Office 2003 and Posterity - so many p*ssed away hours to figure out why - and what the diffs are.

/Whining, rant mode on/
I've got approx 30gb of Office 2003 ISOs and silvers. Decided to upload to archive org and retire one very ancient 1TB drive. Luck wont last forever.

Anyway, started to do that, but realized I'd done a half-assed job cataloging, verifying, yada yada. Hit a stumbling block on one pair of ISOs - and they are probably the least valuable to the average person.

When MS started hyping Office 2003 and Server 2003, they offered and sent out for free or near free EVAL silvers. The one Windows Server 2003 EVAL shipped with 21 CDs!

So, I'm imaging, comparing - and these two ISOs - well they are different, but I cant figure out why. Every single file is binary identical. Same version of CDIMAGE used to master, same TOC, etc. Did a dump/binary compare - same files. Tore apart each ISO with a hex editor - could find nada.

Reimaged each file set - and yep - resulting ISOs were binary identical. Grrr....

After hours of dicking around - turns out one has DOS 8.3 naming, other has Windows/UNIX 31 character naming.
That value is 4 bits of a Little Endian field, and I walked right by it - over and over...
/Whining, rant mode off/

But I will bet even money, when I do get this armful uploaded to archive org, there will be only one comment - and it'll be some zit-squeezing leecher complaining about no product keys.


  • Such is life. But you just have to accept that people with brain don't usually write comments, thus the majority of comments (thankfully not all!) come from idiots.

    As for Office 2003… the only thing I really want is that update with OOXML support. Which is needed for that thingie to be usable in modern times. Have versions in a couple of languages, but looks like the majority of them are lost.

    As of keys… I have physical release with keys, thank you very much.
Sign In or Register to comment.