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Windows installer starts when trying to run Office apps

Posted on 2016-08-16
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Last Modified: 2016-08-17
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?
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Question by:omberli
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Brian Pringle earned 500 total points
ID: 41757911
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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Author Comment

by:omberli
ID: 41758478
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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Expert Comment

by:Brian Pringle
ID: 41758490
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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Expert Comment

by:CompProbSolv
ID: 41758664
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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Author Comment

by:omberli
ID: 41759346
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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Expert Comment

by:Brian Pringle
ID: 41759377
No problem.  Thank you for the feedback!  It will help anyone else that finds this question in the future.
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Expert Comment

by:Brian Pringle
ID: 41760040
@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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Author Closing Comment

by:omberli
ID: 41760073
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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