How to use the repair process in the 2007 Office programs

For a Microsoft Office 2003 and a Microsoft Office XP version of this article, see 822238 .


This article describes how the repair process in the 2007 Microsoft Office system programs works. Additionally, this article lists step-by-step methods that describe how you can use the repair process in the 2007 Office programs.

More Information

The 2007 Office programs take full advantage of the self-repairing features that are offered by Microsoft Windows Installer. If a resource that you must have to start a 2007 Office program is missing, such as a file or a registry key, the Windows Installer detects the missing resource and repairs the program.

Components and features

The repair process of Windows Installer is composed of two mechanisms. These mechanisms are components and features.


Components are the smallest and most fundamental block. Components may include a collection of files, of registry keys, and of other resources that are installed or uninstalled as a unit.

One of the resources in a component can be designated as the keypath for the component. Typically, a file is chosen as the keypath. However, the keypath can also be a registry value.

The keypath represents the path of the selected component. When a program requests a component's path, Windows Installer returns the path of the keypath resource.

The keypath also provides verification that the component is installed correctly. If the keypath resource is missing, Windows Installer treats the whole component as broken.


Features are the specific pieces of a program that you can decide to install. Features typically represent the functional features of the program.

Essentially, a feature is a grouping of components. When you perform a custom installation, the items that are listed in the Advanced Customization dialog box are the features for Office and for the various Office programs.

Dynamic run-time repair

Windows Installer enables the dynamic repair of a program exactly as it enables the installation of features on first use. When a program is started, Windows Installer verifies that each component is installed correctly.

As mentioned in the "Components and features" section, the keypath is used to determine whether a component is broken or missing. If the keypath resource is missing, Windows Installer automatically reinstalls the component or the components that are broken or missing.

If the source files can be accessed, a Windows Installer dialog box may briefly appear during the repair process. Then, the program finishes starting. For more information about Windows Installer, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

310598 Overview of the Windows Installer technology

On-demand detect and repair

To run the Detect and Repair feature in your 2007 Office programs, use one of the following methods, as appropriate for your situation.

For 2007 Office programs that use menus

  1. Start the 2007 Office program.
  2. On the Help menu, click Office Diagnostics.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Click Run Diagnostics.
  5. If a problem is identified, Office Diagnostics may offer to run the repair process.

For 2007 Office programs that use the Ribbon

  1. Start the 2007 Office program.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click program_name Options.
  3. In the program_name Options dialog box, click Resources, and then click Diagnose next to office diagnostics.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Click Run Diagnostics.
  6. If a problem is identified, Office Diagnostics may offer to run the repair process.

Article ID: 924614 - Last Review: Sep 12, 2011 - Revision: 1

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