Fixing a Corrupt Office installation


I got my invitation to the Office 201 Technical Preview the other day and, quite excitedly, started to install it on my laptop but after about 10 minutes it failed and stated that the previous version of Office (2007) couldn’t be upgraded. I had a look on Twitter and couldn’t see anyone else with the issue so I figured it was specific to my machine, and I was right! My next move was to uninstall the existing Office 2007 and go for a clean install but oh no, “the uninstall has failed”…”WHAT?!”…I was now in the unenviable position of being unable to remove or upgrade Office 2007.

I got Office 2010 installed alongside 2007 but it wasn’t ideal as I could only have 1 copy of Outlook (2007) and having 2 versions of Office takes up a fair amount of room etc so I wasn’t massively happy about it. I did a quick Bing (yes-I Bing everything now!) and found the following Knowledge Base article:

How to manually uninstall the 2007 Office system if you cannot uninstall it by using the “Add or Remove Programs” feature

This covered the very topic I was having (which proved it wasn’t just me!) and gave step by step instructions on how to get Office 2007 removed from my machine. If you’re having the same issue I won’t bother repeating the steps here but I do have a couple of points to add:

1) This isn’t a quick process-it took about 2 hours of manually deleting files and registry entries.

2) Point 2 of Step 5 (the Uninstall Registry key) didn’t exist on my machine but that didn’t cause any problems.

3) Some of the steps involve deleting folders from your hard drive and while most of these were fine, at least one refused to go down without a fight! I got the somewhat common problem of being told I “don’t have permission to delete the folder”, even though I was the admin on my machine. This threw a spanner in the works so back to Bing it was…and it came up trumps again 🙂

Over on petri.co.il there is a post on how to add a “Take Ownership” option to the right click menu in Vista, through creating a quick registry file. The details are there to be pasted into the file, it’s easy to do and it definitely works, the post is here:

http://www.petri.co.il/add-take-ownership-context-menu-vista.htm

With the KB article and the above addin-you should have all you need to sort out your Office installation and be in a position to re-install a properly working edition…I hope this helps and good luck 🙂