  • Microsoft Office XP Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Office XP Small Business Edition
  • Microsoft Office XP Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Publisher 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visio 2002 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visio 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2002
kbmsifixme kbfixme kbwizard kblicensing kbactivation kbtshoot KB903275

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How to troubleshoot problems that you may experience when you try to activate an Office product

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