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Help: Can't open Excel files: Windows Installer pops up

by redfoxennis / September 15, 2006 10:38 PM PDT

Hi, I need help: I have an HP omnibook laptop with Windows XP operating system.
When I try to open Excel "Windows Installer" pops up telling me "Preparing to Install" followed by "Microsoft Office XP with FrontPage".
It happened before and I got around it by going back to a restoration point. That doesn't work now, I only can go back to Aug 23 - and the problem was there then. I haven't looked at anything in Excel in a few months - that's why I didn't notice it earlier this time.
I have an HP omnibook that I bought 2nd hand a few months ago. HP give you a few CD's/DVD's with all the programs etc on it. But they warn you that if you use the restoration disk it will format the hard drive and you loose everything. My CD/DVD might not work: some ....put sticky tape (VERY Sticky) on the written side and I have been unable to remove all the sticky stuff - a few bits simply refuse to come off. I'm afraid that if I chance that disc it will make matters worse because I probably can't re-install from that disc.
The laptop came with Norton Antivirus. In August I used AVG and now I'm using Avast. I have also visited the Microsoft Security Center for Virus checks...none of those programs found anything!
I hope, somebody here can help me.
Thank you!
Helga

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Where's the Office CD?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 15, 2006 10:57 PM PDT

I usually just hand it the Office CD and that's it.

"My CD/DVD might not work"

I replaced my CDRW drive with a DVD/CDRW for under 99 bucks (much less) so that's not expensive to get fixed.

-> If you can't hand it the Office CD then download and install Open Office from http://www.openoffice.org to take over the Excel work. Very compatible and exchanges files with others. It's what I use.

The

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somewhere on the system recovery discs!!!
by redfoxennis / September 16, 2006 4:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Where's the Office CD?

Hi, R! Thank you for your reply.
I will keep the open office tip in mind.
I don't need a new DVD/CD drive. I said in my question for help that the CD?DVD? (don't know, what they are!!) that came with the HP notebook may not work because 1 idiot put sticky tape across the surface that will be read by the computer. I can't get the sticky stuff completely off - perhaps it's a drop of glue! That is only 1 small problem. I don't WANT to use the so-called system recovery discs because they format the hard drive and wipe out all my stuff. That's the way HP work: you do not get a seperate Office CD...all comes bundled in a package(Operating System/Office/whatever) on 2 discs.

Whatever is causing the Windows Installer window to pop up and display the message about "Installing Microsoft Office XP with Front Page" has to have happened to somebody else? And I would like to find out what is causing it and how to get it sorted.
If I simply go and install "open office" I still leave that "thing" playing with my computer....
Please, somebody with the knowledge, help me sort this! Thank you!!!
Helga

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Yes it happens all the time at the office.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 16, 2006 4:16 AM PDT

But only on the machines that run MS Office. For the rest of us that use Open Office... no.

We fix it by handing it the Microsoft CD.

In your case you have 2 issues. But one thing first. If HP made the CD proper then when the office installer wants some files you give it the CD (one or two) and just don't restore the system if it asks.

I've done that too but you seem to have a busted drive. That's your second issue. Which eventually will have to be fixed. I'd plan to get a new drive since that is the cheap fix.

Bob

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About "Windows Installer" popping up in Excel
by redfoxennis / September 16, 2006 9:11 PM PDT

Hi, Bob!
Are you saying that this ''Windows Installer'' is for real? Really looking for something that went missing/wrong?
On the readme.txt that I received it states that if you use the recovery CD it will wipe/format your hard disk. So using that disk is not an option.
Unless I want to loose all my stuff and end up with an unusable Laptop that won't talk to me because I probably get something wrong with the re-installation...don't know passwords or whatever...
Looks as if I'm in trouble!
There is nothing I can do?
Thanks, Bob.
Helga

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We are not "using" that CD in the way you think.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2006 12:10 AM PDT

We are letting Windows Installer read a few files from it.

If we can't get past this the only solutions are...

1. Buy a full version of Office.
2. Use Open Office.

Bob

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Busted drive?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 16, 2006 10:33 PM PDT

I hope you don't mind me joining in Bob.

I don't see any reference in the member's comments about her CD or CD/DVD drive being broken. She mentioned, (it seems to me), that someone placed sticky tape on one of HP's recovery CD's, on the data side of the CD disk itself, and she is not sure if it will work now, or if it will break her CD/DVD drive.

If I read her wrong then I apologise, but if it's the case that the CD disk may be compromised, what are her options?

Can the disk be cleaned? Perhaps with warm water? I don't know.

I assume HP would send her replacement disks, and perhaps she could also ask for her Office CD's at the same time. I really don't understand why manufacturers don't supply full disks nowadays. We see this problem all the time on these forums.

Even if the disk can be cleaned, are you saying that the next time Windows Installer pops up when she opens Excel, that she just insert HP's recovery disk and allow the installer to find the files? She will not run the risk of having her whole system wiped clean?

OpenOffice is fine as a temporary fix for this problem, but if her Windows Installer is broken, should she not endeavour to get it fixed?

I have 3 Microsoft KB articles about Windows Installer problems, but never having had this problem before myself I don't know what use they are, and there are warnings about ''cleaning up'' the installer on them. So I hesitate to recommend using their sugestions.

They are;

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;555175

http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/395b6a42-335f-4559-8068-d11a40941dea1033.mspx?mfr=true

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;290301

Sorry for intruding.

Mark

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Thanks for writing in.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2006 12:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Busted drive?

I read it as the CD drive has some sticky stuff on it. If it was the CDs I missed that entirely. But one need only remove what needs to be removed. Sorry but it's very hard to tell in words exactly what that is. I'd have to see the sticky labels or what and then would make the call.

Bob

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When trying to open Excel "Windows Installer" pops up
by redfoxennis / September 17, 2006 1:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Busted drive?

Hi, Mark!
Thank you for joining!
You got some of it right: my actual DVD/CD drive is not busted!
The "Windows Installer" pops up when I click on the short cut to Excel or on excel.exe in the program files. It doesn't let me open excel files.
The problem with HP computers is that everything comes on 2 disks, called "Recovery CD". I have no information about which programs are on which disk. All they say in the readme.txt that I received with the laptop: don't re-install from those disks: they will format the hard drive and re-install the lot that was on it originally. You need to make up another disk (floppy) somehow with something....sounds scary!!
It's a nice laptop but I don't like the trouble with not having the proper CD's to install the operating system or office programs. I'm staying away from HP in the future. But for now, I would like to figure out how I can get my computer to work and open Excel files. It did it in July! I just can't get back to a restoration point in June or July. Windows Defender seems to create one restoration point daily now - so the older ones got dropped off the list?
I had a look at the help pages you mentioned, Mark.
I'm sure all my programs were installed properly. The problem is that "Windows Installer" pops up when it is not wanted/needed! What causes/creates a link between my click on the Excel shortcut or program icon and "Windows Installer"?
Any more bright ideas? I'm grateful for all your ideas..Thank you!
Helga

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What causes/creates a link between my click on the Excel ...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2006 1:36 AM PDT

What causes/creates a link between my click on the Excel shortcut or program icon and "Windows Installer"?

When an Office application starts it does some checks and if a file or item is missing it calls the installer to fix it. All we need to do is to offer it those HP CDs to see if it will read the lost file in. We are NOT using these CDs to reinstall the machine and wipe out.

I can see how people get very confused about use of said CDs.

In closing, OPEN OFFICE is free for you to install and use if you don't resolve this today.

Bob

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Cleaning the CD
by Themisive / September 17, 2006 2:53 AM PDT

Get some Surgical Spirit and cotton wool. soak some spirit into the cotton wool and then rub the pad of cotton wool onto the affected CD face, that usually dissolves most adhesives, keep doing this unti there is no dirt on the cotton wool pad, then give it a wipe over with a clean pad to take off the excess spirit, now allow it to dry.

Whilst you're doing this, it may be an idea to collect your data together, your irreplacable files such as word files you have made, e-mail bckups and such - don't forget to include any downloads you made as well, then back them up.

Now using your recovery CD's, you can reset the system, but you'll have to completeley re-load any other programmes you put on the machine - I assume you still have the CD's - load on the programmes, and now re-load all the data from your backup disk(s).

Make a point of making rgular backups, and at least you'll have SOME data backed up.

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"Windows Installer" opens every time I click on Excel icon
by redfoxennis / September 17, 2006 2:53 AM PDT

Hi, Bob!
The "Windows Installer" wants to install Microsoft Office XP Professional with FrontPage. It looks for a file called "PROPLUS.MSI".
According to the readme.txt when you put in the Recovery CD's they will format the C section of the hard disk. It will be wiped!!! You don't have a say in the workings of those CD's. They suggest you re-install programs from the information on C drive!!
From a normal Office CD I can pick and choose files - but this is not a "normal" CD. It's an HP invention to make life complicated for people like me!!
I have to get a replacement for Recovery Disc 1 because I don't think that the information can be read due to the glue/sticky stuff left-over that hasn't come off with gentle methods like hot water....
My question is still the same: what is causing "Windows Installer" to come up when I want to open Excel? I used my Excel in June for my accounts! I need access to those files.
Helga

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HP disks
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 17, 2006 8:27 AM PDT

Hi Helga,

I understand Bob's suggestion now.

Those HP CD's will not wipe the hard drive clean when you insert them. You cannot wipe Windows off a hard drive from within Windows itself. Windows won't let you do that.

The way the CD's work is the first one would have to be inserted into the drive, then the computer rebooted so that the BIOS reads the CD disk first instead of loading from the hard disk. That is the way the CD's would reformat and re-install Windows.

But Bob's way, when Windows Installer pops up again and asks for the disks, insert either one of the HP disks and Windows Installer will search it for the required file(s). That way, you are not rebooting the computer but instead exploring the disk. If Windows Explorer cannot find the file itself, it should give you the opportunity to browse the CD to point it to the right file. If it is not on that CD, you can insert the 2nd one.

Alternatively, if you know which file Windows Installer is searching for, you can do this;

Insert the first HP CD into the disk drive. As you close the drive door, press the Shift key, (either one above the CTRL key), and keep the key pressed until the drive light goes out. This stops the CD from auto loading if it is set to do so. Then you can explore the CD for the right file(s). I would look under a folder called Office on the CD. If you can't find the file(s) on the first CD, do the same with the second. Then either copy the files to a temporary place on your hard disk, (eg the Desktop is a good temporary place), or remember where they are to browse within Windows Explorer when it asks. I suspect there will be many files WIndows Installer needs, so pointing to them on the disk may be easier.

I hope this helps.

Mark

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This is NOT TRUE.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2006 8:40 AM PDT

If I boot the machine with the restore CDs then I might wipe it out. But all I want to do is to let the installer read off a file.

-> If you can't do this, please take it to someone that will.

Or install open office.

It's a shame someone has scared you from what may be an easy fix.

"What is causing "Windows Installer" to come up when I want to open Excel? I used my Excel in June for my accounts! I need access to those files."

When Excel starts it does a check and if something is missing it asks the installer to fix it. I let it fix it by letting the installer look at my CDs that the machine came with.

And one more time. Open Office would allow you to open your Excel files.

Bob

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Did you order and pay for Office
by glb613 / September 17, 2006 9:40 PM PDT

when you bought your notebook? My HP notebook came with a trial version of Office that expired after 60 days. If you didn't pay for it, you might have the same setup. The reason it won't work is because your trial period has expired.

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Windows Installer pops up when I try to open Excel
by redfoxennis / September 18, 2006 12:06 AM PDT

Hi, Everybody!
Here is the latest development report:
I tried out the 2 Recovery Disks! I explored the files! HP/Microsoft are very clever! They call things by different names - there way of making sure, you can't put in on another computer!
I'm happy to say, just putting the disks in did not automatically start the re-formatting.
But there is no way for the un-initiated to find a particular program!
I had a call from a friendly person who read my request for help (made to HP). Contacting HP was a waste of time!
Looks as if there is no other option: I have to use the Recovery Disks and re-install the whole lot after formatting the hard drive. Scary!
I have copied files to DVD and CD but I'm afraid I'm forgetting something...that's easy to do: forget passwords/settings....
My Office was working and it doesn't say anything about trial version.
The only problem is with Excel and the Windows Installer. Could that not be caused by a virus or something nasty?..rather than a fault with the program itself?
Helga

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Cause.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2006 12:12 AM PDT

We've seen that from both virus/nasty and for no reason at all. Which is why we have to carry an Office CD when we travel.

Only the MS Office users have to do this. Open Office seems to be immune.

-> Why isn't Open Office the cure here?

Bob

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Windows Installer pops up when I try to open Excel
by kjnorm2000 / December 1, 2015 4:42 PM PST
In reply to: Cause.

I have this same installer popping up with several programs I try to open (ie. MP3Gain, ANY MS Office product and probably others...). What I have found is by cancelling the installer several times it will eventually open the program you ask for! Very strange glitch I agree. I have just started to research this problem myself as this is the only PC (Toshiba Satellite) that had several programs on it when I completed the upgrade. I did create a back-up of my Windows 7 (complete drive) reverted back and re-upgraded, but the problem still exists. May end up back with Win 7 but going to try and figure this out first.

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OK, here's my 2 cents, FWIW.
by wpgwpg / December 1, 2015 6:57 PM PST

My version of MS Office (2007) has Diagnostics that can be run from the Start menu. Start -> Microsoft Office -> MS Office Tools -> Diagnostics. You might get the same problem if you try to run it, but if you haven't tried it, I'd say it's worth a shot at least.
`
Good luck.

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Not an HP problem, I too have this problem with MS FrontPage
by kjnorm2000 / December 1, 2015 5:17 PM PST

I have this same installer (actually my installer "Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003") is popping up with several programs I try to open (ie. MP3Gain, and others I have forgotten specifically...).

Another note is that if I go to Office and open FrontPage it opens just fine and is fully installed.

What I have found is by cancelling the installer several times it will eventually open the program you ask for! Very strange glitch I agree.

I have just started to research this problem myself as this is the only PC (Toshiba Satellite) that had several programs on it when I completed the upgrade. I did create a back-up of my Windows 7 (complete drive) reverted back and re-upgraded, but the problem still exists. May end up back with Win 7 but going to try and figure this out first.

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