Non Admin Users... "Cannot start microsoft outlook. the program is not registered properly"

Posted on 2011-05-05
Last Modified: 2013-02-13
When regular users try to open Outlook 2003 on Server 2003, they receive the following error... "Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. the program is not registered properly. Please run setup again". When same user is added to admin or power user group, Outlook starts normally. When removed from the elevated group, the error returns. When Outlook.exe is copied to the user desktop, it opens normally. In fairness I will mention that this is a Terminal Server, but I have seen many posts with this exact error in non TS 2003 so I don't think it is relevant to the problem. However, Office was installed using TS Application mode installation instructions. I've been working on this for several days with no fix yet. Posting here is my last hope before resorting to a work around.

I have removed and reinstalled Office, tried all of the usual start up switches, registry and folder permissions. You will notice many examples of this problem on EE and the web but none with valid answers.
Question by:kfigard
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    remove office completey from the system
    go the the server, put the CD in and install the office while sitting on the server and not through a remote connection to the admin console...
    make the 1 st user admin and run his outlook/setup, logoff the session, switch him back to user and log back in does the problem come back?

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your quick response. I will have to try this after hours and get back to you.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    It's usually a good idea to install programs on a terminal server using the Add/Remove Programs link (and then the Add New Programs button) in Control Panel. This makes sure it's installed for use by all users.

    Author Comment

    I'm sorry to say that the problem persists after performing your suggested tasks. I performed them exactly as you listed.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your response. We have taken over maintenance on this server, so I am not sure of the original install. But I have completely removed and re-installed Office 2003 Pro twice over the past week. Both times I used "Add New Programs" as you suggested.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    "tried all of the usual start up switches, registry and folder permissions"

    Could you clarify which of the above you have done so as to not repeat possible solutions, because i now suspect that either your domain permissions was set incorrectly or that the GPO has been modified to much to the extent that you cant breath...

    For one option even though youve said you done registry, do all the users have have admin rights to:

    in terms of "OFFICE"

    Author Comment

    I have been working on this for several days. And trying every solution mentioned on any post matching my symptoms. I have also been careful to undo any change that didn't fix the problem. I wish that I had documented my steps but unfortunately did not. That being said, I will list below what I can remember.
    I have tried...
    outlook.exe/noextensions, outlook.exe/cleanprofile, outlook.exe/noextensions
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office with Full Control for Domain Users
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office with Full Control for Domain Users
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11 with Full Control for Domain Users
    I also tried Full Control for specific test user for each of the above.

    I have also tried just about everything relevant listed at the search below up to page 5 and beyond.

    As for GP, We installed the DC about a year ago (SBS 2008) and have done no customizations.

    Please remember that Outlook.exe works fine when copied to common location and that Power Users can open just fine. If this helps at all.

    Also just FYI. The original administrator set all users up with admin rights for some unknown reason (perhaps so they could open Outlook). The reason for the change is to keep users from seeing twenty or more session printers when logged in. They should only see 2 main copier/printers and their own session (Local) printer. This has become a big issue as the company has grown.

    I would be open to a solution of removing the "Manage Printers" right from "Power Users" an making the users part of this group. Assuming that would eliminate the printer list problem. I was unable to find an easy way to do this though.

    Accepted Solution

    In absence of fix for this problem, I have been forced to use a work around. I completely uninstalled and reinstalled Office. I installed Office 2003 SP3. I copied Outlook.exe to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users. I then placed an Icon to the new Outlook.exe in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop. I also replaced the Outlook start menu icon with the new one. After 3 days, All appears to be working OK. I will post any problems that arise going forward.

    I would still love to see an actual fix for this if anyone has any ideas.

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