Word / Excel 2007 lockup in Windows 8.1

Posted on 2014-09-07
Last Modified: 2014-09-26
Hello all,

My father in law just updated from Windows 8 to 8.1 and immediately noticed that both Word and Excel 2007 no longer function. Since he uses Office Word 2007 every day, the problem seems like it is attributed to the OS update.

What happens is that both programs immediately freeze up after loading... meaning, Word or Excel open to a blank document and the mouse cannot activate any of the menus, cannot type into the blank document. Looking at the programs in the task manager (Cntr-Shft-Esc), they appear to be working, no sign of lockup, no hording of CPU cycles but switching back to either program, still they appear frozen.

What I have tried (none of these changes helped individually or combined):

- Changing properties to Run this program as an administrator: NO! For some reason, Admin mode is grayed-out. I don't understand why? I have never seen this before. But may not be related to the problem.
- File Permissions: For some reason the USER permissions were only read/write. So I tested by changing them to full.
- Changed Compatibility mode: Run this program in compatibility mode for … and selected Windows 7.
- Safe Mode: I tried running both Word and Excel in safe mode. Still locked up.
- Office repair mode: was tried, completed, but no change.
- Looked for OS and/or Office updates: Some Windows 8.1 updates, completed, no change.
- Reboot computer: many times.
- Reinstalled Office: yes.

Any other ideas?
Question by:sconnell
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LVL 95

Accepted Solution

John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 40309112
Windows 8.1 is a different operating system than Windows 8 (not a service pack upgrade). The upgrade may have gone wrong or carried over errors from the Windows 8 system.

Reboot computer: many times.
Reinstalled Office: yes.
  <--- If you uninstalled Office, restarted and reinstalled Office and it did not work, then it probably is not going to.

Do you have a later version of Office to try (Office 2007 is getting old and out of date).

Before doing anything, uninstall Office, restart and then try to run something as Admin. Try running cmd.exe with Run as Administrator.  Does that work?  If not, the upgrade may have gone wrong. That fix could be harsh.
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:Scott Thomson
Scott Thomson earned 125 total points
ID: 40309175
Lastly the first thing office does on startup is look at network drives or look at printers. if it is hanging on startup and its ALL office applications (and possibly IE) then it would maybe be 1 of these 2 things. delete any network drives and try again. then delete any printers or pdf printers and try again.

Let me know the result :)

To happen with both suggests something the programs are looking for at startup.
LVL 55

Assisted Solution

McKnife earned 125 total points
ID: 40309294
Please logon as a different user, does that make a difference?
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Author Comment

ID: 40309401
Thanks for all the advice!

I should clarify a few additional facts. The owner of this computer is just a home user, he purchased Office with his computer (Windows 8 and Office 2007). So, upgrading Office is out of the question (besides, Microsoft's official site states that it is compatible). Since this is just a simple home computer, there are no networks... rather just a single computer with a USB attached printer.

>Before doing anything, uninstall Office, restart and then try to run something as Admin.
>Try running cmd.exe with Run as Administrator.  

About the grayed out Run as Administrator - I think that issue is only associated with the Office products. Any other reason why this option is grayed-out? I am quite certain that the account has full admin rights because I was able to access netplwiz and set the login to automatic (no password screen).

Otherwise, I don't believe this is a question of a corrupted OS because everything else functions perfectly, AFAIK.

>Lastly the first thing office does on startup is look at network drives or look at printers. if it is hanging on startup and
>its ALL office applications (and possibly IE)

I should also point out that Outlook (he uses every day) and IE are both unaffected. Still, removing the printer is 'something' to try.

>Please logon as a different user, does that make a difference?

That advice is also worth trying.

Thanks all. I'll try a remote session tomorrow evening. Hopefully, with more success. My, very reluctant alternative, is possibly installing Open Office... he doesn't like change, so I would rather not go down that road.

Personal opinion: If Windows 8.1 is a completely different OS compared to 8.0 than Microsoft broke the standard versioning conventions! I would expect that a 0.1 update would be a minor update! Fortunately, I wasn't involved in the decision to upgrade Windows to 8.1. :-]
LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 40309522
If these suggestions don't work, you may need to rebuild the computer.

1. Back up everything,
2. Reinstall Windows 8 fresh.
3. Update all drivers for the computer.
4. Then upgrade to Windows 8.1.
5. Then update Windows.
6. Then install Office and applications.

Windows 8.1 is not minor upgrade and there is stuff (NCP, Raxco, Symantec and others) that all had to be upgraded before Windows 8.1 was applied.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Scott Thomson
ID: 40309648
The other option is corrupted user
Account. Create a new user account. Log in and see if it has the same issue? You can always move desktop icons or files.

This would be a good test

Author Comment

ID: 40346405
Hello all,

Sorry for the slow update. I appreciate everyone's efforts to help solve this problem.

I was quite confident that this wasn't related to any sort of Windows 8.1 corruption...considering that all other software was working, as intended. Remember, only Excel and Word appeared affected by that Windows 8.1 update.

Most of the suggestions made were far too involved to do over a remote connection so I opted for the simplest solution, that is, update Office. :)  

After removing the old Office suite, I installed Office Pro 2010 (got a good deal on it - $100 for a full/unopened copy)

Thanks all!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40346407
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40346415
Thank you for the update and I was happy to help.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Scott Thomson
ID: 40347174
Glad to help sconnell :)
happy things are working ok for you.

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