I’m often frustrated by the amount of syncing that I have to do. I have four desktops and a laptop I use regularly, as well as my Kindle Fire, Android smartphone, and WP7 smartphone. That’s a lot to keep coordinated.
As a heavy user of Outlook (I use Exchange to keep everything coordinated) and OneNote, I thought that I’d give the new (released on January 29th) Office 365 2013 a ride. I ponied up for a year’s subscription and commenced the download on the first desktop. I chose the desktop I use for development, weather, and ham radio to upgrade first. Note that I am upgrading from Office 2007, so I skipped Office 2010 altogether.
The download is a snap. Once you have your subscription, you one-click an installer download. Once on your system, just run that and office will install seamlessly and effortlessly. On the first system, it worked flawlessly and only took about 15 minutes total.
On my second system (the one I use the most … the real office computer) the download and install went fine, but I ran into real problems when I started running the applications. Outlook was particularly cranky, and seemed to crash every 2 minutes. I did the usual troubleshooting and discovered two levels of reinstalls: Quick and thorough. The quick reinstall (accessed by loading add/remove programs and clicking on “change”) was what I tried first, but it didn’t seem to make any difference. Then I tried the complete reinstall (which completely reinstalls all files), and it didn’t work either.
By this time, I had tried a bunch of things:
- Deleting the OST file and letting Outlook rebuild a new one
- Setting up a new profile for Outlook
- Closing and reopening attached PST files
- Disabling all Outlook ad-ins
Nothing worked. It would always crash EXCEPT when I ran Outlook in safe mode (“outlook.exe /safe”). This was now becoming a challenge that I couldn’t let defeat me. There had to be a simple explanation. I tried Google, got some good ideas (see the list above), but nothing panned out. After a few hours of that, I decided a couple of things:
- It wasn’t Office, since it was working flawlessly on my first system
- It had to be something in my Win 7 configuration … a conflicting driver or other program
I looked at the event log and noticed that every single crash was in the file nvwgf2um.dll. Strange. I had crashed both Outlook and OneNote and they both crashed on the same DLL file? I then did a Google search on that file and found out that it is an Nvidia driver file. Strange, but I had been having some problems with my video driver. Every once in awhile, it would crash and recover at seemingly random times. Things were starting to make sense.
I visited Nvidia’s site, used the handy tool they have to identify your graphics board and found out that mine was a GEForce GT 220, a standard Dell build from a few years ago. I was running the driver version 186.27. Interestingly, when I had had recent driver issues with it I had used my Pareto Driver Cure, which told me that the video driver was up to date. Far from it. The current version showed as 310.90! I downloaded the new driver package, installed it, and no more problems. Office is running like a champ. So my frustration with Office wasn’t with Office at all, but with an outdated driver.
I’m enjoying Office and will post more about it here later on. In the meantime, I think I’ll uninstall Pareto Driver Cure. If it’s telling me a 3 year old driver that has been updated dozens of times is still current, then I don’t think it’s worth messing with.