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No MS Office Product Key?!

Occasional Visitor

No MS Office Product Key?!

I purchased my HP Laptop from Staples in 2010 with pre-loaded MS Office on it.  About a week ago my laptop crashed and I took it to a local computer repair shop.  He had to back-up my laptop and do a system restore.  After taking it home, I noticed I didn't have my MS Office anymore so I contacted the repair shop.  He said I should have received the product key when I purchased my laptop.


I've looked and looked and there is no product key anywhere.  I finally contacted Staples technical support last night.  They told me to contact Microsoft and they would be able to provide me with the key.  I called Microsoft and they told me I had to contact HP since it was a "manufacturer's copy".  I contact HP and they said I'm pretty much out of luck and that once my laptop crashes and I do a system restore MS Office will no longer be available and I'd have to purchase the software again.  He said I was basically using the software for "free" when I purchased my laptop.  Not really since my laptop would have cost LESS if MS Office wasn't pre-loaded on  it.  Ironically, the guy I was talking to tried to sell me MS Office on our call!!!


Apparently I'm getting all different variations of how and where to get this product key.  Hoping to get some resolution on a forum since no one at these companies know what they are talking about. 


***So my question is...How do I go about obtaining the product key for MS Office that was pre-loaded on my laptop when I purchased it?!  I certainly DON'T want to have to spend money on purchasing it again.