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Recieve "Can't open this item. The text formatting command is not available.Please install Outlook again."

Posted on 2006-03-24
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Last Modified: 2011-04-05
This is a 2 parter.

1) Yesterday my computer would not allow me to open any links from web pages in IE. I did some research and ran the IRFix.exe tool referenced in http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21633974.html?query=Nothing+happens+when+I+click+on+a+link+in+IE&clearTAFilter=true

After completeing the steps in this link, the hyperlinks opened.

2) Now to today, I came in and booted up my PC and when I logged in and opened Outlook 2003, I get the message "Can't open this item. The text formatting command is not available.Please install Outlook again." when trying to open any HTML emails. I then tried to open Internet Explorer and when it tries to go to the home page or any other page for that matter it wants me to save the html file somewhere. An example of this is if I go to www.google.com it will ask me to save www.google.com.html somewhere. A note to all this is that I have Firefox on my PC as well, so that is why it asks me to save. If I disable Firefox it does not do anything. It simply opens a blank page (all white screen).

3) I have tried to uninstall and reinstall using every possible method listed on this site and others. I have done everything in the above referenced doc. I have rerun IEFix.exe, I have run sfc /scannow, I have edited the registry to try to re-install IE6 (which I never did get to work).

I can almost guarntee that the Outlook and the IE problem are related and if one gets fixed the other will as well. I am just out of ideas. Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:emsed
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16281545
Greetings, emsed !

When you said you have install everything, did you reinstall Outlook?

Some recent IE updates have cause some problems.  Here are the fixes

IE December Security Update - Odd Behavior
http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/12/16/504864.aspx

Must enable ActiveX Control
http://www.internetnews.com/xSP/article.php/3588546

IE October Update Affect ActiveX. Here is fix.
http://patch-info.de/IE/Downloads/OLEfix.zip 

ActiveX Control not load as expected in Internet Explorer
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/909889/


Best wishes!
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Author Comment

by:emsed
ID: 16281830
Tried all your suggestions above and no luck. I really don't think it is an Active X issue. IE or Outlook will not open any HTM or HTML documents. Also, another note Firefox works fine.
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16281958
emsed,

Not sure what troubleshooting steps have your tried.  Have you reinstall IE?  Reinstall Outlook?

1. Reset the Outlook toolbar template. With Outlook close, do a search for and rename outcmd.dat file. Restart Outlook and a fresh outcmd.dat file will be recreated.

2. Register an important Outlook file. Go to Start > Run and type regsvr32 OLE32.DLL

3. Disable Outlook Addins.  With Outlook close, do a search for and rename extend.dat file.

4. Start Outlook in Safe Mode.  Go to Start > Run and type

"c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Outlook.exe" /safe

Your path to Outlook.exe may be a little different.

5. Create a new Outlook profile.
http://www.outlook-tips.net/howto/profile.htm

6. Repair Outlook. With Outlook open, go to Help > Detect and Repair.

7. If no joy, reinstall Outlook.  Go to Add/Remove Programs and highlight Microsoft Office. Click on Install/Uninstall.  A menu will pop allowing you to choose repair or reinstall.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=291614
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Author Comment

by:emsed
ID: 16282064
I have tried a reinstall of Outlook and no luck. I am certain that the issue lies with Internet Explorer, because the only problem in Outlook I have is that it can not read HTML emails. When I open IE the page is white. There is not activity. I do not get a page cannot be displaed error, I simply get nothing. I can open Internet Tools from the desktop by right clicking the IE icon but with IE open nothing comes up and none of the toolbars works.

I have also tried to reinstall IE 6 SP1 but when I try I receive the "There is a newer version of IE on this computer. Setup cannot continue." message. I have tried to troubleshoot this problem using this article http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=318378 . This did not work for me at all.

I think that if I can somehow get a full re-install of IE on my PC all will be well, but I can't.
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16282190
emsed,

1. If the problem is with IE, disable third party extensions. With IE open, go to Tools > Options > Advanced. Uncheck "Third party extensions". Click Ok. Reboot computer.

2. Reset IE settings.  Go to Tools > Internet Options > Programs.  Click on "Reset Web Settings" button. Go to Advanced tab and click "Restore Defaults" button. Go to Security tab and move the bar to Medium or Default. Click OK. Close all browsers. Reboot the computer.

3. Check if a program running in the background is interfering with Internet Explorer. Temporarily disable all Norton programs, including anti-virus, anti-spyware, ad-blocker, win doctor, and recycle bin protect. Disable any firewall or ad-blocker.

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Author Comment

by:emsed
ID: 16282771
Ok, tried all of the above suggestions previously but just tried again and now I cannot even open Outlook. It now states that I need Internet Explorer 4.0 or greater to use the application. However, IE 6 is still installed. Also, I can run the setup of Internet Explorer 6 SP1 but when it goes to install the files it states that another application is running in the background and setup cannot continue. There is nothign running in the background and I have also tried to install IE6 in Safe Mode wit the same results. So now my computer is even more screwed up than before.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:daveforster
ID: 16287890
Have you tried re-installing Internet Explorer this way:

Go to Start > Run

Type the following:

rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 %windir%\Inf\ie.inf

You will need you XP disks when you do this.  It will prompt you when you need them.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,

Dave
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Author Comment

by:emsed
ID: 16300240
I did do it that way as well.

Thanks for all the help but I finally fixed the issue by getting my hands on a copy of IE 7 Beta 2. I know its not the proper fix to the problem but installing that fixed everything.

I would like my points refunded for this ticket please.
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16301909
emsed, install IE 7 Beta 2 is like reinstalling IE.  Glad the problem is fixed.  

You may want to post a 0-point note in Community Support board with a link to this page to close this question and get your points back. Community Support board link is at the top right of the page.
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16312414
Ok to refund!
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:daveforster
ID: 16317825
Good with me!
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Accepted Solution

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GranMod earned 0 total points
ID: 16345888
Closed, 500 points refunded.
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Expert Comment

by:chubilly
ID: 23416694
this is caused by IE7.  re-install IE7, reboot and no more problem with outlook anymore.  Beats me how this is related to outlook.
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Expert Comment

by:debswanahq
ID: 35323165
Close outlook and rename the following file "outcmd.dat" from this location: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook. outlook will recreate another file and the problem will be fixed.
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