I have recently purchased a new office desktop PC from Dell with OEM version of Windows 7 Pro and Office 2010 Pro.

One of the reasons I always use Dell is that they always supply installation media CDs or DVDs, unlike some other companies that just give you ISO images on the hard disk that you have to burn yourself.

This is the first PC I have purchased with Office 2010 Pro (OEM), and I was disappointed to see that Dell don't ship out any installation media for office 2010, they just supply a piece of card with the office pro product key printed on it.

If the HDD fails completely and I have to perform a clean installation, how can I re-install office?

Can I download the trial version of Office 2010 and install that, then offer it my product key? Bearing in mind that the product key is an OEM product, not a retail product, would this work?

  • This is a partnership between Microsoft and the consumer. As I understand that this issue was resolved, please consider in the future that software media is not provided as a result from that provider. Adobe, Microsoft, Antivirus, etc. have stopped providing Dell with Installation DVDs due to network activation being more economically friendly [cheaper].
    – user467179
    Jul 8, 2015 at 18:37

4 Answers 4


I have tried it and it works.

Just download the trial version corresponding to the version you have, and when it asks you to enter the product key enter your key and it will complete the full install process.

  • 2
    Thanks Ben, just to confirm, was that an OEM product key you used?
    – Bryan
    Jan 6, 2011 at 9:26
  • 1
    Yes an OEM Key was used.
    – Benny
    Jan 6, 2011 at 9:28

For OEM keys without media, visit this Microsoft website. Microsoft will ask you for your CD key, then allow you to download the appropriate install files:


I work in IT and ended up calling Dell once when I was in your situation without the right installer. They pointed me to the website, and it worked.

UPDATE - Microsoft updated their link to office.microsoft.com/backup where you can get the 2010 version as well as the 2007 version (at the bottom). This site is specifically intended for reinstalls of OEM versions. There is a pretty good walkthrough of the process as well at: http://techmemos.com/setup-tutorials/reinstall-microsoft-office-20072010-that-came-with-your-pc-without-the-disc

  • That link is now dead.
    – Henno
    Jan 15, 2015 at 10:27

This is only half true ===>"if the hdd fails under while warranty, Dell will supply you with a new one, and Windows/Office/... installation media. All for free."

It is still true for the operating system. You often have to ask for an "imaged" hard drive. They do not automatically send you a drive with the OSD loaded. You have to ask.

It is not true for Office.

New Dells that ship with MS Office 2010 pre-installed do not, can not, and will not include media. If re-installation is required, say in the event of hard drive failure, you will have to download the software from Microsoft.

  • I've had a similar issue with another suppliers in the past where they don't supply installation media. After a failure, the supplier wanted to charge £50 to send out installation media for software I already purchased a license for. I don't want to be in the same situation again. I could have purchased a retail copy of the software in question for £80, so there was no way I was paying £50 for a copy of software I already had I license for, I would have payed £80 for a new copy out of principle, had I not managed to find an alternative method of recovering.
    – Bryan
    Jan 6, 2011 at 8:38
  • 1
    'another supplier' is not 'Dell'.. I was in this exact situation 2 weeks ago and got new hd + media 3 days after making a call.
    – stijn
    Jan 6, 2011 at 9:32
  • @stijn: I've accepted a proposed edit from an user of which I agree; if you however disagree and want your answer to be your vision on it, then please click the rollback link on this page. Aug 23, 2011 at 22:39
  • @Tom Wijsman no problem, I was not aware that their policy changed..
    – stijn
    Aug 24, 2011 at 6:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .