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Cannot open Word (or Excel) files through Windows Explorer in Windows XP

Posted on 2003-12-02
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I am accustomed to opening Word and Excel files through Windows Explorer by double-clicking the file. Now that I have moved from Windows 98 to WindowsXP Pro, and from Office 97 to Office XP (Word and Excel 2002), I am no longer able to do this. When I double-click the file, the application opens, but the file is unavailable. Help!
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Question by:epaynedsm
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:byundt
ID: 9861065
Hi epaynedsm,
See some of the troubleshooting tips for Excel in http://www.cpearson.com/excel/StartupErrors.htm and http://j-walk.com/ss/excel/usertips/tip076.htm 

I am thinking that the regserver method is most likely to solve your problem. This approach works in both Word and Excel (though you have to do it twice--once with Excel10.exe and the other time with WinWord10.exe)

Cheers!

Brad
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Author Comment

by:epaynedsm
ID: 9861182
Doing this changed nothing. Excel still opens fine, but the file does not.
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Accepted Solution

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byundt earned 500 total points
ID: 9861311
epaynedsm,
Here is a Microsoft KnowledgeBase article suggesting that the registration may have been broken between Excel 2002 and your file type http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;323216&Product=xlw 

Incorrect Open Action entry in registry http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;207574&Product=xlw

Problem starts after importing text file into Excel http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;320516&Product=xlw

Ignore other applications (two instances of Excel running) http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;211494&Product=xlw 
Brad
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Dreamboat
ID: 9861808
epayne:

Are you getting a specific error?
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Dreamboat
ID: 9861819
You "moved" to Office XP?
Which installation did you choose?
Typical, Custom, Upgrade?

Did you first uninstall Office 97?
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Author Comment

by:epaynedsm
ID: 9861991
byundt: Well, the solution was the last one you mentioned, which was the "ignore other applications" setting in Excel. When I unchecked it, that was the key! Strange. Thanks so much.

Dreamboat: we purchased new machines and did a clean full install of Office XP.

Thanks everyone....  Ed
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Author Comment

by:epaynedsm
ID: 9862000
However! I still have this problem with Word 2002. Any thoughts on that?!?
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:byundt
ID: 9862177
epaynedsm,
Here are some references for similar problems with Word:
File won't open when double-clicked http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;290974&Product=wd2002
General troubleshooting Word start-up problems http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;289634&Product=wd2002
Word troubleshooting utility http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;319299&Product=wd2002
How to reset registry options http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;289294&Product=wd2002

Thanks for the grade!
Brad
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:byundt
ID: 9862208
epaynedsm,
Here is a macro that opens each document in a directory and saves it to the latest version of Word. This may be a valid workaround if the document opens fine once it has been saved in Word 2002 format:

Sub SaveToWord2002()
Dim fs, f, fl, fc
Dim SearchSubfolders As Long, strFileName As String, strFolder As String
Application.ScreenUpdating = False
Application.DisplayAlerts = wdAlertsNone
strFolder = InputBox("Please enter the desired path & folder")
If Right(strFolder, 1) <> "\" Then strFolder = strFolder & "\"
SearchSubfolders = MsgBox(Prompt:="Update subfolders too?", buttons:=vbYesNo)
If SearchSubfolders = vbYes Then
    EachSubfolder strFolder
Else
    EachFileInFolder strFolder
End If
Application.DisplayAlerts = wdAlertsAll
Application.ScreenUpdating = True
Application.StatusBar = "All done, " & NumFiles & " processed"
End Sub

Sub EachFileInFolder(strFolder As String)
Dim fs, f, fl, fc, sf, strFileName As String, ThisFile As String
Set fs = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set f = fs.GetFolder(strFolder)
Set fc = f.Files
On Error Resume Next
ThisFile = ThisDocument.Name
If Right(strFolder, 1) <> "\" Then strFolder = strFolder & "\"
For Each fl In fc
    strFileName = fl.Name
    If LCase(Right(strFileName, 4)) = ".doc" And strFileName <> ThisFile Then
        Documents.Open FileName:=strFolder & strFileName
        ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileFormat:=wdFormatDocument
        ActiveDocument.Close
        NumFiles = NumFiles + 1
    End If
Next
Set fs = Nothing
End Sub

Sub EachSubfolder(strFolder As String)
Dim fs, f, fl, s, sf, strSubFolderPath As String
Set fs = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set f = fs.GetFolder(strFolder)
Set sf = f.subfolders
For Each fl In sf
    strSubFolderPath = strFolder & fl.Name
        'Run the EachFileInFolder sub for this subfolder
    EachFileInFolder strSubFolderPath
        'If any subfolders in this folder, then do them too
    If fl.subfolders.Count >= 1 Then EachSubfolder strSubFolderPath
Next
End Sub
0
 

Author Comment

by:epaynedsm
ID: 9866963
The error message I receive is the one mentioned on a KB article dealing with encryption and passwords. I do not password protect these documents, and know very little about encryption. I am running Windows XP Pro and Office XP (Word 2002). The KB article number is 286892 and the error I receive is Case 3. Beyond that, I do not know what to do. Thanks.
Ed
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Author Comment

by:epaynedsm
ID: 9866967
By the way, the documents in question are Word 2002 documents, and saved on my local drive.
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Expert Comment

by:pyrohavoc
ID: 10502116
i have the exact same problem except that i'm using office2000 and word is the only app the issue...i read through the microsoft workarounds but i don't want a workaround i want it to work the way it was supposed to....has anyone figured it out yet???
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Author Comment

by:epaynedsm
ID: 10505047
I do finally have a solution! The problem was in my Novell 4.10 client. When I updated to 4.90 sp1a, it solved the problem!

pyrohavoc... could it be a network issue?
0
 

Expert Comment

by:KEELYB
ID: 11861552
I have the same problem with Word 2000. I've spent literally hours on this problem.  Everything worked fine in both Word and Excel and one day, double clicking just opened the App (or sometimes not) without any error messages.

 I am a stand-alone PC - not on any network - so it's not Novell.  Running XP Home.  I had the problem with Excel 2000 on my laptop and fixed it by unchecking "ignore other applications" but I can't find any such checkbox in Word 2000 options.  Any other suggestions?

kurley
0
 

Expert Comment

by:gorhamoien
ID: 13387450
I have a windows XP home version which had Office Xp installed. Just recently upgraded to Office 2003 Professional and now none of the old files created in Office XP will open. When I try to open it, it says file not found when the file is there and valid. It also comes up everytime to replace the normal.dat file. Can someone help. I need to be able to open up all the previous files in word and excel in 2003 Professional.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:byundt
ID: 13388115
gorhamoien,
I suggest that you open a new question--the only ones that see your request for help in this question are people who originally participated in the discussion.

In that question, you should state which of the suggestions you have tried. And also whether you can open the files from the File...Open menu item inside each application. If you are having problems with both Word and Excel, the Office TA would be an appropriate forum to ask the question.
byundt--Office TA Page Editor
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