18 June 2007

How do I – Fix the problem where IE crashes when opening Office documents on SharePoint?

OK, this one has several pieces out there in the blogosphere and some more on the newsgroups, but I've not seen a comprehensive post that clearly stipulates why the problem occurs and how to fix it.

OK, so first the why. Why does IE (both 6 and 7) crash when I try to open an Office document (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.) on SharePoint (WSS or MOSS)?

When you try to use the "Edit in Microsoft…" option for a document it always blows up.
Sometimes this is also seen when you just simply click on the document which would then open in browse mode.
Either way, instead of seeing this:

Friendly little warning, you see this:

Ugly "The exception unknown software exception (0xc06d007f) occurred in the application at location 0x7c812a5b." error message.
When you click the "OK" button, you get another error message, the "The instruction at "0x30cb05e4" referenced memory at "0x00000000". The memory could not be "written." error.

Well the problem started when you installed a brand new shiny Office 2007 application. In my case, I was working on migrating us to MOSS 2007 from SPS 2003 and installed SharePoint Designer 2007… and that was enough to break my system.
The underlying problem occurs in the OWSSUPP.DLL file located in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12 folder.
After much research and debug tracing with Joe on a Microsoft Premier Support ticket I had opened for this, we discovered that OWSSUPP.DLL actually calls, down the line, the NAME.DLL which, installed with Office 2007 apps, are incompatible.
Anyway, to make a long story short, reverting back to the old version of OWSSUPP.DLL will solve the problem.

OK, so here's how you fix it. NOTE: This fix will only work until you install another Office 2007 component at which point you will need to redo these steps again.
  1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12.
  2. Locate the OWSSUPP.DLL file and rename it to OWSSUPP.DLL.OLD.
  3. Now navigate to the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11 folder.
  4. Locate the OWSSUPP.DLL file and copy it.
  5. Now navigate back to the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12 folder.
  6. Paste the OWSSUPP.DLL file from the Office11 folder to here, the Office12 folder.
  7. Open a command prompt window with Start/Run/cmd.
  8. Chance directory to the Office12 folder with CD "Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12".
  9. Now using REGSVR32 OWSSUPP.DLL re-register the DLL file.
  10. Now here's where the trick come in. You will receive an error message like this:
  11. Pay the error no heed. The registration worked. Go back and attempt to edit your Office document on SharePoint. It should work without any problems.

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