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Odd behavior from Microsoft Word

by discomatt / April 4, 2008 1:57 AM PDT

I'm attempting to troubleshoot an issue a co-worker is having with an install of Office 2003 Basic Edition (Word, Outlook, Excel) on a Windows XP PRO machine

The initial issue is a strange one:

Opening the executable is fine. Word opens as expected, with a blank document active.

The issue shows up when you attempt to open up a .doc file with a double-click. The system appears to do nothing, and word will not open (or show itself) until you open another program/explorer window/ect. At that point the document appears opened as usual.

My first instinct was a reinstall, so I attempted it. Uninstalled from Add/Remove Programs, deleted the folder in Program Files, and deleted registry entries in both CURRENT_USER and LOCAL_MACHINE. Installed from retail CD.

On an attempt to open, it now displayed the beloved 'Word not installed for current user.' So, I made a local temp admin account, ran all office apps, exported the reg entries from CURRENT_USER, applied them to the original user, and shared permissions in the LOCAL_MACHINE (and child) entries.

Everything worked great for about 5 minutes... at which point it began to do it again. I attempted to patch with Office 2003 SP3, at which point the 'Not installed for current user' came back up. I followed the same process with the same results.

What confuses me is Excel and Outlook both open file when opening a supported file type to start the app. Also, word runs fine if you execute WINWORD directly. When it's open, .doc files open instantly as well. When attempting to open a doc file when word isn't open, though... the system appears to do nothing, until you open a new program/explorer window, at which point it magically appears.

Has anyone had something similar happen or know a solution? I want to avoid migrating over a to a new 'unbroken' user, as it is very tedious, and the co-worker gets very irate if ANYTHING has changed on her desktop (down to the position of icons).

Any help is GREATLY appreciated Grin

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Smells like Norton.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 4, 2008 2:10 AM PDT

Start Word in Word's SAFE MODE. Try again.

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I wouldn't touch Norton with a 60 foot...
by discomatt / April 4, 2008 4:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Smells like Norton.

No, we are running Symantec AntiVirus only. I wouldn't let Norton touch any systems I'm responsible for. Causes WAY more problems than it solves Wink

It's not the anti virus that's causing any of it. Somehow, in some mad, insane, crazy, mixed up, only-in-windows way, the user became corrupted, and seemed to be half way between an admin and a limited user, and lost ties to the local system. I simply deleted the user and created a new one, copying settings as best I could (File and Settings Transfer Wizard is a piece of junk :P)

Everything is working fine and dandy on the new user.

One final question, on an unrelated topic. Is there any way to change the login user name on a local XP account? She logs in using the NT-style screen rather than the 'Welcome' screen. At the moment, she has to login with 'username_new' even though I've renamed it to 'username' in the Users area in Control Panel.

Is there any way to change the _actual_ user name in XP?

Regards, and thanks for the read.

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Renaming user accounts is
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 4, 2008 5:18 AM PDT

Never a good idea. Create a new account with the name you want.

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Yeah.. but..
by discomatt / April 4, 2008 5:38 AM PDT

The problem was that I wanted to use the original name, but create a new user. The bigger problem was keeping the original user in tact while creating the new one.

In hindsight, it would have been smarter to rename the old user, and then create the new user with the original name... but the end result was the same.

Renaming the user via password2 seems to keep all of the pathing the same, while allowing you to change the NT-Style login name. Worked perfectly Happy

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by discomatt / April 4, 2008 5:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Smells like Norton.

Solved. Using Start->Run: control userpasswords2

Great little secret XP power users should know about Happy

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