PowerPoint Viewer not showing slideshow

Posted on 2008-11-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-05

I have a client that cannot open .ppt files using the PowerPoint viewer. They are using WinXP SP3 with Microsoft Office Basic 2003 (Word, Excel, Outlook).

When they attempt to open the .ppt file, they get the Powerpoint Viewer splash screen (as expected) and the Powerpoint Viewer entry appears in the Start bar (as expected), but that's it. The program never shows the slideshow. Interestingly, the program also does not allow the user to close it gracefully. If you right click on the entry in the Start bar, you do not get the normal submenu with Maximize, Minimize and Close. The only way I can find to close the program is to go to Task Manager and end the pptviewer.exe process. Also, if you start the Powerpoint Viewer from the Start | Programs group, it asks you which file you would like to open (as expected), gives you the splash screen (as expected) and then hangs in exactly the same way.

I have tried both Powerpoint Viewer 2003 and 2007. I have also run the repair option from the user's MS Office installation CD. I have verified the slide show on a PC with a full version of Powerpoint, and I have created the most basic test slideshow and tried running it on their PC with no success. I have found an entry on Microsofts support site saying this will happen if Powerpoint Viewer 2003 tries playing a slideshow made with Powerpoint 95. This is not the case here.

I expect that this is a problem with a corrupt .dll file or something similar that is not being corrected with the reinstalls of the viewer or the repair option off the installation CD.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Question by:ctsmequon
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    maybe office is waiting for background virus scanning service.Try uninstalling anti virus software or disabling it. As far as I remember from some articles that i have read, maybe there is a problem with AVG or NOD32.
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    Where are you getting the Viewers from? I'd try downloading them from Office Online (save them to the computer, then double-click to install). These will be more up-to-date than those Viewers that shipped on the CDs.

    I think temporarily disabling the AV software is a good idea, too.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the comments.

    I had been downloading the viewers from the Microsoft site.

    Also, I tried turning off the antivirus software ("Norton Security Online provided by Yahoo! Online Protection") and this did not appear to have any effect.

    Please let me know if you have any other suggestions.
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    Thanks for your help. This turned out to be an instance of "Stupid User (and Technician) Error".

    Their laptop had monitor number 2 turned on without having a monitor hooked up to it. Therefore, the powerpoint viewer was showing the slideshow on the second screen. Turning off the second screen corrected the problem.

    Thanks for the help.

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