Just leave it will you…!

Every day, Windows manages to remind me why I bought a Mac.

This latest fiasco occurred when building a new Windows XP machine. I reached the point where I’d installed Office 2007 and transferred my Outlook mail to this new machine. Unfortunately, every time I launched Outlook it complained that a certain Add-In dll from my virus scanner was missing and had thus been disabled. Remember… this is a newly built machine and all it has on it so far is the security software (Firewall, AntiVirus and AntiSpyware) and Office. Nevertheless, Outlook wasn’t happy. The solution? Uninstall Office, uninstall my antivirus software and start again.


You would assume that simply running the install routine would remove all traces of Office. The program files. Libraries. Data files. Registry entries. WRONG! Running the Office 2007 uninstall routine does one thing and one thing only – it removes the Office programs from your Program Files folder. It leaves behind all the Office 2007 data files, and it leaves behind all the Office 2007 registry entries. Therefore, if it is one of these files or settings causing the problem then uninstalling won’t help you. That’s exactly what happened and after reinstalling Office and my antivirus software, I was greeted with the same error message.

Not to be defeated, I put plan B into action. I uninstalled Office and my antivirus software again. I then ran Registry Mechanic in the hopes that it would see Office was no longer installed and remove the relevant registry keys. Just for good measure I also ran CCleaner and told it to scan the registry for obsolete software
. The final step was to delete all the Outlook data files under Documents and Settings\Application Data\Office\Outlook.  There… done!  Time to reboot and reinstall Office and my antivirus software.

Lo and behold, Outlook still managed to find all it’s old settings and now complained that my outlook.pst file was missing. Of course it’s missing you stupid program – I uninstalled you!! Or at least I thought I had. It reminds me of a tree I had in my garden that started growing too large. In the end I decided to get the tree felled and the stump removed. But sure enough where the old stump had been, the wretched thing started sprouting again the following year.

So now I’m off to Google to see if I can find what I need to do to re-initialise Outlook 2007 to think it’s a new install and to run through the initial setup wizard. If only Microsoft would make this information readily available instead of me having to trawl the interweb for hidden snippets…