Windows installer starts when trying to run Office apps

Customer is running Win7 pro on a HP PC. Office 10 (Home and Business) is installed. Has worked well since 1014. Some time ago Windows installer popped up an install window for Nuance Paper port 12. It took some time to close the window (abort process), but other apps were not affected. Recently a Windows installer window started to pop up when stating Word, Excel or Outlook.

I have tried to repair Office (via Control Panel), but nothing seems to happen. Has checked vor virus or malware. Nothing found. Tried to install Office 10 (H&B) on top of the old install, but got an error message (don't recall it) and had to terminate the install.

Checked the Office shortcuts (that has been there since first install). To my surprise it said something like "Install when needed". I may get hold of a screenshot if needed.

Any ideas how to fix this?
Olaf BerliAsked:
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Brian PringleConnect With a Mentor Systems Analyst II, SCM, ERPCommented:
This has been fairly common since they changed the installer for 2003.  The only solution that I have found is to uninstall Office completely, run the Windows Installer Clean-Up Utility, and then reinstall Office.

http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/windows_installer_cleanup_utility.html
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Olaf BerliAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I'll check out this procedure when visiting customer tomorrow. Hope it works.
Question is - why has Office started to behave like this? It has been working well for several years... As mentioned - even the  shortcurs have changed. Could it be an (automatic) Microsoft update?  Attached - screenshot of shortcut properties.
Word-shortcut.jpg
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Brian PringleSystems Analyst II, SCM, ERPCommented:
If another program uses the same dependencies as Office and changes any of them, Office will detect that the installation is corrupted (even if it is not).  The only way to fix it is to uninstall/reinstall and then Office puts the files back as they were.
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CompProbSolvCommented:
Brian is likely on the right track with his suggestions, but I wanted to add another one that would be easy to test.

Right-click on the icon for Word and then click on Run as Administrator.  I've seen some instances where the installer doesn't have proper rights to make some changes so Windows doesn't think that the installation has been completed.

This may not be the issue, but would be very quick to test.
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Olaf BerliAuthor Commented:
Thanks for a solution that worked very well. Even in safe mode it wasn't possible to uninstall Office, and running as Administrator also failed.

The cleanup utility, however, removed the failing Office and a new install is already up and running.
Thanks again!
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Brian PringleSystems Analyst II, SCM, ERPCommented:
No problem.  Thank you for the feedback!  It will help anyone else that finds this question in the future.
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Brian PringleSystems Analyst II, SCM, ERPCommented:
@omberli - If we helped to solve your problem, please close this question by accepting one or more answers.  Let us know if we can provide any more assistance.

Thanks,
Brian
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Olaf BerliAuthor Commented:
Thought I had closed the question when I posted my previous comment - selected "Best solution" etc. but something may have happened....  Anyway - great support and good help!
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