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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Operations disabled (Home Prof)

    I have recently been experiencing a bizarre phenomenom and I wonder if anyone recognizes it or can offer advice.

    Sometimes, especially after a period of inactivity, my machine will simply enter a state of "disablement." By that I mean,
    1. The screen appears normal, the mouse works, desktop icons can be selected, but double-clicking on them will not launch the program. All it does is bring up the shortcut properties window.
    2. A program can be launched from the start menu, but once launched, the main menus are inactive. For example, I can start Word, but clicking on the "File" menu button (or any other button) does nothing. The keyboard also does nothing.
    3. Several other things will not work. In particular, I cannot switch users, or stop, or restart the computer.
    4. This bizarre mode often occurs on the opening screen, even after a reboot. The shutdown options button in the lower right corner will not work. A user account can be activated, but none of the operations therein will work. If the user account requires a password, it cannot be entered because the keyboard is disabled.
    5. Sometimes, one of my three user accounts is not affected. If I enter that account, and then back out of it, then EVERYTHING will work normally.
    6. I have suspected different time-sensitive features, including screensavers and power options, and have turned everything off. No help.

    So far, I have always been able to get out of this jam by fiddling around with various desktop start buttons, but I have not been able to pin down a particular sequence that works reliably.

    Any comments or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Operations disabled (Home Prof)

    I wonder if you have a hardware or software problem with your mouse, so that it sees all button clicks as being the right button, instead of the left one.

    Do you have a different mouse that you could try?

    StuartR

  3. #3
    Bronze Lounger
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    Re: Operations disabled (Home Prof)

    I have the same or a similar problem or set of problems. I have Window Washer, which often ceases to work without a reboot. For many of these things a restart is insufficient, so I use a cold boot.

    Word frequently requires that I close it, and after a pause, it will work again. This is definitely Microsoft, as I receive an error message from MS that Word has stopped working. (Word has stopped working and Microsoft is examining the problem and will let me know if there is a solution.) There never is, but if I close Word and restart it, it will usually work. The moral is to save often.

    With Vista, we are all 'early adopters'. Home users are the guinea pigs after the beta testers, and the number of corporate users at this stage of the game I can't imagine. That being said I plan to stick with it while following its progress.

    Don't confuse Office 2007, which I found to be stable under XP, with Vista, which is a whole new operating system. Multiply the number of bugs in Office 2007 by the number of bugs in Vista, and you may have a large number. I don't know if anyone has done a count, but a large number of Lounge members are still running XP. (So am I, in theory, if I can get my XP computers in business again.) I think what you and I are witnessing is bugs, plain and simple. With luck, Microsoft will patch them, and the sooner the better.

  4. #4
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    Re: Operations disabled (Home Prof)

    Is this Word 2007? If so, have you installed Office 2007 SP-1? Have you tried to repair the Office installation? Are the OS & Office up-to-date with fixes?

    Note: according to Windows Washer - Delete Cache Files, Delete Cookie, Delete History File, Delete Temp File faq it does not support Vista.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    Bronze Lounger
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    Re: Operations disabled (Home Prof)

    I have Webroot Window Washer, an excellent product which is Vista compatible and entirely up to date: Windowwasher. I think the problem may be in whether or not I am online and it is trying to perform an automatic update, so it's not a big worry nor a Microsoft problem.

    Both Word and Outlook are not as simple. I have Office Ultimate installed on two computers, one Vista Business and the other Vista Ultimate, fully updated, and I experience exactly the same problem with Word on both computers. My problems are not as numerous as those described in the post, and both are accompanied by a message from Microsoft to tell me, for example, that Word has stopped working. I always regain functionality, but it does quit on me, and one of those installations is on a computer with 3 GB of RAM. Outlook occasionally says that a file did not close properly the last time it was used and that it is checking. I appear to have always recovered satisfactorily from that, but the message is scary.

  6. #6
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    Re: Operations disabled (Home Prof)

    Sorry for the confusion on my part about Window Washer. Have you checked their forums? I've got Office 2007 Pro Plus One Note 2007 installed on a Vista Business PC & on Vista Ultimate PC. Both have SP-1 plus any 'patch day' hotifxes and I do not see those kinds of issues. Is your machine up-to-date with Vista patches? How about drivers? Did the Office problems just start happening recently? Have added any hardware or new software?

    Joe
    Joe

  7. #7
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Operations disabled (Home Prof)

    I'm pretty sure it's not my mouse, because the keyboard is disabled also.

    I believe I have traced the problem down to Windows Update, viz: once I get the machine functioning again, it is fine the rest of the day, until the middle of the night, when Update kicks in. Update downloads a few updates, installs them, and reboots the computer. It will boot up in the non-functioning state.

    I can reproduce this behavior in the middle of the day by manually updating.

    Incidentally, other than booting up in a non-functioning state, Update seems to work fine EXCEPT there is always a "failure" to install KB941649. But this has been happening for several months (ever since that update was published, I believe), so I don't think it is related to the non-functioning issue (which began only a week or two ago).

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