"The Office Assistant could not be started" error message when you start Office 2000 programs

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Article ID: 236822 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q236822
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SYMPTOMS

When you start any of the Office programs or when you start the Office Assistant, the following error message may appear:
The Office Assistant could not be started. Please repair the Assistant by running Office 2000 setup and selecting "Repair Office 2000".

CAUSE

This behavior occurs when you the following are true:
  • You attempt to start any of the programs listed above
    - or -

    • You attempt to launch the Office 2000 Assistant

    - and -

  • You have disabled Virtual Memory- or -

    • You have set the Maximum Size of the Virtual Memory too low- or -

    • The Page File is on a hard drive that does not have enough free disk space- or -

    • The following line entries appear in the [386Enh] section of the SYSTEM.INI file:

      MaxPagingFileSize=
      MinPagingFileSize=
You may also receive this error message when you attempt to start any of the programs listed above or launch the Office 2000 Assistant, on a computer running Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 if the size of the Paging File is too small.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this behavior, do one of the following:

Enable Virtual Memory


To enable Virtual Memory, please do the following:
  1. Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Performance tab.
  3. Click Virtual Memory.
  4. Uncheck the checkbox next to Disable virtual memory. (Not recommended).
  5. Click to select Let Windows manage my virtual memory settings (recommended).
  6. Click OK, and then click Close.
  7. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

Increase Virtual Memory Page File Size

To increase the Virtual Memory Page File size, please do the following:
  1. Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Performance tab.
  3. Click Virtual Memory.
  4. Increase the size using the spinner control for Maximum. Or you can click to select Let Windows manage my virtual memory settings (recommended).
  5. Click OK, and then click Close.
  6. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

Change the Drive the Virtual Memory Page File Uses

To change the drive the Virtual Memory Page File uses, please do the following:
  1. Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Performance tab.
  3. Click Virtual Memory.
  4. Click to select Let me specify my own virtual memory settings.
  5. From the Hard disk drop-down list box, select another drive that has more available hard disk space.
    If another drive is not available on the machine, you will need to free up disk space on the default drive.
  6. Click OK, and then click Close.
  7. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

Windows NT

In Windows NT 4.0, you cannot disable Virtual Memory. You can increase the size of the Paging File, the file that provides virtual memory. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop. Click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Performance tab.
  3. Click Change.
  4. In the Virtual Memory dialog box, you can change the parameters for your paging file (initial size, maximum size, and so on). After you change the settings, click Set, and then click OK.
  5. Click Close.
  6. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

MORE INFORMATION

In Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT, virtual memory allows the computer to use hard disk space as random access memory (RAM). The computer uses virtual memory to augment the normal RAM that is installed on the computer.

If, for some reason, you turned off virtual memory in Windows 95 or Windows 98, or the maximum setting for virtual memory is too low, or if you reduced the size of the paging file in Windows NT, Office programs may not start correctly or start at all. This behavior may occur even if the computer has a large amount of installed RAM, 32 megabytes (MB) or more. The amount of virtual memory required varies depending on the amount of installed RAM. For a system that has 16 MB of RAM, a minimum of approximately 16 MB of virtual memory is required to start an Office program. However, increasing the amount of virtual memory also greatly increases the performance of your computer under Windows.

For more information about virtual memory in Windows, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
128327 How Windows 95/98 Manages Virtual Memory
199340 OFF2000: Office Programs Require Virtual Memory

Properties

Article ID: 236822 - Last Review: September 10, 2004 - Revision: 4.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Publisher 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbprb KB236822

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