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Continuing my SSD saga from last week – I got my new 1 TB SSD and copied my internal Macintosh HD drive over to it with Super Duper!. I then shut down my MacPro so I could install the secondary eSATA card (I disconnected a drive from the existing card just to get the disk copied without a reboot). I needed the secondary card not just to allow me to have more eSATA drives hooked up, but also because my current card can’t be used to boot from. The new card can (although I had to patch its firmware from the included CD to do so).

Imagine my surprise when my boot time was basically the same! It takes about 3 minutes to boot from my internal spinning drive. It also takes 3 minutes from the SSD. Why? With the internal, the drive is located in ~25 seconds, and the rest of the time is spent booting up. With the SSD, it takes about 2.5 minutes to *find* the boot drive on the  eSATA card, and then 30 seconds to boot. Oh well. I don’t boot a lot, anyway.

Once I got booted it was obvious my system was running form SSD though. Every disk operation became very snappy. I ran the BlackMagic Disk Test tool agains the old and new boot drives. Here’s the 7200 RPM internal SATA drive:



And the SSD:



So a slight difference there.

However, I then ran into an unexpected bit o’ fun. I wanted to see how fast Microsoft Word would come up. Turns out, it wouldn’t – at least not in any useful  way. It decided that I need to re-enter my key, because I might be using a different computer (changing the boot drive is, apparently, something that can trigger this check, which is only in the 2011 version for Office for Mac; earlier Mac versions are safe from this idiocy).

Fortunately, I have a key I got from Microsoft (from the last time this happened – they had a bug that basically marked my key as “used on too many computers” and so rendered it unusable). I put in the key and – surprise! – I got the dreaded “too many computers” screen. Your only option from there is to attempt to get a phone activation. So I clicked on that.

Up came a screen with I believe 48 numbers in 8 groups (I didn’t count them). I called the number on the screen, and the robo voice asked me for each group in turn (I had the option of reading them aloud or typing them in; reading worked fine). After each group of numbers I was asked for the next. After final group, I was told I needed to answer one question (“Kid, have you rehabilitated your self?“) – “How many computers has this key been used on?”. I answered “1” (which is correct as far as I know) and robo voice said “Thanks for calling Microsoft, good bye.” and HUNG UP on me! I tried again and got the same result, so it wasn’t a fluke.

Thanks so much MickySoft. It’s BS like this that makes me glad I don’t use your crappy software much except for work. I vainly tried to find a way to get to a human being, but you can forget that unless you have a credit card ready. Well, I already paid for Office; I’m not paying again to get it running.

Another way out probably would be to sign up for Office 360 (no link for you, MS). But that would be paying for Office again, every month, which makes no sense since I already bought and paid for it. It’s not like there’s a new version or any features of Office 360 I need.

My last way out was thanks to my job. I have an MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) subscription, and part of that subscription gets me access to a *lot* of MS software. So I got myself a new key from my MSDN sub – after all, I really only use Office for work anyway.

But if you don’t have access to MSDN, how do you, as a regular user, get out of this one? I’m guess you don’t without spending money.


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