I'm working on a client's PC that has MS Office Home and Student installed. The unusual thing is that there is no winword.exe or the like for the applications. The shortcuts point to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\microsoft shared\Virtualization Handler\CVH.EXE" "Microsoft Outlook 2010 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" where xxx is a 16 digit number.

I've learned that this is called a 'click2run' install or something.

Fair enough, but my issue is that I usually use 'Belarc Advisor' or 'Recover My Keys' (if the system won't boot) to to retrieve the product key in use for Windows and Office. But neither programs find anything for this computer's office install.

I'm assuming it's a genuine version because it's Home and Student. Who goes to the trouble of installing a pirated office to only use the base version...?

How can I find the product key used with this install so I can use it for an install from the Office 2010 OEM media I have?

2 Answers 2


You can request a regular license key from MS and install an MSI-based (local install) Office suite: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/click-to-run-switch-to-using-an-msi-based-office-edition-HA101850538.aspx

Switch from Office Click-to-Run to MSI-based Office

The license is the same. You do not need a new Product Key. If you have any questions, contact Microsoft Support.

  1. Save all work, and then close all programs.
  2. In Control Panel, open Programs and Features to see a list of installed programs.
  3. Click Microsoft Office Click-To-Run 2010, and then click Uninstall.
  4. To remove Microsoft Office Click-to-Run, click Yes.
  5. Go to the Microsoft Office alternative fulfillment page.
  6. Click My account.
  7. Click Download, and then click Advanced options.
  8. Follow the instructions.
  9. To install the MSI-based Microsoft Office edition, run SingleImage.exe.
  10. When prompted, type your Product Key to continue.

It turns out that it wasn't possible to retrieve the product key through any means at all (software/registry etc.).

I told the client that unless they found the retail box, or remembered their MSN login, or found the email MS sent with the product key, they'd need to repurchase the product.

Luckily, they found the retail box in the system's Mainboard box that was in a closet.

Installed from downloaded ISO. Activated with key from retail box. Problem solved.

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