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Office 2010 file formats

Posted on 2014-03-19
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Last Modified: 2014-04-28
A 3rd party .NET application is attempting to open an Excel/Word file format from Office 2010, for this example let's stick with MS Word, but the document gives an error message that the vendor says comes from Microsoft.  An Internet search on the error number (-2147221504) has produced may different suggestions and I feel like I have attempted many of them with no luck.

One catch, there are some PC's that this procedure works in our environment but most produce the result above.  We have made a comparison of applications but there does not seem to be an obvious difference.

On ALL PC's (good and bad) we have verified that the same Office 2010 files are installed with the same svc packs and updates.  We have a mix of WinXP and Win 7 PC's with some of each working/failing.

What have we tried:
We have disabled ALL add-ins (Excel/Word)
We have verified the .NET versions are the same
We have verfied the Microsoft.Office.Interop.xxx files are of the same versions (I am waiting to hear from the Vendor to find out which Interop file they are using).  They have not told me yet.
We have attempted the basics in the registry but we are not totally convinced there is not an old registry setting from the Office 2003 installation that may be causing issues.  Maybe something that is telling 2010 to open an older file format when it is not.

What system files does Word/Excel use to open a document?

The 3rd party vendor is blaming the environment but they are not being helpful with the process they are using to open office documents so I am working blind.  As a developer at my company I am charged with troubleshooting this issue so much of my thought process involves things from the software development process.  I know how I would develop this but as you know that does not mean they would do the same.

I know this is a shot in the dark and you all have less information at your disposal but......Any ideas?

Thank you,

David
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Question by:dbote
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Expert Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39940944
One of the first things I do is create a brand new user profile and try with that.  Either way I'd be keen to know how this resolves.
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by:dbote
ID: 39942861
Dr,

Thanks for the suggestion.  I had tried that but it did not work.

It seems like Word is opening in the background but there is an error message that goes unattended because users cannot see it and then times out.  The reason I say this is that you see the WINWORD process started but you cannot switch to it to address any issues.  Also, when you close the parent application Word flashes in the background.

Somehow it seems like OLE Automation starts Word will not open the file.  However, the files open manually with a regular session of Word/Excel.

Thanks for your assistance,

D
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Expert Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39943961
Does it make a difference if Word is already running when the 3rd party app tries to open it?

I am working with a Word app that, on opening, opens XL in the background to get some settings form a spreadsheet.  Occasionally when the universe is working against me Word crashes without any error information displayed on screen.

The last time I found that Excel was open and simply closing it fixed the issue (the code should have been able to deal with that, but that's another story).  

I note you are a developer at your company, if your company is anything like the one I was working for then you might not have used Visual Studio (pls forgive me for suggesting this if you have), you can download a free trial.  I found I could get get a whole lot of error information about what happened as word was trying to open.  I'm VERY new to VS so not really able offer more than that, just an avenue to explore.
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Author Comment

by:dbote
ID: 39945326
No.  The same result happens.

I am very familiar with VS.  What were you thinking I should try?

I am able to extract a bit of information from the 3rd party software and the error code states "There is no registered application for .docx files".  Although the association is definitely set correctly as a double click in the OS environment will open the file in  the proper application.  

Thank you,

D
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Expert Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39946609
What were you thinking I should try?

Sorry I'm not sure what to try there.  I stumbled across something about 2 weeks ago.  My code worked in Word 2007 (XP), 2010 (Win 7, Win 8) but not 2013 (Win 8).  Then one day after a MS update it stops working in Wrd 2010 - I could not open any file going back nearly a month of backups...

I'd been using VS for about 3 days (yep, pretty green) and found something that allowed me to view errors for word trying to open... for the life of me I can't seem to find it back.

I am using the super premium trial of a $20K package... Ultimate 2013, are you on the same?
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by:DrTribos
ID: 39947283
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by:dbote
ID: 39965977
Since the error only happens within the 3rd party vendors application and I have provided thorough information to them the 3rd party vendor has agreed to get their software development people involved.  I'm not expecting a quick resolution to this issue but they could surprise me.

Once I get an answer from them I will definitely post the resolution.
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by:DrTribos
ID: 39970884
Cheers, looking forward to the update :-)
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Accepted Solution

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dbote earned 0 total points
ID: 40018350
I am still working with the vendor for a definitive solution.  Not sure I will even be able to post it here but I do not want to classify this as abandoned as I think Experts Exchange is a valuable resource for future issues.

DB
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Author Closing Comment

by:dbote
ID: 40026803
I'm not going to get the answer here so I want to close out this question.

DB
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