Windows 7 pc opening up multiple processes

laurencoull used Ask the Experts™
Just set up my new pc running Windows7 64-bit. After installing my Office 2003 CD, Excel started behaving oddly and throwing up error messages very frequently. Even more bizarrely, it’s opening up multiple instances of Excel all by itself. When I check in Task Manager, I see not only multiple instances of Excel, but other apps too. The screenshot illustrates it all nicely.
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Senior Software Engineer
What error messages are you getting? That may shed some light on the nature of your problem.
Are you also getting errors from other processes?

To verify that this is not the Task Manager’s problem run this script. It should list all processes running.
Use attached script as follows:
In the command (DOS) window change to the directory you saved script and type:
cscript ProcessList.vbs >Processes.txt
This will output processes to the text file.

Also try procexp.exe. you can download this file from here or the whole suite here.
Run procexp.exe to compare list of running processes with Task Manager list.
Martin LissOlder than dirt
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Distinguished Expert 2018

Go to Start|All Programs|Accessories|System Tools|System Restore and restore your system from a checkpoint created before you installed Office 2003. You won't lose data when you do that.
Janusz CzopowikSenior Software Engineer

I would suggest finding out if this is really problem caused by the Office or something else went wrong, before restoring system.
Success in ‘20 With a Profitable Pricing Strategy

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden using our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Start calculating Now!


I uninstalled Office 2003 and left it off for a bit and all was well. Then re-installed it and the problems returned. Are there any known compatibility issues with Office 2003 & Windows 7 64-bit?
Author of the Year 2011
Top Expert 2006
"Are there any known compatibility issues with Office 2003 & Windows 7 64-bit?"

If there are, I haven't seen any. That is what I am running and nothing similar has happened to me.

To give us an idea of what is actually running on your system, please run "OTL" and post the resultant logs:
Top Expert 2013
laurencoull--You are also running multiple instances of DWWIN.exe and DW20.exe.
This is Dr. Watson--an application error detector.  
Run drwatson32.exe and see what errors if any are detected.  Report here.

Also look into Event Viewer and see what errors are reported there.
Hamed NasrRetired IT Professional

I used to have what appears to be a similar problem with Outlook 2007 on Windows 7 32 Bit. This used to happen when closing Outlook then reopening. It creates an Outlook process but does not show the user interface (UI). Run Outlook again and it creates a new process with no UI showing. I used to terminate all running instances and reopen Outlook.

Problem was resolved after Upgrading to Outlook 2010.

younghv http:#a38050953 says he has no problem with similar settings, but not sure if usage is the same.
Maybe a virus/
Have you scanned?
try Eset scan first

Could be related to where you have installed your stuff.
If you look in C drive you have two programfiles, one is called Programfiles<<this is default fro Windows 7 x 64
then there is the other called Programfiles x 86 <<this is for all 32 bit programs so that they will run

Did you have any problems installing windows 7 x 64> like did you add a 1386 folder?
How did you install Windows 7 x 64?
It does look like there is duplicate versions of windows within windows.
these errors are more than likely registry errors, duplicates of regestry edits or nasties running
Dr. Watson is embedded in Windows,  so you don't install it and you can't uninstall it.
What you could try as a temporary fix.. disable the service, not recommended though.

Try running Ccleaner and see if it can fix any duplicates corrupted registry
Author of the Year 2011
Top Expert 2006

If there is any possibility of malware, then you DO NOT want to run CCleaner!

Many variants of malware will move critical system and data files and folders into the Temp directories and CCleaner will permanently delete all of them.
Thankyou younghv I had forgotten that, putting it back onto new remember shelf.

Once the AV scans are done all is clean then check.
If needed
Five tips for using Ccleaner to degunk your system
Author of the Year 2011
Top Expert 2006

I think anyone will be better served to read about these so-called "Registry Cleaners" in this EE Article by MS MVP rpggamergirl.


The bottom line is: Don't use them.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial