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  1. #1
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    Unhappy 10/9/2012 Updates and very slow opening of Office files

    Hi everyone,

    This afternoon at work two our our XP SP3 computers were updated with the most recent Windows Updates. Immediately prior to installing the Windows Updates, both systems would open an Excel or Word file quickly, just a couple of seconds. After the updates were installed and the systems rebooted, both computers were horribly slow (easily taking 30+ seconds) to open an Excel or Word file.

    The systems have Office 2003. The issue was the same whether the files were local or via the network. We tried multiple files for each program and the documents were very small and simple files.

    It seemed that if we opened Excel or Word first and used the File>Open menu then the file would usually open very quickly, but if we double-clicked the file in a folder (whether Excel or Word were already open or not) the file was then always very slow to open. It also seemed as though Explorer would become non-responsive during the time period of waiting for the file to open. Clicking the Start button, right-clicks on the desktop or task bar, or other such actions were not executed until the Excel or Word file finally opened.

    On one system we removed the updates done today that appeared in Add/Remove Programs, but the problem remained.

    Has anyone else experienced something similar after the recent updates? Any thoughts as to cause or solution?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by MrWhsprs; 2012-10-10 at 20:19. Reason: Grammar

  2. #2
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    It could be a search indexer catching up with all the changes. If you have any automatic disk defragging running it could be that. Do you have any a/v scheduled scans?

    Joe

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Hi everyone,

    After much research and then testing many of the suggestions on one system, I found a fix that resolved the issue on all of our computers. Before I get to the fix though, here's some more info on the issue we were having in case it is helpful to those who may find this info later:

    After posting my previous message I discovered that most of our XP machines were experiencing the problem, including one machine that hadn't even received the most recent Microsoft Updates. Two users reported that the issue had been happening on their computers for quite a while (they didn't say for how long). So, I don't know specifically what caused the issue to occur on various computers at different times. Our Vista and Windows 7 machines did not experience the problem though they are running Office 2003 also. Also note that after double-clicking a file and during the delay of waiting for a file to open, there wasn't any disk thrashing or indicated CPU usage, and neither Task Manager or Process Explorer showed any significant activity at all (to CPU, Disk, or Network).

    Here are the things I tried (many of which I'd read were helpful to others with similar problems), but none of these solved the issue for our computers:

    * Made sure there was not a CD/DVD in the drive.
    * Checked that Roxio's DLA program wasn't running.
    * Made sure there was no background defragging taking place.
    * Snoozed Windows Search Indexing.
    * Disconnected any mapped network drives (Tools > Disconnect Network Drives).
    * Ran LiveUpdate to make sure Norton was completely up to date.
    * Disabled "Microsoft Office Automatic Scan" in Norton Business Suite settings.
    * Disabled Norton Business Suite AntiVirus Auto-Protect.
    * Removed recent Microsoft Updates.
    * Ran System Restore and chose a System Checkpoint before the updates.
    * Renamed C:\Documents and Settings\(username)\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates\Normal.dot and restarted Word.
    * Looked for startup files in C:\Documents and Settings\(username)\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART (there were none).
    * Looked for startup files in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\STARTUP (there were none).
    * Deleted any old temp files from C:\Documents and Settings\(username)\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel. Note: Don't delete the Excel11.xlb file in that folder, or you will lose your Excel 2003 custom toolbar settings!
    * Disabled any Excel Add-Ins (Analysis ToolPak, Analysis ToolPak-VBA, Conditional Sum Wizard, Lookup Wizard...)
    * Disabled "Exchange Extensions property pages" in Outlook Add-In Manager
    * Disabled "Norton AntiSpam Outlook Plugin" in Outlook COM Add-Ins.
    * Reset folder views (Tools > Folder Options > View > [Reset All Folders]).
    * Ran the Detect and Repair option from the Help menu in Excel.

    What resolved the issue for us, was making changes to the File Type settings for the DOC and XLS extensions.

    Open My Computer.
    Open the Tools menu and choose Folder Options...
    Select the File Types tab.
    Select the extension (for example DOC, or XLS) of the file that is slow to open.
    In the Details section, click [Advanced], and another dialog box will open.
    In the Actions section, click Open then click [Edit...], and another dialog box will open.

    Here are the settings that seem to work for our computers. Before making any changes, write down each setting exactly in case things stop working correctly and you need to revert back. After making changes, click [OK] to save settings of course, or [Cancel] to go back without saving changes. Where I put (program path) would be the actual full path, and where I put (blank) the specified box is blank.

    DOC
    Application used to perform action:
    Changed:
    "(program path)\WINWORD.EXE" /n /dde
    to:
    "(program path)\WINWORD.EXE" /n "%1"
    DDE Settings:
    [X] Use DDE
    DDE Message: (blank)
    Application: WINWORD
    DDE Application Not Running: (blank)
    Topic: System

    XLS
    Application used to perform action:
    Changed:
    "(program path)\EXCEL.EXE" /e
    to:
    "(program path)\EXCEL.EXE" /e "%1"
    DDE Settings:
    [X] Use DDE
    DDE Message: [open("%1")]
    Application: EXCEL
    DDE Application Not Running: (blank)
    Topic: System

    Note that while researching this issue I found some recommendations to un-check the Use DDE box. That may work for some but for us it caused issues with opening certain of our files.

    I hope this info may help others at some point.

    Thanks,
    Michael
    Last edited by MrWhsprs; 2012-10-15 at 12:06. Reason: Add'l info.

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