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Unable to use Word 2007 while working with laptop offline RRS feed

  • Question

  • Word and Office in general works fine when the computer is online and connected to our domain (using a VPN client). However, when the computer is offline (for example, in an airplane, when there is no internet access and thus no connection to our domain), Word throws several error messages.

    When you try to open Word, we get the following:

    When you click OK, Word opens, but you get this error:

    "Word cannot open the existing file. (Normal)"

    This message just has an OK button. Once you click OK, you can use Word just fine. However, if you try to save the file, you get this:

    If you click Yes, Word locks up.

    This same problem is both if you try to open an existing document or if you try to open a new document.

    We have a Server 2008 R2 domain with Windows 7 client PCs. My Documents, Desktop and Favorites are all redirected folders; however, App Data is not, nor is the path for normal.dotm. This happens when trying to open a blank document as well as a created document saved on the C: drive.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012 7:12 PM

Answers

  • You might try as a test setting up a new user account on an offline machine and see if Word works normally. I say that because since running in Safe mode eliminated the first couple messages, that indicates a potential global macro either in the Normal template or from a Com Add-in is causing the problem ... at least with that part of the issue.

    Regarding the save issue.

    A thought comes from just spending way to much time in a web meeting with a customer's IT rep who thought/claimed they all had the right permissions. Turned out a "Special" permission level had been setup in all their profiles, including the IT rep's.  However, checking the Advanced Security Settings revealed the "Include inheritable permissions ..." option had been omitted for all profiles.  So an app, one of mine, was having a problem saving some files.

    Word uses something like 15 hidden files to do its work. Where all of these are placed I don't know but even though it might look as though redirecting some directories shouldn't matter, then again it just might.

    I'm kind of out of ideas but hopefully someone else will jump in and help you figure this out.


    Kind Regards, Rich ... http://greatcirclelearning.com
    • Marked as answer by FishersIT Thursday, February 9, 2012 9:27 PM
    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 10:10 PM

All replies

  • Forgot to add: tried Excel as well, it opens fine, no error messages, but locks up when you try to save the file and you have to shut it down via Task Manager.

    Notepad and Wordpad work fine.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012 7:14 PM
  • Verify that the user's file location settings in Word > Options look something like this:


    Kind Regards, Rich ... http://greatcirclelearning.com
    Tuesday, January 17, 2012 10:26 PM
  • I checked - the Documents and AutoRecover pointed to the redirected My Documents. I modified the location to be on the C:\ drive and tested - same issues.
    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 1:26 AM
  • A few more thoughts ...

    1. When they go offline make sure they do a restart (power down). Closing the lid on the laptop doesn't restart the system.
    2. Verify that user has Full Priviledge to the App Data directory and all sub folders.
    3. Start Word in Safe Mode and verify if it behaves normally.
    4. If Word works correctly in safe mode.  While still offline and Word not running, go to the Microsoft\Templates folder in the App Data directory and rename Normal.dotm to oldNormal.dotm.  Search the system for any other Normal.dot or dotm templates and rename them to something else. Then restart Word.

    Kind Regards, Rich ... http://greatcirclelearning.com
    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 11:25 AM
  • 1. We've tried it right after going offline while still logged in, have tried logging off while it's offline and logging back in when it's offline, after a restart after going offline, and starting the computer from a completely shut down state not connected to the network... same issues on all.

    2. I've checked, and the user seems to have all permissions to the App Data directory and subfolders. I have even made the user a local administrator for testing purposes, and had the same issues. Also, I have tried my domain admin account, both as a local admin and not, and had the same issues.

    3. When we start Word in safe mode, it does not give the first two error messages. It creates a new document fine; however, when I try to save that document, it gives the last error message (Word has insufficient memory. Do you want to save Document1 as a Rescued document?). If you try to open a document instead of create new, it locks up and has to be shut down via Task Manager. I tried this both with the user as a local admin and without(as per #2 above).

    4. Didn't try this time because Word didn't work correctly in safe mode, but have done in the past, and even moved the default Templates folder location to somewhere else on the C drive, and had the same issue.


    At the very least, I have identified that it doesn't seem to be limited to account or computer, as I have tried 3 laptops and two accounts and had the same issue. A google search brings up a few other people with the same issue, but no solution as of yet, other than disabling redirected folders - which makes no sense to me, as the folders being redirected aren't the ones Word has anything in.

    Thanks for your suggestions! Any other ideas?

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 4:23 PM
  • You might try as a test setting up a new user account on an offline machine and see if Word works normally. I say that because since running in Safe mode eliminated the first couple messages, that indicates a potential global macro either in the Normal template or from a Com Add-in is causing the problem ... at least with that part of the issue.

    Regarding the save issue.

    A thought comes from just spending way to much time in a web meeting with a customer's IT rep who thought/claimed they all had the right permissions. Turned out a "Special" permission level had been setup in all their profiles, including the IT rep's.  However, checking the Advanced Security Settings revealed the "Include inheritable permissions ..." option had been omitted for all profiles.  So an app, one of mine, was having a problem saving some files.

    Word uses something like 15 hidden files to do its work. Where all of these are placed I don't know but even though it might look as though redirecting some directories shouldn't matter, then again it just might.

    I'm kind of out of ideas but hopefully someone else will jump in and help you figure this out.


    Kind Regards, Rich ... http://greatcirclelearning.com
    • Marked as answer by FishersIT Thursday, February 9, 2012 9:27 PM
    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 10:10 PM
  • Just out of curiosity: is there any GPO set up which redirects user folders (such as My Documents) to the server?
    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” – IBM Manual, 1925
    Friday, January 20, 2012 6:27 AM
  • You might try as a test setting up a new user account on an offline machine and see if Word works normally. I say that because since running in Safe mode eliminated the first couple messages, that indicates a potential global macro either in the Normal template or from a Com Add-in is causing the problem ... at least with that part of the issue.

    Regarding the save issue.

    A thought comes from just spending way to much time in a web meeting with a customer's IT rep who thought/claimed they all had the right permissions. Turned out a "Special" permission level had been setup in all their profiles, including the IT rep's.  However, checking the Advanced Security Settings revealed the "Include inheritable permissions ..." option had been omitted for all profiles.  So an app, one of mine, was having a problem saving some files.

    Word uses something like 15 hidden files to do its work. Where all of these are placed I don't know but even though it might look as though redirecting some directories shouldn't matter, then again it just might.

    I'm kind of out of ideas but hopefully someone else will jump in and help you figure this out.


    Kind Regards, Rich ... http://greatcirclelearning.com
    I've been out of town for a few days, but thank you - I will try this!!!
    Tuesday, January 24, 2012 2:50 PM
  • Just out of curiosity: is there any GPO set up which redirects user folders (such as My Documents) to the server?
    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” – IBM Manual, 1925


    Yup - like I mentioned in the first post:

    We have a Server 2008 R2 domain with Windows 7 client PCs. My Documents, Desktop and Favorites are all redirected folders; however, App Data is not, nor is the path for normal.dotm. This happens when trying to open a blank document as well as a created document saved on the C: drive.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012 2:51 PM
  • You might try as a test setting up a new user account on an offline machine and see if Word works normally. I say that because since running in Safe mode eliminated the first couple messages, that indicates a potential global macro either in the Normal template or from a Com Add-in is causing the problem ... at least with that part of the issue.

    I ended up doing this, creating a new, totally local user account. This worked for opening, editing, and saving, so since there doesn't seem to be another way around this, unfortunately, so we're going to use this as a solution. Thanks!
    Thursday, February 9, 2012 9:27 PM
  • I am having the exact same issue, with the same scenario, no idea yet how to fix but using a local user account as a workaround is of no use really.

    I tried the items mentioned in this thread to no avail, http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/officeitproprevious/thread/28c77874-e0ef-452e-8ddc-01dcce068473

    Does anyone have any other potential fix?

    Gary

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012 11:27 AM