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Old 11-28-2011, 01:37 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlantic Canada
Posts: 13,366
Default Broken Office installs are fun!

As many of you are aware, Microsoft products and I are not on the best of terms. It's not me, I swear. It's Microsoft. I use Windows the "right way" - that is, I don't do any fancy tweaking or install programs that risk causing issues. I keep both the OS and other Microsoft applications up-to-date, including the topic of this discussion: Office.

I've had issues with this product before, and it's not just me. With the 2007 version a couple of years ago, my brother's install somehow corrupted itself and the program became unusable - and uninstallable. As I found out last week, much of the same can happen with Office 2010.

For some reason, Office-related icons decided to stop working for related files. That means that instead of seeing a nice green icon for an Excel file, I saw a default Windows icon, like this:

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Some people might be able to put up with something like this, but I can't. It drives me nuts. When I look at files such as those there, they look like they're corrupt, or are system files. All the while, if double-click one, they load up the respective program just fine. Reading around the Web, I tried many tips and tricks to try to get Windows to fix its icon cache, but nothing worked. This was a problem with Office, not Windows.

That lead to an obvious next step: reinstalling Office. But, easier said than done:

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I'm sure it's just an installation problem. I'll uninstall it. Or not:

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After this attempting to get around this error a few times over, I found a tool floating around the Web that forces an uninstall of the entire suite, and it worked to a reasonable extent. There were a lot of left-over files and folders in various locations though - some that could not even be deleted in Windows (even in Safe Mode). After booting into Linux and purging all the folders I could find, I booted back into Windows, ran CCleaner's registry cleaner, proceeded to purge the 1,000 invalid entries it now found, and then rebooted.

Time to reinstall. *sigh*... or not:

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This is where things got super-tedious, because I tried to install the suite multiple times, and each time I had to put in my serial code, wait for it to authenticate, and then proceed to customize my install as I like it (no one needs everything Office comes with), but no cigar. No matter what I did, I could not get Office installed.

Finally, I stumbled on a Microsoft Fix it solution (#50450) and ran it. I didn't expect much given my previous experience with Fix it, but lo and behold, it found the problem and took care of it. After that, I was able to install Office as normal, sans error.

And this, all because I wanted to fix the icons!
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