General discussion


System Info:
XP Pro 2002 (no service packs)
MS Office 2003 (no service packs)
512 MB of RAM

I have only encountered this problem when trying to send/receive email in MS Office Outlook 2003, but I can't assume that it's a problem with Outlook because I tried uninstalling and reinstalling MS Office 2003, and the problem has persisted. (Unless I need an update, I have never installed the service packs because of all the problems people report with them.)

Every time I try to send/receive email, I get a number of prompts back to back of a similar nature:

"(insert "x" here) - Unable to Locate Component
This application has failed to start because }

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Reply to: Outlo
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That's a clue. No service packs.

Without those your OS and applications can be infected within minutes of connecting to the internet. That oddball dll is yet another sign.

Next time, install the OS, the service packs (SP2 at least) before connecting to the internet.

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service pack problems

I've heard people complain about the service packs. Do the pros outweigh the cons? And do I need the service packs for both Windows and Office?

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SP2 includes a firewall

And prevents some common bugs from doing their drive by damage.

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Yes, Office 2003 SP3 and Windows XP SP2/3 Are Different

..and come from different locations.. See the links below but note the size of the downloads.. You'll want a broadband connection to download them in a reasonable amount of time.:

Office 2003 SP3 Download link:



Hope this helps.


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Absolutely they make a difference! Service packs and all other security related updates should be considered MANDATORY.

And while we're at it, even fully patched, Outlook is not a terribly safe email client to be using. It's basically like sending out a big "open for business" advert to spammers everywhere. So unless you absolutely need to use Outlook for some reason, you'd be well advised to replace it with something else. So long as that something else isn't Outlook Express, you're probably good.

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email client

I didn't know there were a lot of options out there for email clients. I need something I can get email from multiple servers (I think I'm using the right lingo). I have a verizon acct among others. Also, I need the versatility of Outlook. It has all the rules, flags, and folders that work well together and are easy to get the exact results I need. And since it is part of Office, I don't have to pay extra for it. Are there other alternatives with the same maneuverability and versatility?

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Email Clients

I was not aware that there were good alternatives.

I chose Outlook because it has everything I need and is easy to maneuver. I need to be able to access multiple servers from one client (I think I'm using the proper lingo): I have a verizon acct among others. I need the rules, folders, and flags. And the find tool is super handy sometimes. Since I already have Office, Outlook is free.

Are there any other email clients that are as versatile and maneuverable without being expensive?

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Virtually all

Virtually all email clients now offer those features, though not all are free. I personally like Mozilla Thunderbird, which has the optional extensions I can install for additional features. Among them the ability to send/receive mail from Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, and a host of others. The adaptive spam filter is great too. Where with Outlook you continually have to download new definition files, Thunderbird's spam filter learns on its own. Over time, it should be able to reach efficacy levels exceeding 90%.

Verizon almost certainly just uses a standard POP3 email system like virtually every other ISP except MSN and AOL. POP3 support is essentially a given in any email program.

Of course Thunderbird isn't the only option out there. Take a look around and see what else there is. Maybe something will work better for your particular needs.

And given that someone erroneously lead you to believe it was a bad idea to install service packs, I'll just include my usual list of tips for keeping a smooth running system.


The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. Follow them all, and you've probably eliminated at least 95% of all potential problem sources.

Things you should NOT do
1: Use Internet Explorer (1)
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet (2)
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs

Things you SHOULD do
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser (3)
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running (4)
3: Always have a firewall running (5)
4: Install all the latest security updates (the exception to the no-IE rule)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address


(1) Sadly sometimes this is unavoidable, so only use IE when the site absolutely will not work with any other browser and you cannot get that information/service anywhere else, and only use IE for that one specific site.
(2) When it doubt over whether or not to allow some program, use Google to find out what it is and whether or not it needs access to the Internet. Otherwise, denying access is the safest course of action, since you can always change the rule later.
(3) On Windows your options include: Mozilla Firefox, Seamonkey, Opera, Flock, and Safari. It doesn't matter which one you pick so much as that you pick one of them and use it over IE.
(4) AVG Free and Avast are available if you need a decent free virus scanner
(5) XP/Vista's firewall is probably good enough for 99% of all Windows users, but other options include ZoneAlarm, Outpost Firewall, and Comodo. If you have a router with a firewall built into it, there is no need for any of the aforementioned firewalls to be running.

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Thank you! That was SUPER helpful!! Some of that list I already knew, some I didn't. And your lists of products to use are very helpful! Thank you!

P.S. As for the service packs, I've read a ton of reviews on various MS service packs, and half are 5 star, while the other half are 1 star with complaints upon complaints. The most common complaints are that they slow down the computer, and some components stop working properly.

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Well, I'd say the majority of the problems people encounter with service packs have to do with the fact that they have some virus and/or malware issue, and the service packs just bring that to light.

Still, even if they do slow the computer down a little, it's better than the alternative of having your computer overrun by viruses and malware. Not to mention having potentially sensitive information, like credit card info, stolen without you even being aware.

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