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08 March 2007

me and another dumb computer problem Hey MeCha! Why can't I open excel all of a sudden?[More:]So I'm trying to open Excel this morning, and it's all like, "preparing to install" and talking about crap with Microsoft Frontpage integration and then I get a 1706 error. And it's telling me I need to put in a cd-rom. WTF? (I am very dumb with computers, just by the by.) I neeeeeed excel! Help?
do you have your install disks? sounds like windows fubarred a driver. it happens; windoze can be an ass like that. if you have your Office installation disks, just put in the one it's asking for and you should be good to go.

beyond that i can't be much help. this kind of shit, incidentally, is why i bought a macintosh.
posted by lonefrontranger 08 March | 12:11
nah, this is my laptop and my install disks are at home. I guess I'll just wait until then. Which means that I can't really do any data analysis, which is what I was going to do today. Fuck it.

(I too would like a mac, however all of our work puters are PCs and it's just easier - in some ways - for me to have one too)
posted by gaspode 08 March | 12:17
Yeah, sounds like a driver ish. You can download driver updates from Microsoft, but you may have to have all the installation info handy.

For what it's worth, I hate my mac. I hate PCs, too, but at least I can take my anger out on their guts. Mac has an opaque monopoly, PC has a transparent monopoly. I want to break my PC more often, but I'd be more satisfied breaking my mac, with its goofy mouse and keyboard all nimbledy-pimbledy-like. And smug commercials designed to make people who wear jeans to work and feel elite willing to pay $600 too much for a computer.
posted by Hugh Janus 08 March | 12:42
Did you say please? Or pretty please?

Hugh, don't be hatin'! I replace the standard mouse and keyboard immediately.
posted by fenriq 08 March | 12:58
hugh, i hear you on the opacity issues; back when i first transitioned to the mac i had a case of the fuckity-fucks about twice a week with something i couldn't grok. then it dawned on me that macs are designed for dimbulbs like me who enjoy looking at the pretty interfaces and can't be arsed to twiddle around with application innards. windoze users tend to overthink things on a mac, so i quit thinking at all when booted to OSX and now my life is peachy.

*smiles the stepford-esque dreamy spaced-out mac user smile... drools a bit*

as far as the mouse dealie, i just use a standard 2-button windoze mouse and it works seamlessly, right click menus and everything. tho i have an intel mac, so mebbe that's a feature of the new architecture.

i've been learning how to rock all the macintard's keyboard shortcuts lately and i have to say i'm using the right button less and less. i use OSX and XP about equally these days, so i've become efficient at swinging both ways *leer*.

And smug commercials designed to make people who wear jeans to work and feel elite willing to pay $600 too much for a computer.

eh you just described 95% of the Boulder corporate workforce. i dunno whether i should feel smug or insulted...
posted by lonefrontranger 08 March | 13:05
Don't feel insulted, I'm just a big ding-dong. I don't have a dog in the race; like I said, I use both. My mac is a piece of shit. The PC I'm on now is a piece of shit. One cost much more than the other and delivers the same smelly steam.

I work in a suit. I wish I could work in jeans. Actually, I wish I could work in Carharrts. Even better would be working in the bottom half of a Garfield costume and nothing but baby oil on my torso.

Like I said, don't feel insulted.
posted by Hugh Janus 08 March | 13:15
*blows spitwads at hugh, punches him lightly on the shoulder*

there. that's about how insulted i felt. i keed, i keed.

Even better would be working in the bottom half of a Garfield costume and nothing but baby oil on my torso.

heh, you should come out here and work for the university then...

and in deference to gaspode, whose thread we have quite thouroughly derailed: you might want to check if you've got 'automatic updates' turned off. ask your computer nerd cos these are the #1 source of application-addling driver conflicts. quite frequently when windows goes tits up on a driver related issue, it's because of some piece of shit virus software update that microsoft has inflicted upon its userbase.
posted by lonefrontranger 08 March | 13:26
lfr my dear, derail away, you already answered my question I think.

and thanks for the turn off auto updates tip. I'll check.

(yes I have a PhD and I can't use my computer. I can do graphics though, so I never would have given you that powerpoint issue the other week /sheepish)
posted by gaspode 08 March | 13:33
I wouldn't turn off Automatic Update unless you know you have a good reason, like custom hardware. (Your OEM also uses that to roll out driver updates, which is especially important for laptops; and it's how Microsoft made sure that XP users will be ready for the new US daylight savings time schedule this year.)

Nor is this likely a driver issue (like a printer driver or something).

What this sounds like to me is an Office program trying to use a part of Office that wasn't installed (most people don't need half of the bells and whistles provided, so this is normal). When you try to use one of the features when you finally need it, though, you need your original install disks, and the Office progs can get into this loop where they won't run unless you complete this install, even if you realize "Oh fuck I don't have my disks, I'll just wing it without the whatsis widget".

The "Frontpage integration" may just mean that the last time you used it you tried to open an HTML file with Excel.

Knowledge Base article

You MIGHT get it working if you start Excel from the command line with the /s switch. Article
posted by stilicho 08 March | 14:49
cool, thanks stilicho.
posted by gaspode 08 March | 17:50
I have come across this before and it turned out to be the un-installed component issue that stilicho mentions. Excel may have been installed with the "install on first use" option for something that you have (probably inadvertently) called up. This is why I always install MS Office with everything (assuming there is sufficient disk space).

I must admit that I have been leaning more and more towards a Mac for my next purchase, even though I have been a complete hater on them forever. With what I have read of Vista, I am just not comfortable with the thought about continuing to drink the MS Kool-aid any more. I am also thinking about heading down the *nix route, but then I would not be able to have the sexy Mac hardware.
posted by dg 08 March | 17:53
Thanks guys, you've all been helpful. It was a corrupted shortcut. Why it wanted to open FrontPage I have no idea, but I can get into Excel now. (which is good because I can't find my install disks)
posted by gaspode 08 March | 22:14
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