Microsoft Agent-enabled programs do not work in Windows 7

Microsoft Agent is a set of software services that supports interactive characters within the Microsoft Windows display. Some examples of the Microsoft Agent characters are the Office Assistants. The characters included Clipit (the paper clip), The Dot (a shape-shifting and color-shifting smiley-faced red ball), Hoverbot (a robot), and The Genius (a caricature of Albert Einstein).The characters would interact with users by offering help with tasks currently being performed. For more information about the phasing out of Microsoft Agent, seehttp://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms695784(VS.85).aspx.

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Symptoms

When starting a program in Windows 7, you may receive an error associated with Microsoft Agent, after receiving the error message the program may crash.

For example, when you use Microsoft Office XP and you press F1 to open the Office Assistant, you receive the following message:

The Office Assistant requires Microsoft Agent 2.0 or later versions. This product is available in the Office System Pack.


After you click
OK, the Help window appears. The Help window can be used in the standard manner. However, you cannot use the Office Assistant.

This issue can occur with applications such as Microsoft Office XP, Microsoft Office 2003, and any program that uses Microsoft Agent.

Cause

This issue occurs because Microsoft Agent has been discontinued with the release of Windows 7.

Microsoft Agent is not included in Windows 7, and it will not be included in any later versions of the Windows operating system. However, you can download Microsoft Agent as a hotfix for your Windows 7 computer.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, download and install Hotfix 969168 to install Microsoft Agent to your computer. To do this, click the View and request hotfix downloads link at the top of this article and follow the instructions.

Note The hotfix installs only the Microsoft Agent core components and the Merlin character. Additional character files such as Dot, Hoverbot, Scribble, or other Microsoft Agent components that are required for specific Microsoft Agent enabled applications will not be installed by this hotfix. If Microsoft Agent enabled applications still do not function after the installation of the hotfix, you may have to contact the software manufacturer for help.

Additionally, on Windows 7-based computers you may be presented with the Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA). When the PCA dialog box appears, click Check for solutions online. You are prompted to install Microsoft Agent, and then you are directed back to this article to install the hotfix.

Important The hotfix landing page determines your current Windows version and offers the download package for that version. You may want to download the hotfix to install on a different computer. For example, if you are currently using a 32-bit version of Windows 7, you may wish to install the hotfix on a 64-bit version of Windows 7. In this situation, you will need to click the link above the offered hotfix labeled Show hotfixes for all platforms and languages, and then move that hotfix to the 64-bit version of Windows 7 for installation.

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.


If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, submit a request to Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=supportNote The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Prerequisites

You must have Windows 7 installed to apply this hotfix.

Restart requirement

You do not have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.

File information

The global version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time item in Control Panel.

For all supported x86-based versions of Windows 7

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

Merlin.acs

Not Applicable

2,180,663

06-Aug-2009

22:41

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

17,408

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,456

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,456

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

22,528

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

23,040

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,968

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

21,504

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

18,944

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

22,528

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

16,384

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

20,480

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

22,016

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

13,824

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

13,312

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,456

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

21,504

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

20,480

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

21,504

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

21,504

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,968

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,968

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,456

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

10,752

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

10,752

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll

6.1.7600.16426

2,048

21-Sep-2009

09:05

x86

Agentanm.dll

6.1.7600.16426

27,648

21-Sep-2009

09:05

x86

Agentctl.dll

6.1.7600.16426

226,816

21-Sep-2009

09:05

x86

Agentdp2.dll

6.1.7600.16426

49,664

21-Sep-2009

09:05

x86

Agentdpv.dll

6.1.7600.16426

66,048

21-Sep-2009

09:05

x86

Agentpsh.dll

6.1.7600.16426

31,232

21-Sep-2009

09:05

x86

Agentsr.dll

6.1.7600.16426

57,344

21-Sep-2009

09:05

x86

Agentsvr.exe

6.1.7600.16426

294,400

21-Sep-2009

09:05

x86

Agtctl15.tlb

6.1.7600.16426

17,408

21-Sep-2009

09:05

Not Applicable

Mslwvtts.dll

6.1.7600.16426

45,568

21-Sep-2009

09:05

x86

For all supported x64-based versions of Windows 7

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

Merlin.acs

Not Applicable

2,180,663

06-Aug-2009

22:41

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

17,408

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,456

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,456

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

22,528

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

23,040

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,968

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

21,504

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

18,944

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

22,528

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

16,384

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

20,480

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

22,016

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

13,824

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

13,312

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,456

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

21,504

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

20,480

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

21,504

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

21,504

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,968

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,968

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

19,456

21-Sep-2009

09:22

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

10,752

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll.mui

6.1.7600.16426

10,752

21-Sep-2009

09:21

Not Applicable

Agtui.dll

6.1.7600.16426

2,048

21-Sep-2009

09:07

x64

Agentanm.dll

6.1.7600.16426

34,816

21-Sep-2009

09:07

x64

Agentctl.dll

6.1.7600.16426

175,616

21-Sep-2009

09:07

x64

Agentdp2.dll

6.1.7600.16426

54,784

21-Sep-2009

09:07

x64

Agentdpv.dll

6.1.7600.16426

76,800

21-Sep-2009

09:07

x64

Agentpsh.dll

6.1.7600.16426

31,744

21-Sep-2009

09:07

x64

Agentsr.dll

6.1.7600.16426

64,512

21-Sep-2009

09:07

x64

Agentsvr.exe

6.1.7600.16426

344,576

21-Sep-2009

09:08

x64

Agtctl15.tlb

6.1.7600.16426

17,408

21-Sep-2009

09:07

Not Applicable

Mslwvtts.dll

6.1.7600.16426

50,688

21-Sep-2009

09:07

x64

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More Information

For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

For more information about Microsoft Agent, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms695784.aspx

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