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IE8 wont open while Excel 2007 is running

Posted on 2010-08-25
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Greetings,
I have come into an issue with Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and Internet Explorer 8. When Excel is running internet explorer 8 wont open. It isn't until Excel is closed that the Internet explorer windows open. The system is about a year old has 1G of memory and an Intel Core 2 duo processor. It seems to happen more with files in the older XLS format than the 2007 XLSX format.  
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Question by:tylar5000
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 33526831
Is this one system, or all systems? Is this a Windows XP machine? And then does it have SP3 running? If so to all of these, 1Gb of memory is the bare minimum for SP3. IE8 works well, but needs memory as an IE instance is opened for each tab.

So the first thing I would try is to double the memory and see if that helps. Otherwise IE8 works perfectly well in harmony with Office 2007 or Office 2010 (all applications). ... Thinkpads_User
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by:tylar5000
ID: 33526893
Thank you for your reply. Okay to answer your questions:
1) On the network there are 6 systems total, all of which have near the same specifications and run the same apps. This phenomenon is only happening on 2 of the 6 systems.
2) The systems have SP3
3) All are running Windows XP Professional.


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by:John Hurst
ID: 33526956
Try adding memory on one of two systems just to see. I know I have clients with this setup (XP, Office 2007, and IE) and there are no problems such as you describe.

Another possibility (as always and most pervasive) is viruses or other malware on the two machines.

Also try opening IE in safe mode (no add-ins) using Start -> Run iexplorer -extoff . See if it starts in safe mode, and if so, it may be an add-in that is causing the issue. Check all the various add-ins. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:tylar5000
ID: 33527046
Thanks, will do. I'll be heading to that location tomorrow. I agree this is an EXTREMELY simple and common setup, yet these two users are having this same weird issue. Both systems are protected by Kaspersky Antivirus and I ran a Malwarebytes scan today, both applications reporting the systems are clean.

The thing that baffles me is while internet explorer hangs and excel is running, other applications open fine and browsing through folders and subfolders seems to move quickly and smoothly as well. If this was caused by a lack of resources wouldn't I notice decreased performance while I open these as well?
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by:tylar5000
ID: 33534809
More Background Information:
Okay here are the exact system specs:
Intel Pentium Dual CPU 1.60 gHz 1.20 gHz
1.00 G memory
Windows XP Pro SP3
45 G Free on C (74.4 G total)

Two errors in the even log coincide with incedents:
(this one appears most often)
Source: Application Hang
Event ID 1002
Hanging application EXCEL.EXE, version 12.0.6535.5002, hang module hungapp, version 0.0.0.0, hang address 0x00000000.

Source: Microsoft Office 12
Event ID 5000
EventType officelifeboathang, P1 excel.exe, P2 12.0.6535.5002, P3 ntdll.dll, P4 5.1.2600.5755, P5 NIL, P6 NIL, P7 NIL, P8 NIL, P9 NIL, P10 NIL.

Ive tried the following:
Turning off Autosave
Disabling all add-ins for excel
Enabling just Lookup Wizard
Uninstalling and Reinstalling both Excel and IE
disabling all unnecessary services on startup with MSCONFIG to rdeuce unnecessary background applications
Ive tried saving the .XLS files as .XLSX files and re-opening them

This problem still happens on almost a daily basis for this user. I can't put my finger on it. I'm open to any suggestions.

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by:John Hurst
ID: 33534952
Those errors seem to be Office errors as well as Excel. Is it feaible to uninstall Office completely, restart, and reinstall?  No guarantee, of course, but I am running out of ideas. ..... Thinkpads_User
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by:tylar5000
ID: 33535479
Okay I've just completed the uninstall/reboot/reinstall. I've FINALLY gotten the user to elaborate more on what's happening. He says it happens most often, not always, but most often when he's cutting and pasting from a website or PDF into Excel. It happens more frequently when he's working in an Excel file that's in compatibility mode, but it also happens occasionally when he's working on a new file. I will be researching the cut and paste issue becuase I just found this out today, and I think this could be the source of the problem.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33535572
Excel (and Office in general) now have privacy and security settings that (by default) prevent some links back to the Internet. Cutting and pasting directly from the web is a link of sorts. It started in earnest with Office 2007 and there is more of it in Office 2010.

There is a Trust Center in Office 2007 applications. You might wish to review these settings and turn a few off just to see. Also ask if the same operation from a local PDF file causes any issue.

Another thing to try (as part of your research) is to copy and then Paste Special and then paste text (unformatted) values. Does that make any difference?  ... Thinkpads_User
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by:tylar5000
ID: 33536112
I'm upping the points on this one, this is by far the strangest issue I've seen in 4 years of doing this..
I was finally able to replicate the issue myself. Here's what happened:

I had an Excel spreadsheet open in compatibility mode and I had Internet explorer open in the background. I closed internet eplorer and when I double clicked on the internet explorer icon to re-open it, nothing happened. I had 3 other applications running at this time: Kaspersky Antivirus was scanning, Outlook was open, and task manager was open. The processor spiked but only to 32%, the VM pagefile stayed about 220 mb. I stopped the kaspersky scan and disabled it, nothing happened. I closed outlook, nothing happened. I clicked the red X on the excel spreadsheet and it said that Excel was not responding at the top of the excel screen. I ended the excel.exe process in task manager and then and only then, internet explorer opened. This time there were no events in the event viewer. The strangest part of this whole thing....it's happening to 2 people on this domain, and the others are peachy. They all work with the same file and have similar system specs.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33536238
I know some of your systems are working and 2 are not. But through all of this, I can see you have the bare minimum of memory for SP3 machines. Is it feasible to add physical memory to one or both of the problem machines to see what happens.

Also did you check Trust Center settings?

There is nothing overtly wrong with what you are trying to do with Excel, but I still qiuestion pasting formatted text from the Internet. It should work, but that seems to be part of the issue.

So then short of deeply seated malware / corruption that is not apparent to you and short of a complete OS rebuild, I would consider memory first at this point.  .... Thinkpads_User
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by:tylar5000
ID: 33536341
I'll give the memory option a go. I wasn't pasting anything at the time it froze for me, but hey, I'm willing to try anything at this point. Thinkpads, thanks for your help. I'll keep the post updated as things transpire.
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by:tylar5000
ID: 33547092
The system locked up with the same symptoms twice today, even with the extra RAM added. 2 GB total= still locking up. I'm stumped.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33547167
2Gb is enough RAM. Thank you for doing that. I am running out of ideas as well. This is on 2 out of 6 systems. You may have to consider reimaging one of them to see if that solves the problem and then go from there. Otherwise, I don't have any other obvious suggestion. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:tylar5000
ID: 33572515
I've left that decision up to the owners of my company. I'm also considering re-doing just their profiles and seeing how that goes as well. I really think it's a software compatibility issue somewhere but I can't put my finger on it.
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by:tylar5000
ID: 33696447
The user is going on vacation next week. I will be giving this a shot then. Thank you for your help. I will let you know how this goes.
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by:tylar5000
ID: 33852324
Okay, A format and reload of the operating system did not fix the issue. We tried having him log into a nother machine on the domain and the issue followed him. Another user logging in on his computer, does not have the problem. I am currently deleting and recreating his user account, copying the permissions of another user on the domain. I will let you know how this goes.
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tylar5000 earned 0 total points
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It seems re-creating the users profile, unjoining the machine from the domain and rejoining it has done the trick. The user has not complained of an issue in several days. Thanks for all your help.
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by:John Hurst
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Thank you. I am glad you got is sorted out. ... Thinkpads_User
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