I'm now recovering from a recent traumatic experience involving Office 2000
SBE. I have a customer that happens to use Office 2000 SBE and their
store-bought CD is a first version pressing. IOW, it's not MSO 2000 SR-1,
it's a prior release.
You might not think that there would be anything significant about that, but
there is a dirty secret that I seem to have stumbled upon. As some of you
may already know, M$ has upgraded the Installer to version 2.0. It just so
happens that to apply some (if not all) of the patches using OfficeUpdate
you have to install MS Installer 2.0, if it's not yet installed.
This is where things get interesting. Once you install the 2.0 Installer,
you can no longer do a repair or reinstall from the first release CD. Once
you stick the disk in, the Installer takes control and runs thru the
process without asking you what you want done. :-O Afterwards, your
Office installation is unusable. You basically have to wipe the registry
out and start over, there is no fixing it since you can't remove Installer
2.0. BTW, the OS is Win98SE.
Apparently, Installer 2.0 is incompatible with the format of the information
on the first release Office 2000 CD, and doesn't install the software
correctly leaving an unusable mess. Now it's a catch-22 situation, after
fixing everything you can't go to OfficeUpdate or it will break things
again. I'm sure that it's only a matter of time before the user has
Installer 2.0 back on their machine.
Thank you so much MS for being incompatible with your own stuff. Par for
the course, I guess.
SAME STORY, DIFFERENT TWIST (this happened a few days before the above
I just replaced a couple of computers for another customer, they have about
20 connected to a Novell (soon to be Linux) network. Everybody runs Win98
and they want to keep it like that for now, no problem I say.
Of course I inform them that they will have to spend as much for new
software as the new hardware will cost. They cringe, but agree that they
have to stay legal.
Since everyone else is using Office97 still, I recommended Office 2000 SBE
over Office XP, figuring that there would be fewer problems with
Imagine my surprise when I pick up my shiny new OEM Office 2000 SBE's that
now include PRODUCT ACTIVATION. :-/ I think to myself, amazing, they
retrofitted it in, I'm sure this is going to be neat. I figure so what,
it's not that big of a deal and the customer has nothing to hide anyway.
I put the (identical) computers together and installed Win98 on one. Once I
had that all done and all the other nit-noy stuff installed, I decided to
install Office. So, I opened the package and stuck the CD in the drive.
You'll never guess what happened next.
The disk auto-played and went thru the installation without prompting me for
the components I wanted installed (sounds familiar huh?). After a reboot
so that the installer could continue configuring Office, it went thru the
stupid blue line accross the box multiple times *and then finally
finished. Well guess what, none of the apps worked they just froze part of
the way open. I went to OfficeUpdate and this where I learned about
Installer 2.0. I downloaded Installer 2.0 and installed it and then ended
up reinstalling Office. Now things worked right, amazing.
It seems that the first release Office 2000 cd's can't be used with
Installer 2.0. It also appears that the latest cd's (with PA) require 2.0,
but don't have sense enough to install it automatically.
THANK YOU MS, FOR NOTHING (and wasting about 8 or 10 hours of my time)
Now maybe Simon or EF can tell me about the benifits of all this nonsense.
I think I'm going to recommend to my customer to just upgrade all their
computers and switch to Open Office. They can buy twice as many new
computers and still open Word documents. Free goes a long way with them.
It makes a few problems and inconveniences completely worthwhile.
6:32am up 70 days, 20:02, 1 user, load average: 0.25, 0.09, 0.02