Activation errors when installing Office 2010 Beta

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I decided to replace my Office 2010 Technical Preview with the Beta, which was released in November and I ran into an error with activation.  Since I didn’t see this really documented on the net (it probably is, but I couldn’t find it), I decided to write up my experience.

When I first tried to install the beta, I got an error saying that I had to first uninstall the technical preview.  Ok, no problem.

After uninstalling the tech preview, I installed the beta.  It never prompted me for a license key and everything seemed to go fine, until I fired up Outlook for the first time.  When I did, Outlook came up like normal, but I got a message saying that I needed to activate.  I searched and found this: http://www.microsoft.com/office/2010/en/activation.aspx . This page explains that you need to enter a new license key.

After clicking the Change Activation Code button, I got this message in another dialog: “The setup controller has encountered a problem during install. Please review the log files for further information on the error." Ugh.

I searched and found some odd references to a “Office Setup Controller” folder in the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE12 and how I should move it to my desktop.  This fix didn’t work for me.

SO, what finally did work?  I uninstalled Office 2010.  Downloaded a fresh copy of the beta (the file downloaded was named ProfessionalPlus.exe), installed it, ran Outlook – got the same activation dialog and the same controller error.  Ran the ProfessionalPlus.exe again and this time it allowed me to enter a license key.

AND THEN, when I fired up Outlook, it asked me to activate online – which I did.  It works fine now.

I’m thinking this is all due to these installers being “beta”, but what a pain to get an otherwise very stable/usable version of Office running.

Print | posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 6:17 PM