One among the many pesky Windows errors, is this Office error which happens when you try to install Microsoft Office 2013 (or other office versions – 2007/2010). The frustrating part is that the installation would not happen even though you have a genuine key for Office. Microsoft has a knowledge base article for this at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2792178. The error text reads something like this: “Error 25004. The product key your entered cannot be used on this machine.” The error happens due to Microsoft’s licensing and more specifically machine based licensing. There’s a conflict between the installation that is already present and the new one that’s being tried to be installed. Now you may think that the knowledge base article of Microsoft is all you need to solve this problem, but sadly this is not the case (you can try). The solution given by Microsoft does not work and this problem has been discusses at length at many online forums across the Internet. There are even cracks and software built to solve this particular error as well as there are many versions of the error and consequently many methods to solve this pesky error so that your Microsoft Office installation works for you.
Extreme as it may seem, a re-installation of Windows is the most direct and straightforward method. Take a backup of your files, format your drives and re-install Windows from scratch; the software error is then gone. The source of this error are some system files and/or probably some specific settings in the Windows system registry. For those who might be new to the concept of registry, Windows registry is a muster of system settings for the software installed on the Windows machine. In the spirit of solving this error, let’s move to the next method. Follow these steps:
- Navigate to C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared, which is from Windows File Explorer
- If there is a folder called OFFICE15 or OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform, delete that folder.
- Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared, again in Windows File Explorer
- Same as above, if there is a folder called OFFICE15 or OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform, delete that folder.