I am installing a new hard drive on my Macbook Pro.

I have a legitimate copy of Microsoft Office 2008 installed on my computer, but I've long since lost the install disk and license information.

Perhaps complicating things is the fact that I've decided to do a fresh install, as opposed to using Migration Assistant or simply cloning my hard drive.

I'm wondering: how can I get this software from my current hard drive onto my new one, whilst maintaining the license information?

3 Answers 3


Since you say it's a legitimate copy (I'm assuming retail—if this is volume licensing, that's a whole other kettle of fish), one path that's open to you is contacting Microsoft.

They are equipped to deal with lost product keys, and in most cases can help you retrieve it. Worst case, they can sell you a new one at a steep discount.

See: How to locate your product key or obtain a new product key for Office for Mac.

(And for the future, you might want to stash your product keys and serial numbers away for safekeeping. 1Password has a category just for this. If you don't use 1Password, Keychain Access's "Secure Note" functionality can be put to good use.)


Pretty much any of the disk cloning or migration software for OS X will retain the license, unless you have an odd install (e.g. my brother had a MacBook with a school license for Office that didn’t get copied over because the license file was in a special admin account). Put your old drive into an external enclosure or dock, and use Migration Assistant, SuperDuper, Carbon Copy Cloner or Disk Utility to copy your old data to the new drive.

  • I'm sorry--I should have clarified that I'm doing a fresh install. I'll modify my question. Thanks for the answer in any case!
    – jkjenner
    Oct 10, 2013 at 1:14
  • cloning does not retain license. MS Office figures out you have new hardware and disables their stuff.
    – Fraggle
    Mar 13, 2015 at 12:24

MS sent me a replacement disk of Office 2010 for about US$20. Very easy to deal with, surprisingly so.

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