Computing Update VI

Tobae fired up Excel today and Microsoft AutoUpdate told her of the recent service pack for Office for Mac 2011.  She asked whether she should download it and given our poor bandwidth and its size (110 MB), I said to do it at her office tomorrow.  So she clicked not now and then Excel crashed and Microsoft Error Reporter launched.  Yes send the report and re-open Excel and her file.  Excel crashed again and Microsoft Error Reported launched again.  And so on.

Had the data file been corrupted?  Attached her “Time Machine” disk and restored the most recent backup.  Excel crashed…  But in doing so it had changed the date modified on the file.  I didn’t want to start possibly corrupting every spreadsheet on her computer.  I’d make my own spreadsheet.  File -> New Workbook.  Excel crashed…

Time for some work with Google.  Search came up with many entries having to do with the Outlook killing version of SP2 known as 14.2.0.  But she was still 14.1.4.  Tightened up the search and was led to this article in the Microsoft Support Knowledge Base:  Microsoft Excel Has Encountered A Problem…  There are many similar articles in the knowledge base.   The titles never entertain the possibility that the problem not only was encountered but also created by Microsoft.  And they always involve doing lots of things that you don’t want to do.  An amusing part of the particular one is that it begins with Step 1, then Step 2, then Step 5, then Step 4, then Step 5.

The alternative was to download the now repaired service pack 14.2.1 and be optimistic.  The download took 90 minutes on our rural connection.   It consumed 2% of our monthly quota and will likely have us throttled for awhile.  It seemed to overwrite some of Tobae’s preferences, but the file opened and she was back in business.

My other bit of work on her computer this weekend was to update VMware Fusion to 4.1.2.  Just like when I had updated my own computer a couple of weeks ago, I got the message “The operation can’t be completed because you don’t have permission to modify VMware Fusion.   On my own machine, I have a true root account enabled.  I switched to it and got the update installed.  But I didn’t want to go that path on Tobae’s computer.  Should have used Google before for the solution presented on the VMware Knowledge Base was simple, though not quite intuitive:

To resolve this issue, even though you are already running Fusion 4, install the upgrade by double-clicking the “Double-click to upgrade from VMware Fusion 3” icon.

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