This article is from the Macintosh application software FAQ, by Elliotte Harold email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
BEFORE installing any software you should lock all the master
disks, make a backup of all the master disks, and install from the
backups. Since some installers now check for specific bits on the
installer floppy, use DiskCopy to make the backup of the master
disks. DiskCopy also copies floppies more quickly on a one-floppy
system than the Finder. This is especially true for recent Microsoft
applications like Word and Excel that write personalization info on
the master disks. If you need to do multiple installs such as from
the single set of disks Microsoft sends with its site licenses, you
don't need to make a backup for every computer you'll be installing
on. Instead just copy the original, pre-personalization Installer
application onto your hard drive and replace the one on the floppy
with the clean copy from your hard drive after every install.
If the disks have already been personalized, get the freeware
program Anonymity 1.2 from
Make a copy of Word on your hard drive and then "Zap" it with
Anonymity. This removes the personalization information. The next
time Word is launched it will prompt you for the personalization
information. If you're using Word 5.0 or 5.1 you'll then be asked
to insert the "Install" disk. Don't! Instead click Cancel. Word
will now display a dialog telling you how nice it's being for letting
you use your software even though you're obviously a nasty, evil
pirate. Click OK. Then quit Word. Launch Word again, cancel out
of the dialog asking for the Install floppy again, acknowledge the
anti-piracy message again, and quit Word again. Repeat this three
more times. The sixth time you launch Word it should have given up
on ever getting you to give it the master Install floppy and will
stop asking for it.
Depersonalizing Excel 4.0 is a little trickier. You'll need copies
of the master disks to do this. You'll also need Anonymity and some
utility like ResEdit or FileTyper that can change file types. Make a
copy of the first installer floppy. Use your file-typing utility to
change the type of the *installer document* on the new floppy to
"APPL" from its original type of bbkr. (four letters, all caps, no
quotes). Then run Anonymity to depersonalize the installer document.
Next change the filetype of the installer document back to "bbkr"
(four letters, no caps, no quotes). The new floppy should now be
fully depersonalized. This process can also be use to depersonalize
Word 5.x's installer floppies should that ever be necessary.
You can still depersonalize Excel 4.0 even if you don't have the
master disks. To do this you'll need a copy of ResEdit including
the Code Editor.
First make a copy of the Excel application. You're going to perform
some pretty nasty hacks on this and you want a backup if anything
goes wrong. Then launch Excel, and check the serial number (in the
About Box). Write this number down.
Quit Excel and then open it in ResEdit. Open the pcod resources
and open pcod resource 2. Select Find ASCII... from the Find menu
and search for the serial number. It's stored there, unencrypted.
The user and company names are stored just above this, encrypted.
The encryption algorithm isn't obvious to me, but it is one-to-one,
e.g. 86 (hex) is always a space. By permuting the finite number of
possible values you can create a chart mapping the actual characters
to their coded hex equivalents, and then use this chart to write out
the personalization info you want.