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You receive a "The application failed to initialize because the window station is shutting down" error message when you are prompted to restart Windows after you run Office 2000 programs for the first time

This article was previously published under Q217605
For a Microsoft Office XP version of this article, see 290137.
When you start one of the Microsoft Office 2000 programs for the first time, Windows Installer may start, and you are prompted to restart your computer. When you click Yes, an error message similar to the following is briefly displayed:
The application failed to initialize because the window station is shutting down.
Note, you are not prompted to dismiss the error message. It quickly disappears right before Windows restarts.
This error message occurs when all of the following conditions are true:
  • You are using Windows NT 4.0. -and-

  • You have the Windows Desktop Update installed along with Internet Explorer 4.01 and SP1 (or higher) for Internet Explorer 4.01. -and-

  • A member of the Administrators group advertised Office 2000 by running Setup with the /j switch. -and-

  • You click one of the Office 2000 shortcuts on the Programs menu for the first time.
You can ignore this error message and your Office programs will still have complete functionality.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

Article ID: 217605 - Last Review: 01/24/2007 02:56:54 - Revision: 1.4

  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Premium Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Small Business Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
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