Find Your Disks
- While many software titles are available for download and installation from an online source, Microsoft Word is not available for this purpose. Microsoft rarely provides replacement setup disks even if you ask for them. For this reason, it is imperative that you safely store your original Word setup disks in a handy location, complete with a unique Microsoft Certificate of Authenticity or "product keycode."
- If you have misplaced your setup disk, or it is damaged, it is possible to reinstall Word from any authentic Word disk so long as the version on the borrowed disk is the same as the version shown on your keycode certificate. Use this borrowed disk to install the program to your machine and then register it with your keycode. Many computer repair stores have these disks available for reinstall, for a fee. Some university help desks will provide disks for reinstallation to students holding valid keycodes.
- As of 2009 Microsoft now validates all of its Office products, including Word, in order to protect itself from the rampant software piracy that occurred in the past. Your installation of Word is validated over the Internet: when you log onto the web and receive Microsoft updates, your Office products are also scanned for authenticity. Copies that do not have a valid keycode are immediately disabled by Microsoft's security programs. If you attempt to use a Word keycode that has been registered to another individual, or if you install Word from a bootleg copy of the program, the validation process will fail and you will be unable to use the Word software. In only rare instances will Microsoft issue a replacement keycode; hopefully you have preserved this number somewhere, even if your disk is lost or damaged.
- If you have misplaced your Word keycode, you can still reinstall Word by purchasing a replacement copy complete with keycode. Legitimate, used copies of Word are available on sites like eBay for reasonable prices, especially older versions. While Word 2000 is not as good as Word 2003, it may be better than nothing. Just be sure you have a guarantee from the seller that the Word keycode you are purchasing is not actively in use by another person.
Open Source Alternative
- Sun Microsystem's free "open source" office productivity software suite, OpenOffice, can function as an alternative for Microsoft Word when all else fails. OpenOffice has seen tremendous acceptance and growth since it was introduced in 2009. OpenOffice includes word processing, spreadsheet, and database programs that are very similar to Office products in look and operation. You can often use OpenOffice to both open and save documents in Word formats, too, eliminating compatibility problems. If you cannot afford to replace Word, consider using OpenOffice instead.