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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Office Assistant 97 under W2K (97 Pro SR2)

    I'm using MS Office 97 Pro SR2 under Windows 2000 SP4. I normally log on as a Power User, but I also have Admin privileges on the PC.

    I have a persistent problem with the Office install. Every now and then, I lose access to the Office Assistant (OA) in Word and Access. If I start up either and click on the Assistant box, I see the following message: "The Office Assistant cannot currently answer your questions. Run Setup again to make sure all the necessary Help files are correctly installed."

    The message also occurs if I log on as an Admin. Word and Access Help works normally otherwise. The OA works just fine in Excel and Powerpoint.

    This has happened already on umpteen occasions. To restore OA, I use Office install to uninstall and reinstall (as an Admin) the following components:
    [Microsoft Word, Help, Help for Microsoft Word]
    [Microsoft Access, Help Topics -- Wizards -- Advanced Wizards]
    [Office Tools, Office Assistant]

    I'm not sure which of the components restore OA function. I do know that reinstalling only the first two worked on one occasion, but the third proved necessary another time.

    I'd like to find the _cause_ of this problem. I've searched the MSKB and Google (too bad there's no Search feature in this forum!) and have found numerous suggestions of dubious value.

    If this is a file problem, I've been unable to identify the missing or altered files. If it's a permissions problem, I don't understand why OA doesn't work if I log on as an Admin and what would alter permissions _after_ the OA reinstall. I also can't figure out why Word and Access are affected each time, but Excel and Powerpoint are not.

    Any suggestions to identifying the source of this problem would be very much appreciated.

    regards, Andy

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    Re: Office Assistant 97 under W2K (97 Pro SR2)

    I found the source of the problem. It's got nothing to do with files or registry permissions. It's simply the existence of the following registry values:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsHelp]
    "mso97.dll"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "WDMAIN8.AW"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "WDMAIN8.CNT"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "WDMAIN8.HLP"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "WDNEW8.CNT"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "WDNEW8.HLP"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "WDTIP8.HLP"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acspc80.hlp"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acspc80.cnt"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acvba80.hlp"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acvba80.cnt"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acvba80.aw"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acmain80.hlp"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acmain80.cnt"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "accore80.aw"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acmain80.aw"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acdef80.hlp"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acdef80.cnt"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "actip80.hlp"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "actip80.cnt"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acnew80.hlp"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "acnew80.cnt"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "rplbrf35.hlp"="D:MS Office 97Office"
    "rplbrf35.cnt"="D:MS Office 97Office"

    Notice that Excel 97 and Powerpoint 97 do not have any values present at this registry location. Thus, registry configuration of Word/Access OA is very different than that of Excel/Powerpoint.

    I do not know why these values are sometimes deleted, but at least I can probably restore OA function to Word/Access 97 by merging a .REG file instead of resorting to the Office Install program.

    regards, Andy

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