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MS-Office has detected that the HDD has been upgraded to a SSD and is now read only until the Product Key is entered.

Is the product key in one of the files, which can be read?

How can the product key be recovered from the existing drive?

OSX: El Capitan 10.11.6 Office 2011

This question is slightly different from:

How can I recover my MS Office 2011 product key?

in the sense that I am seeking to pull the key from the existing system files or database. I have tried the .plist solution, however, the activation problem persists: not sure why copying the .plist file to the SSD a second time would work, when Superduper copied it over along with a .lock file.

This question is slightly different from:

How can I find the product key of Office 2011 after restoring from backup?

  1. Device is Macbook Pro and not a iMac
  2. Hard drive is not recovered (ghosted via SuperDuper)

Any techniques to extract the product key is appreciated. The laptop was purchased second hand and had office installed / activated on the original HDD. Office must check to see if drive has been changed.

  • Which is your Microsoft Office version? When asked for the product key, does the Activation wizard appear? If that's the case, why can't you go through the process of activating Office? See support.office.com/en-us/article/… and support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/293151/… for more information. – jaume Nov 2 '18 at 9:07
  • The key is not stored locally - the activation hash is. It's a calculated value based on your hardware profile and is/was something very common in the Windows world where changing out a piece of hardware (like your drive) would cause the activation hash to become invalid. – Allan Nov 2 '18 at 17:08
  • @Allan: Thanks for the insight, if this is true, then there is no recovery of the product activation key? – gatorback Nov 2 '18 at 17:13
  • Microsoft provides a key recovery page. The person who sold you the Mac should have given you the key and/or media for it to be legitimate. If not, you'll need to purchase a new copy. – Allan Nov 2 '18 at 17:16

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