How can I recover my Microsoft programs?

Jean August 20, 2010

When my laptop screen went black (yes, the color is correct) here in Mexico City a friend re-formatted it, but I no longer had the MS Office programs. Since it was a gift a bit over a year ago, I don’t have the CDs. Is there anything I can do to avoid having to pay for them again?

I’m not a techie and read your newsletter gingerly, but with interest.

  1. Tina
    August 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm


    since your hard drive was formatted the chances are slim that you can recover the product serial number of your previous Microsoft Office installation. Without the serial number, you cannot install the program. And if you don't have the original installation CDs, I wonder whether your installation was legal in the first place.

    Could you ask the person who gave you the laptop whether they still have the original CDs?

    If you are stuck, don't worry. There are free alternatives to Microsoft Office. Try Open Office. Their website provides a great introduction to the program, so you don't have to figure it all out by yourself. Plus you will be able to open any Microsoft Office files in Open Office and export Open Office files so they can be opened in Microsoft Office.