Question Sneaky MS update killed my Office!

Sep 1, 2021
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I am running Windows 8.1 on my laptop. I have Office 2013 installed from disk. My last "go look for updates" was performed 01 AUG. It's bad enough that MS keeps pushing Edge onto my machine. But I sat down last night and tried to open Word and Excel files. Got an error that said "we can't find your program"?!?! What did MS sneak into my computer? How do I hunt it down and kill it?? And how do I prevent this?

EdNerd
 
Sep 1, 2021
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I tried the buttons on the task bar. I also tried opening files directly.

I could just flush MS Office and use Open Office. Just hate to lose all my VBA.
 
Sep 1, 2021
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That, of course, is the first step. Actually the second -- first is deleting all recent updates!

The deeper questions are:
-- How do I find to sneaky bit that got shoved on me that did this??
-- How do I prevent it from happening again??
 

USAFRet

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I tried the buttons on the task bar. I also tried opening files directly.

I could just flush MS Office and use Open Office. Just hate to lose all my VBA.
You can't, and should NOT, prevent all future updates.
That path leads to your system being compromised.

Searching your C drive, and or the Program Files folder, find NO existence of Excel.exe?
 
Sep 1, 2021
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You can't, and should NOT, prevent all future updates.
That path leads to your system being compromised.
It has also led to stupid MS stuff being shoved onto my machine!

Searching your C drive, and or the Program Files folder, find NO existence of Excel.exe?
I'm not home right now. I did a cursory search last night. I will do a deeper search this evening and let y'all know.
 

USAFRet

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"stupid MS stuff " includes security updates, to prevent your system being compromised, and affecting you and the rest of us.

Turning off updates is precisely what led to WannaCry.

"While Microsoft had released patches previously to close the exploit, much of WannaCry's spread was from organizations that had not applied these, or were using older Windows systems that were past their end-of-life. These patches were imperative to an organization's cyber-security but many were not applied because of neglect, ignorance, mismanagement, or a misunderstanding about their importance."
 
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Sep 1, 2021
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but many were not applied because of neglect, ignorance, mismanagement, or a misunderstanding about their importance.
I know you are not MS, and ranting here does no good to change anything. But many updates were not applied because we don't trust MS!! It's like a bill in Congress - it kinda does what's advertised, and quite possibly a whole lot of other things they never tell you about. That's why Edge keeps trying to take over my computer - the "check for Edge and install if needed" exe got bundled in with something else, and I was never asked nor given the options to deny. Same here with this "kill his Office!" "feature". I'm sure someone could explain why it was necessary for "security reasons" - but they've never bothered to explain and let me know "we're going to do this in 10 days because ...". So, no, I do not trust these people!
 

USAFRet

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I know you are not MS, and ranting here does no good to change anything. But many updates were not applied because we don't trust MS!!
Updates are a part of every computer operating system and application.
Apple, Linux, Android, Windows...
It has been that way forever.

At least MS didn't intentionally slow down your old OS when Win 10 was released. Unlike some other brands.
 

carocuore

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Jan 24, 2021
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You can't, and should NOT, prevent all future updates.
That path leads to your system being compromised.
Well you can as long as you know what you're doing with your computer, same goes for installing an antivirus or using Windows Defender. I've never installed any updates mainly because.... <Mod Edit>

But I wouldn't recommend it to a regular user.

It can end like this in SECONDS.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Sep 1, 2021
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Okay - I do have the exe files for both Excel and Word. They are safe in the Program Files > Office 15 folder. But when I try to open either of them, I get this:

Sorry - couldn't insert my Snip png image. It's a splash screen from Office that says in big red letters: "Something went wrong." And then: "We couldn't start your program. Please try stating it again. If it won't start, try repairing Office from 'Programs and Features in the Control Panel. " Then a link with "You can go online to find more help." I can't look at the destination of the link.

At this point, my project list for this weekend is:
-- Full backup
-- Full malware scan
-- Second full backup after scans
-- Remove and reinstall Office.
 
Sep 1, 2021
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I made a full backup using FBackup9. Took almost 8 hours (overnight). Ran Malware Bytes - no issues. Going to run CCleaner next. Then I do the MS OffScrub tool to fully delete Office, and then I'll reinstall from disk.

It just hit me - the icon I'm seeing in the "oops - can't find your program" box is Office 365. I'm betting there's an update is there somewhere that contained the hidden instruction to "push user to Office 365". Whether this was the intended outcome or not, it happened. As I said, I don't trust MS!!

(ohio_buckeye: Sorry - not enough oomph in my laptop to upgrade to Win10. I have to deal with a bunch of laptops at work where corporate decide to push Win10 onto old machines, and they are dying like ducks in an alligator pond! If you wanna buy me a new computer, I'll do Windows 10. But my dime doesn't stretch that far right now.)
 

USAFRet

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(ohio_buckeye: Sorry - not enough oomph in my laptop to upgrade to Win10. I have to deal with a bunch of laptops at work where corporate decide to push Win10 onto old machines, and they are dying like ducks in an alligator pond! If you wanna buy me a new computer, I'll do Windows 10. But my dime doesn't stretch that far right now.)
On all my systems that were originally Vista/7/8/8.1 that I upgraded to Win 10....Win 10 runs better on those than the original.
 
I’ve worked with windows 95 through 10. 10 is one of the best operating systems they’ve released to date, especially over windows 8. I’m a tech myself and we’ve upgraded almost all systems from windows 7 and 8 to 10 with no major issues. On older systems if you’ve got at least 4 gen ram you should be fine especially if you add a cheap ssd. I just bought a 1tb for 65.
 
Sep 1, 2021
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All done. Ran CC, ScrubOff, and reinstalled from my original disk. Install went smooth. Office works great!!
Gonna set a restore point right here and then do another backup.

My laptop has a 1.9 GHz AMD A10-7300 processor, 8 GB total RAM (6.9 useable), and 281 GB used on a 922 GB hard drive. I'm running Win 8.1 (not 8.1 update, whatever that is.) You really think a full-up Win10 will ride on this computer?? I'd hate to see it limping like the old hogs at work!
 

USAFRet

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All done. Ran CC, ScrubOff, and reinstalled from my original disk. Install went smooth. Office works great!!
Gonna set a restore point right here and then do another backup.

My laptop has a 1.9 GHz AMD A10-7300 processor, 8 GB total RAM (6.9 useable), and 281 GB used on a 922 GB hard drive. I'm running Win 8.1 (not 8.1 update, whatever that is.) You really think a full-up Win10 will ride on this computer?? I'd hate to see it limping like the old hogs at work!
 
You probably won’t run fast but it should run if it runs 8.1. If you wanted to really make your system feel faster replace the hard drive with something like this, though these days 1tb isn’t much more. I got a new pny brand 1 on eBay the other day for 65 bucks to use as a gaming/storage drive on my gaming pc. So I’ll finally be able to do away with my spinning hard drives.

https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-BX500-480GB-2-5-Inch-Internal/dp/B07G3KGYZQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_32?crid=JCZUT57NT6E3&dchild=1&keywords=512gb+ssd&qid=1630821159&sprefix=512gb&sr=8-32
 
Sep 1, 2021
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And here we go again ....
After a full reinstall of Office from the original MS CD, and files opening just fine --
today I get "The operating system is not presently configured to run this application."
I really wish this would have an easy one-time fix and I'd never have to worry about it again ....
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
What does it say in your Update History?
What's been installed since you last reinstalled MS Office 2013?

Just an aside or two, I don't understand why people get upset over what programs are installed. Yes, Edge is installed on my system. I don't use it. I don't get prompted to use it (unless I visit a Microsoft site). Secondly, I'm sure you're aware that both Windows 8.1 and MS Office 2013 are past Mainstream Support End of Life.

-Wolf sends

P.S. I realize this is your second go around.
 
Sep 1, 2021
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The only update since my Office reinstall is Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, according to my Control Panel.
I also see something called Bonjour???

I wouldn't have had (much of) a problem with Edge if it had simply sat there and let me call upon it when I wanted that program. But Edge wanted to take over all Internet AND pdf files. And things were screwy. So I wanted it off and never to come back.

Win8.1 & Office 2013 are still working (or were ....) so why spend money for the newest, when the bigger files just mean my computer bags down worse??

PS - just installed OpenOffice as a work-around, but I really need MS Office to work again.
 
Sep 1, 2021
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Okay - it looks like I did it to myself on this one. I had gone through the Services list and Disabled everything that updated Edge automatically - and apparently disabled two that were somehow critical for Windows and Office to talk to each other. Reset those to Automatic, and Word and Excel work again!!

I will take my dope slap for this one. A thousand more for MS, and we'll be even!!
 

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