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XP - Open File Dialog Not Working

Posted on 2013-11-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
An XP computer with Service Pack 3 has suddenly stopped applications using a File Open Dialog box.

When an application such as Excel 2010 goes File/Open, there is a pause for a few seconds, then the application exits.

This behaviour applies to -

Excel 97, Word 97, Powerpoint 97 and Access 97
Excel 2010, Word 2010
Adobe Reader XI

I have set up a new Administrator Account and logged in under that profile. This is on the suggestion in another post here that the first User Profile might be corrupt. Excel exits after a pause when File/Open is selected on the new profile too.

Opening the file(s) by double clicking from Windows Explorer works fine. A simple Save works. 'Save As' generates an error after a little pause.

Any suggestions gratefully received.
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Question by:rossconz
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Expert Comment

by:aikimark
ID: 39642515
I think that the more recent installations of the Office products have caused the problem for the Office 97 products.  I think you'll need to reinstall the Office97 products if you absolutely must have them.  Better yet, you might use a VM solution to have the older products installed on their own virtual platform.
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Expert Comment

by:Echo_S
ID: 39647749
What is the error that occurs after a "Save As"?

I also agree with aikimark -- Try running a repair installation on the Office 97 products.

I rather wonder if an Office add-in is causing the issue. It's a bit odd for something to affect File | Open on all these applications, though -- especially if it's at least opening things when you double-click a file. What about your antivirus program? Which one are you using?
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Author Comment

by:rossconz
ID: 39649981
The computer was sent into a support shop where various procedures were run. These included uninstalling both versions of Office, multiple registry cleaners, windows repair/reinstall, reinstalled Office 2010 - no service packs yet.

Computer now reinstalled back at clients office.

When Excel 2010 was started for the first time, File/Open worked, File/SaveAs worked.

Exited Excel 2010. Started Excel 2010 again. Selecting the File menu causes the program to now hang and then bring up an error. The File/Open File/Save File/SaveAs etc do not even appear. The Error box appears in the middle of the screen but does not state what the error is.

I then checked and found the File Indexing Service is turned off for Drive C: . It was already turned off anyway. Went into Admin/Service & Apps/Indexing Service and Emptied the Catalog anyway.

Back to Excel 2010 -

If you open an existing Excel file by double clicking the file through Windows Explorer, the file opens fine. File/Open & File/SaveAs work on the Excel menu fine. This can be repeated multiple times from opening the files through Windows Explorer. This can also be done for Word 2010 - Open an existing file and then the File menu items work.

If you start Excel 2010 or Word 2010 applications from the Start menu, both programs fail if you select the File Menu. Notepad still crashes if you select File/Open from its menu.

The anti-virus program is AVG. Problem occurs in Safe Mode too.

Thank you for your thinking time.

Best Regards
Ross Allan
Napier, New Zealand
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Accepted Solution

by:
aikimark earned 500 total points
ID: 39650019
Everything should be patched.

If this still continues to fail, try formatting the hard drive and starting the installation from scratch with the operating system.
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Author Comment

by:rossconz
ID: 39650234
This is a rewrite of my last posting.

The computer was sent into a support shop where various procedures were run. These included uninstalling both versions of Office, multiple registry cleaners, windows repair/reinstall, reinstalled Office 2010 - no service packs yet.

Computer now reinstalled back at clients office.

When Excel 2010 was started for the first time, File/Open worked, File/SaveAs worked.

Exited Excel 2010. Started Excel 2010 again. Selecting the File menu causes the program to now hang and then bring up an error. The File/Open File/Save File/SaveAs etc do not even appear. The Error box appears in the middle of the screen but does not state what the error is. This has been fixed by setting the 'Recent Files' count under Advanced Options to '0' . With the no Recent Files the 'File' menu will now display.


I then checked and found the File Indexing Service is turned off for Drive C: . It was already turned off anyway. Went into Admin/Service & Apps/Indexing Service and Emptied the Catalog anyway.

Back to Excel 2010 -

If you open an existing Excel file by double clicking the file through Windows Explorer, the file opens fine. File/Open & File/SaveAs work on the Excel menu fine. This can be repeated multiple times from opening the files through Windows Explorer. This can also be done for Word 2010 - Open an existing file and then the File menu items work.

If you start Excel 2010 or Word 2010 applications from the Start menu, and with 'Recent Files' on '0', both programs will display the file menu. Selecting the 'File/Open' option caused the fatal error.

'File/Open' still causes fatal errors with Notepad and Acrobat Reader and other applications. Problem also happens in Safe Mode.

The anti-virus program is AVG.

Thank you for your thinking time.

Best Regards
Ross Allan
Napier, New Zealand
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:aikimark
ID: 39650243
I do not know why you reposted your earlier comment.  How does it relate to my most recent comment?
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