OFF2000: "Windows Cannot Find <File Name>" When You Start Program

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Article ID: 273674 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you click any of the shortcuts to start an Office program, you receive an error message similar to the following:
Windows cannot find Excel.exe
This program is needed for opening files of type 'Application'.
Location of Excel.exe:
You are prompted to browse to the location of the file name. When you click Locate to browse to the location of the file on the network server, or you type the path to the file in the Location box, the program starts and you receive the following error message:
The selected Assistant character is not available. An error occurred and this feature is no longer functioning properly. Would you like to repair this feature now?
When you click Yes, a Windows Installer dialog box opens for about 30 seconds, and then you receive the following error message:
There was a problem starting the Office Assistant. Would you like to try reinstalling it?
When you click Yes to the prompt, a Windows Installer dialog box opens for about 30 seconds, and then you receive the following error message:
The Office Assistant could not be started. Please repair the Assistant by running Office 2000 setup and selecting "Repair Office 2000".
You can then use the Office 2000 program. The next time you start the same Office program, Windows can find the program file, but you continue to receive the Office Assistant error messages.

CAUSE

The problem occurs when all of the following conditions are true:
  • Your operating system is Microsoft Windows 2000.
  • You installed Office 2000 from an administrative installation of Office (setup /a) 2000 on a network server.
  • You access the network share where Office 2000 is installed by using a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path.
  • The UNC path to the Office files is exactly two levels deep. An example is "\\myserver\myshare." An example like "\\myserver\myshare\office" is three levels deep and would not cause this problem.
  • You chose Run All from Network for one or more features of Office, which includes an Office program.

RESOLUTION

This problem is resolved in Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 (SP2). Apply the latest service pack for Windows 2000 to all of the workstations. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
260910 How to Obtain the Latest Windows 2000 Service Pack
If, for some reason, applying Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 or later does not resolve the problem, follow these steps to work around the problem.

If Office 2000 Is Already Installed on the Network Client

  1. Move the location of the Office 2000 files on the network server, so that the share will be accessed three levels deep or more. For example, if your administrative installation of Office 2000 is "\\myserver\myshare", create a new folder called Office, and move the Office files so that they will be accessed from "\\myserver\myshare\Office".
  2. On the network client, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start and then click Run.
    2. In the Open box, type the following command line
      New server path\setup.exe REINSTALL=ProductFiles,OutlookFiles REINSTALLMODE=om /qb
      where New server path is the path to your new administrative installation.

      NOTE: Omitting OutlookFiles in the command line increases the speed of the reinstallation, but the Outlook icon on the desktop will not be updated.
    3. Click OK.
    4. Click Yes to reinstall the Office Assistant, if you are prompted to do so. The Office programs and the Office Assistant should now function correctly.

If Office 2000 Is Not Installed on the Network Client

  1. Move the location of the Office 2000 files on the network server, so that the share will be accessed three levels deep or more. For example, if your administrative installation of Office 2000 is "\\myserver\myshare", create a new folder called Office, and move the Office files so they will be accessed from "\\myserver\myshare\Office".
  2. Start the installation of Office 2000 on the network client by running Setup.exe with the appropriate command line from the network share in step 1.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Microsoft Windows 2000. This problem is resolved in Windows 2000 Service Pack 2.

Properties

Article ID: 273674 - Last Review: February 28, 2014 - Revision: 4.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbbug kbpending KB273674

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