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Windows 7: Can no longer open Office docs directly

17 Oct 2017   #1
briana

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Can no longer open Office docs directly

My computer will no longer let me open any Microsoft document (Word, Excel, or Powerpoint) by clicking on the document directly. I have Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 (aka Office 15). In order for me to access any doc, I have to open the application itself (e.g., via the start menu pin) and then search for the document I want.

When I do try to double-click on a document directly, the following happens. A Windows Installer window pops up and prepares to install something. Several minutes later, I get an error message that says, "The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This can occur if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed."

I assume I have two problems. One, the separate issue of a faulty windows installer, along with the issue of not being able to click on a document to open it. I'm hoping there is a relatively easy fix to the latter because doing a total uninstall/reinstall of Office isn't at all appealing.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Oct 2017   #2
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

If you go into Programs & Features like you're trying to uninstall MS Office, you should find a button labeled "Repair" or "Modify". I would first attempt to repair the current installation of MS Office.

You might also try opening an Administartive command prompt and enter the command: sfc /scannow which will scan and repair your system files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2017   #3
briana

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for the suggestions; I hadn't thought of the first one. Under Programs and Features, the only options for Microsoft Office are uninstall or change. So I clicked on change, though nothing seemed to happen.

I had tried to do the sfc / scannow, but it only got through ~20% of the verification stage before aborting and saying the scan could not be completed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Oct 2017   #4
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

You will need to get the scan fully completed, before attempting to get Office running properly.

Open Programs & Features, scroll down to Microsoft Office, Right Click on it & select Change, that should open a couple of Repair Options you can run.

Is Office fully up to date?. If not update it.

As far as I know Office Professional Plus is a multi user version that is used by schools & businesses, so it would be advisable to check that you are still covered by the Office license holder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2017   #5
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

Perhaps your files are not correctly associated with MS Office.

Here's how to fix this problem in Word (Excel and other programs will be fixed in the same way):
* Rather than double clicking on a document, right-click on it and choose Open With.
* Select "Choose Another App".
* Browse to where the executable for Word is (WINWORD.EXE), and then tell it to always use that program with this type of document.
* For Word, you'll need to do these steps for both a .DOC and a .DOCX file, in order to make sure that both types of documents open with Word.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2017   #6
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

From Briana's description, I don't think it has to do with the file extension associations.
@briana - Can you give more info regarding what the installer is attempting to install? It might help us troubleshoot the issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2017   #7
briana

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Okay, so I freed up some disk space and was able to run the scf scan to completion. It said it had found and repaired some issues. But alas, it didn't fix the Office problem. I also ran an MSI troubleshooter that found and fixed some broken issues, but also didn't fix the issue.

I have no idea what Word/Excel is trying to install when I double click on a document, but I still get an error message. The error message from yesterday was, "The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This can occur if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed." Since I ran the scans today, the error message I now receive when trying to open a document says, "Error applying transforms. Verify that the specified transform paths are valid."

Then I checked to see if Office had been updated as suggested above. It turns out MS Office hadn't been updated since December 2015! It had been set to automatically install updates, so I never noticed that it had stopped. (The Office software was validly/legally purchased by me, and it has only been installed on one device, my current laptop.) Attempts to update Office were unsuccessful; I don't know how to get two years' worth of updates at once.

I suspect I may have to uninstall Office and reinstall, but I'm nervous. I have the Product Key, and I have a backup of my laptop on a flash drive of which Office is a part. But I don't know how to install it from the flash drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2017   #8
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

Try my suggestion of File Asssociations that I posted above (#5). If that fixes things, you're done. If not, you've lost only a minute of your time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2017   #9
briana

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
Try my suggestion of File Asssociations that I posted above (#5). If that fixes things, you're done. If not, you've lost only a minute of your time.
Oh yes, that was one of the first things I checked after googling the issue. If only that had been the issue! Thanks for checking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2017   #10
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

I
Quote:
suspect I may have to uninstall Office and reinstall, but I'm nervous. I have the Product Key, and I have a backup of my laptop on a flash drive of which Office is a part. But I don't know how to install it from the flash drive.
If you want to reinstall Office you will have to use the original installation DVD. Firstly you will have to uninstall the existing Office installation, which you can do from Programs & Features. Make sure you reboot the computer after the uninstall & before reinstalling. Your existing Office documents & files should still work with the re installation.

Having a back up of your laptop on a flash drive will need some software to be able to boot the laptop for it to be installed.

Most people, including myself on this Forum use Macrium Reflect to create images of their computer operating systems. Backing up your computer is probably one of the most important things you need to do. If you wish to check out Macrium Reflect this website should help.There is a free version as well.

Macrium Software | Macrium Reflect Free
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can no longer open Office docs directly




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