MS Office 2007: Activation?

Recently, as readers of this blog will know, I installed the Windows 7 RTM bits on my laptop, removing everything else that was on there (including Windows 7 RC, Windows Vista Home Premium, and the Kubuntu install I never use). Of course, as part of this I had to reinstall Office 2007 Ultimate, which lead to an interesting problem: Whenever I tried to activate Office, it would give an error stating there was no connection to the internet. Strange, to say the least, because I was surfing the web at the same time.

It gets stranger, though. When I tried to use the “Activate by Telephone” option, the Activation Wizard would dump me out, not even loading any data relating to phone numbers or giving me the lengthy set of numbers I would need to give their computer for activation. Finally after tracking down Microsoft KB 919895, I was able to fix the problem. Below the cut, step-by-step instructions for fixing this rather annoying problem:

  1. Launch a command prompt with administrative privileges (in XP, use Start->Run->type “cmd” without quotes; in Vista/7, use Start->type “cmd” without quotes->right-click Command Prompt->click Run as Administrator)
  2. Change to the directory containing Opa12.dat:
    • XP: Type command: “cd %AllUsersprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Data” and press enter
    • Vista/7: Type command: “cd %programdata%\Microsoft\Office\Data” and press enter
  3. Delete the file by issuing the command: “del Opa12.dat” and press enter (NOTE: DO NOT DELETE Opa12.BAK!)
  4. Leave the command prompt (type “exit” and press enter)
  5. Re-launch an Office program and attempt to activate again. It should succeed!

I’m not sure how this file came to be corrupted on my system, but it kind of makes sense considering the directories I’ve been holding over from install to install of Windows 7 are ProgramData and Users… and of course the file in question is located in ProgramData!