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Excel 2003 starts in safe-mode

Royston Vasey

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On my Windows Server 2003+SP1 (all patches) running Terminal Services I have installed Microsoft Office 2003+SP1.

Whilst all the major applications load and function correctly, I am having problems starting Excel 2003.

The first time I start Excel 2003, it loads just fine. When I finish with the application, it closes correctly (using File/Exit or the Red Cross).

However, the next time I try to open Excel 2003 I get the following dialog box:

Excel failed to start correctly last time. Starting Excel in safe mode will help you correct or isolate a startup problem in order tto successfully start the program. Some functionality may be disabled in this mode.

Do you want to start Excel in safe mode? Yes/No

If I click Yes, Excel 2003 opens in Safe Mode. I can close the application down as per normal.

The next time I open Excel 2003 it works just fine.

The problem re-appears when the application is opened again.

And so it goes on ad infinitum.

I have tried re-installing Office 2003, but to no avail.

How can this message be fixed?


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Looks like I can answer my own question.


Open the registry on the offending server:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Terminal Server\Install\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Excel\Resiliency\

Here you might find 'TermSrvCopyKeyOnce' with a value of 0x1

There might be sub-keys of Resiliency\Startupitems and Resiliency\DisabledItems.

I discovered I had 'TermSrvCopyKeyOnce'

I deleted the entire HKLM 'Resiliency' key

I also deleted the key HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Excel\Resiliency

Now, when I start up Excel 2003, it loads correctly (with no errors) everytime.



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