PowerPoint 2003 goes into loop

Posted on 2011-04-20
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We've been using Office 2003 for years, but suddenly this week, almost all of our many PowerPoint .ppt files cannot be edited because after making a minor change in some text on a slide, the CPU goes into a hard loop and PowerPoint shows the hourglass.

The loop doesn't happen immediately, but a couple of seconds after the first change.

Microsoft Update shows no updates required.

Some of the files get an error when opening that says the file is coruptted or need a later release, and slides included from another .ppt do not show.  The loop is on a .ppt that we deleted those slides, and are updating slides that should be okay.  The slide in particular was updated just last week.

This is happening on what appears to be all of our 17 PCs, and for different users.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

BTW:  The files come from a shared folder on a Server 2008 server, but it shows no errors in the logs.
Question by:wilri01
    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution

    I'd suggest you actually uninstall last week's security patches -- KB2464588 seems to be particularly problematic. See for further info.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks.  I found that after I posted my question.  We tried the double save in 2003 (1st workaround) but it still hangs.  We're going to take it home where we have 2007.  If we can edit it on 2007, then we can save back as 2003 compatible and be okay.

    Thanks for your help.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    by:Stacy Brown
    I am adding this information just to clarify the error message and make searching for this solution easier.

    The problem that we started experiencing is in opening PowerPoint files that have Master layouts or Slide Masters that contain images or other objects.  If you have this KB2464588 patch, you receive this error upon opening the file:

     Error message
    Error message text is:  "PowerPoint was unable to display some of the text, images in the file [filename], because they have become corrupted.  Affected slides have been replaced by Blank slides in the presentation and, it is not possible to recover the lost information.  To ensure that the file can be opened in previous versions of PowerPoint, use the Save As command (File menu) and save the file with either the same or a new name."

     If you click OK, sometimes the file opens without a problem and other times the background images are removed completely and the presentation formatting completely changed.  If the file does open ok, you can save the file locally under a new name and that will solve the problem for that file.  Unfortunately, that is not a good Enterprise solution.  Saving images in the Slide Master is a very common practice.  
    The update is "MS11-022: Description of the security update for PowerPoint 2003: April 12, 2011".   This update is marked as Important and is meant to prevent a possible Remote Execution vulnerability in Office 2007/2010 files. Computers with Office 2003, 2007, and 2010 will receive the patch.  The 2007 Compatibility pack will cause the patch to install as well.  Here is the official description:
    The KB Article listing the possible problems with the update are here:
    Microsoft is aware of the problem and they are working on a solution.
    To fix this problem you must Uninstall KB2464588

    Close PowerPoint
    Click Start > Run
    Type appwiz.cpl and hit ENTER (opens Control Panel)
    Check Show Updates at the top, if necessary
    Find your Microsoft Office Version in the list
    Locate Security Update for PowerPoint 2003 (KB2464588): POWERPNT
    Click the REMOVE button
    Removing this update will take approximately 5 minutes.  
    Close Control Panel

    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    Thanks for posting this. I'm sure it will help someone else in future.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    by:Stacy Brown
    No problem Echo_S.  I know that I searched for the problem earlier today and didn't find it here.  In fact, it wasn't until page 4 of my Google search that I found any reference to the Hotfix problem.  I hope it saves someone else time.

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