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MF_2
Paper Tape
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-10-2017
Location: US
Views: 3,657
Message 1 of 3

Office 2016 Activation

Rant first, tips below.


Bought a 310-15ABR for my daughter and paid for Office 2016 Student & Home (not worthless 365) with the idea that since it's a full Office 2016, others could use machine.
We created a MS account for her when initializing Win 10 and she created password.
Days later, when she first tried to use Word, she was prompted for an Activation Key.
While annoying for something that should have been 'activated' when I bought it, sounds simple enough. Where's the card with Product Key or instructions to get it ?
After searching everywhere for card or something with key, gave up and called Lenovo Support.

 

Big mistake.


Support language barrier is daunting. Have to phonetically spell out everything - "Three One Zero Dash One Five Alpha Baker Romeo..." - and then listen to them repeat it back.
Support did a LetMeIn/Rescue123 remote control install which installed itself as a hidden Win Service.
Then proceeded to fumble around for an hour (mouse around, [Run], type chars, bksp over some chars, retype, close [Run], mouse around, launch MSPaint (?!), close Paint, talk to colleague, [Run], type chars,bksp over chars, repeat....).
They finally installed what appeared to be a couple of MS updates and then WITHOUT WARNING (they were silent on phone) rebooted machine. Great. Daughter no longer around to log back in.
Luckily I had created an additional local user Admin login and could get back in.
Despite my pleas that we were no longer logged in as the primary user, Support had me log in to MS using one of my throwaway accounts saying 'It didn't matter'. Office would still not activate, but I did manage to grab a screenshot of the Product Key. At this point I gave up with Lenovo Support as I'd lost faith in them , told them to close the call , and logged off machine.

Later daughter came back and logged on. Tried to use Product Key I had captured, but it reported 'Key already used' and would not activate.


Then I spent a while digging out & deleting the security hole remote software as it wasn't listed in Programs. (It puts various copies of itself in several locations & reg entries)

 

I was almost resigned to buying another copy of Office retail to get a valid key, but called Microsoft. They discovered that the Product Key was now 'locked' to my throwaway account. After about an hour of working with them, MS managed to transfer key to daughter's MS account and all was well.
/rant

 

Tips:
- If you do not have an MS account when first initializing Win 10, create (or have primary user create) one and record uname/pwd. This account will control everything on the machine even if you just want to be a local user. Everything relies/requires this account.
- There is NO Product Activation Key card, sticker, or anything indicating this shipped with your machine. There is an automated process that assigns a Product Key to the FIRST MS login used when attempting activation and Office will be 'locked' to this account forever.
- When trying to activate Office, you must use the same MS account as the primary user. If you don't, Office will get 'locked' to whatever account you used and not work when primary user tries.
- Office 2016 is NOT standalone. It requires connection & login to MS to activate/operate. Which kind of defeats the avoidance of 365. And, it is locked to a single user - not the whole machine.
- You can 'Log in as different account' to MS for Office if using the machine as a non-primary user. BUT, Office activities will show primary user's email/login that you used to activate Office and the non-primary user is now logged into MS as the primary (security hole).

 

Some of this is MS's fault with their 'everything needs an MS account'. But, could have been avoided if Lenovo included some instructions with the machine that explains the activation method / process and caveats.

Support Specialist
Posts: 153
Registered: ‎11-28-2016
Location: GB
Views: 3,560
Message 2 of 3

Re: Office 2016 Activation


@MF_2 wrote:

Rant first, tips below.


Bought a 310-15ABR for my daughter and paid for Office 2016 Student & Home (not worthless 365) with the idea that since it's a full Office 2016, others could use machine.
We created a MS account for her when initializing Win 10 and she created password.
Days later, when she first tried to use Word, she was prompted for an Activation Key.
While annoying for something that should have been 'activated' when I bought it, sounds simple enough. Where's the card with Product Key or instructions to get it ?
After searching everywhere for card or something with key, gave up and called Lenovo Support.

 

Big mistake.


Support language barrier is daunting. Have to phonetically spell out everything - "Three One Zero Dash One Five Alpha Baker Romeo..." - and then listen to them repeat it back.
Support did a LetMeIn/Rescue123 remote control install which installed itself as a hidden Win Service.
Then proceeded to fumble around for an hour (mouse around, [Run], type chars, bksp over some chars, retype, close [Run], mouse around, launch MSPaint (?!), close Paint, talk to colleague, [Run], type chars,bksp over chars, repeat....).
They finally installed what appeared to be a couple of MS updates and then WITHOUT WARNING (they were silent on phone) rebooted machine. Great. Daughter no longer around to log back in.
Luckily I had created an additional local user Admin login and could get back in.
Despite my pleas that we were no longer logged in as the primary user, Support had me log in to MS using one of my throwaway accounts saying 'It didn't matter'. Office would still not activate, but I did manage to grab a screenshot of the Product Key. At this point I gave up with Lenovo Support as I'd lost faith in them , told them to close the call , and logged off machine.

Later daughter came back and logged on. Tried to use Product Key I had captured, but it reported 'Key already used' and would not activate.


Then I spent a while digging out & deleting the security hole remote software as it wasn't listed in Programs. (It puts various copies of itself in several locations & reg entries)

 

I was almost resigned to buying another copy of Office retail to get a valid key, but called Microsoft. They discovered that the Product Key was now 'locked' to my throwaway account. After about an hour of working with them, MS managed to transfer key to daughter's MS account and all was well.
/rant

 

Tips:
- If you do not have an MS account when first initializing Win 10, create (or have primary user create) one and record uname/pwd. This account will control everything on the machine even if you just want to be a local user. Everything relies/requires this account.
- There is NO Product Activation Key card, sticker, or anything indicating this shipped with your machine. There is an automated process that assigns a Product Key to the FIRST MS login used when attempting activation and Office will be 'locked' to this account forever.
- When trying to activate Office, you must use the same MS account as the primary user. If you don't, Office will get 'locked' to whatever account you used and not work when primary user tries.
- Office 2016 is NOT standalone. It requires connection & login to MS to activate/operate. Which kind of defeats the avoidance of 365. And, it is locked to a single user - not the whole machine.
- You can 'Log in as different account' to MS for Office if using the machine as a non-primary user. BUT, Office activities will show primary user's email/login that you used to activate Office and the non-primary user is now logged into MS as the primary (security hole).

 

Some of this is MS's fault with their 'everything needs an MS account'. But, could have been avoided if Lenovo included some instructions with the machine that explains the activation method / process and caveats.


Hi MF_2,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and advices, I am sure it will be usefull for others users and luckily, for  Lenovo Staff too.

 

Regards.

Community Moderator
Community Moderator
Posts: 4,281
Registered: ‎11-18-2012
Location: US
Views: 1,976
Message 3 of 3
Moved:

Office 2016 purchased, but not installed.

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