Office 2003 wont install unless you supply a valid license key, unlike Office 2007 which lets you enter the key once you’re done installing. This is very inconvenient when you’re trying to create a base image of a system to deploy on multiple PCs. You can’t have the same Office license key for all the PCs.

In order to get somewhat similar functionality as Office 2007, i.e., install without key to be filled in later, use the following method. You will still need a valid serial key for the first install, but it will be cleared after its completed.

setup.exe /QB PIDKEY=YOURSERIALHERE
regedit /S clear-key.reg

The first line installs office silently with the specified key, and second line clears the registration information. The clear-key.reg file contains the following registry key

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Registration]

Now when you run Office, it’ll ask you for a license key.

  One Response to “Install Office 2003 without a CD key ..sort of”

  1. The serial key should be entered without the dashes or the installer will complain that the key in invalid.

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