Slow opening MS Office files on computer

20 pts.
Tags:
Microsoft Office
Office 2003
Windows XP
I have a user who is having trouble opening only Office files on his computer. When you open the application and then open the file, everything is fine. But when you double-click the file in My Computer or from an email it takes upwards of 3 minutes to load the app and then the file. Last time this happened I recreated a Windows profile for the user and that fixed it for a while, but now the problem is back. This last time it happene I added the %1 at the end of the startup lines and that fixed it for a few days. Now the problem is back. I have run system diagnostics and it did not find anything. Running: Windows XP Professional SP2 (all updates have been run), Office 2003 SP3 (all updates have been run) It is a Dell Latitude D630 that is only 5 month old.
ASKED: July 17, 2008  8:24 PM
UPDATED: April 18, 2013  6:17 PM

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  • Technochic
    My first question is how much RAM does this system have?
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  • Jirvine
    I believe this is caused by drives that are no longer available, IE: Removeable USB drives no longer installed, mapped drives to other PC's that are no longer on the network... What I believe is happening is when you double click the file, for whatever reason, explorer is looking at these non-connected drives and it's waiting on them to time-out before it continues with the load. Check to see if there are any USB drives or if there had been any hooked up during that session. Also check to see if there are any mapped drives that could be disconnected.
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  • Bhans
    I am looking into your suggestion about unattached drives. I know that I have have had USB devices and drives on other PCs in the network that have been attached or mapped but are no longer there. However, they have been unattached and disconnected and don't appear on Windows Explorer when I open My Computer. Can they still be the cause of this problem and, if so, how can I get to them to fix it? More details that may or may not be relevant: I just checked to see if there were any differences between file types .xls and .xlsx or .doc and .docx and they all had the problem of slow connections. Note that sometimes the application comes up a couple of minutes before the contents of the file displayed.
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  • Technochic
    Since the contents of the file are eventually displaying I would have to say this is not happening because of a disconnected drive or else you would get an error that windows explorer cannot find the file. Therefore it is something else going on. You did not say how much memory you have on your system, Office apps require a lot of memory and the larger the file, the more memory required. Does a reboot help? If so you definitely need more memory. Do you have at least 1GB on your system now?
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  • Technochic
    Bhans, I see where you posted the memory on your system, I was mistaking your last post to be from the person who submitted the original question sorry. He is the one who has not provided the details of his system specs. You should have adiquate memory on your system. Do you have any com add ins installed with your office applications? Try opening a document in safe mode and see if it opens quickly for you. If so, the issue probably lies with a com add-in.
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  • Bhans
    Thank you Technochic for your suggestion. I entered XP in safe mode and had no trouble opening any of my files in seconds I rebooted again and started having the problems again 2 minutes for the application to open and 2 more minutes for the data to be displayed. I'm not really sure what Com Add-Ins are or which I might have so I thought I would look at the Control Panel > Add or Remove programs and here are my candidates: 1 - In addition to the MS Office Professional Plus 2007, I still have MS Office Standard Trial 2007 installed. Is this a problem? 2 - I have Equation Editor installed I don't think I have any other Com Add-Ins. How do I definitively determine that?
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  • Docutechdoug
    I still think Jirvine is on to something. It acts like Windows is waiting for something, then times out, gives up, and goes on to open the file. I'd be curious to know what happens if you allow Windows to boot normally and then pull the network cable or disable all network connections. Then try to open the Office doc. If it opens right up at that point, then I'd look closer at old mapped network drives or printers that aren't there anymore but Windows is still looking for them there.
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  • Technochic
    You can open an office application in safe mode while booted normally to windows. Either go to the run line and type word /safe or excel /safe or waht have you and hit enter, or go to programs, find the application and hold down the control key while clicking the application such as Word. You will get prompted if you want to open it in safe mode. If the documents open quickly and successfully this way then it is an add on causing the problem. You could have some conflicts with the other software, definitely remove the trial version youhave installed as well. As for add ins, for office 2007, click the program circle, upper left, select the"word options" button at the bottom, select add-ins from the left-hand menu and click "go" next to manage:com add-ins at the bottom of the right-hand pane. You can disable all add-ins and re-enable them one at a time to find the offending one.
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  • Schmidtw
    while this is happening, check CTFMON.exe this is a microsoft office process that may be correupted.
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  • Bhans
    First let me thank everyone who has been giving me help. I was out, so I just had the opportunity to check the last few suggestions. Docutech - I pulled the network cable and the delay was cut down to 2 minutes after I opened a couple of local Office files then put the cable back in and opened me "domain" Office files. This is a great improvement, from before, but not a real improvement from opening the application first and navigating through the Open option when it opens right away. Technochic - I am not sure I understand your suggestion to open Word or Excel in safe mode. If it means opening the application some way first then navigating to the file, then it is not an improvement. I don't have the delayed openings from opening files within the applications. Schmidtw - I'm not sure what you meant by ctfmon.exe being corrupted. I turned off ctfmon.exe by turning off Advanced Text Services in the Regional And Language Options in the Control Panel. It did not seem to make any improvement beyond what doing the cable re-attachment accomplished. I then opened msconfig.exe and checked under the Start Tab, thinking that this might be a way be more sure ctfmon.exe was turned off, but it wasn't there. I figured I should turn Advanced Text Services on again since I was not 100% sure I might not need one of its other services besides Alternative User Input (which is what I thought you thought might be causing the problem) I guess I'm resigned to opening the application first, which means I can't use links or My Recent Documents. For attachments, I will just have to download them all rather that just opening them.
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  • Vfalcone74
    I have the same issue as noted in this question. It takes 5 minutes for files to open when dbl-clicked, but no time at all when opened from within the app. It also takes about 3 minutes for internet links to open from within emails and Standby mode no longer works (click on standby and nothing happens, even overnight, and no error messages). All other shut-down modes work fine. Dell Latitude D620 Windows XP Pro 2002 SP2 Office 2000 (except Outlook) - Outlook 2003 2GB RAM What I've tried so far: checkdisk, defrag, Norton virus scan, spyware scan, full uninstall and reinstall of Office 2000, rename Office Registry entries to force recreation. Per the discussion here, I disconnected all network connections, turned off alternative input devices (I cannot find anywhere to tell me how to replace the ctfmon.exe file just in case this is corrupt), and I'm not running any add-ins on Word or Excel - Powerpoint has one, but that has been there for a year and no one else is having this trouble. Other suggestions or things I can try?
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  • Asmt56
    If you have Adobe Acrobat on your machine that may be causing the problem, especially if you upgraded from 2003 to 2007 version. I have seen several remedies for this: 1 - See if you have a personal macro workbook (Personal.xls) in the directory C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\xlstart. Delete it and see if that works. 2 - Change the settings for Adobe PDF Maker. In the control panel click on add/remove Programs, select Adobe Acrobat Professional and click the change button. Select Modify and click Next, then expand the Create Adobe PDF section and expand the Acrobat PDFMaker section. Click the arrow next to Microsoft Office and select the last option "This feature will not be available". Click Next and Finish. (Note: this requires the installation disk) This will allow you to make PDF files from other software. 3 - Search and delete the file PDFMaker.xla in the Office directory. I have not needed to do this so I don't know which option is the best.
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  • Vfalcone74
    Asmt56, I didn't have good results to your response. 1. There were no files in the xlstart folder, and personal.xls does not exist anywhere on my local hard drives. 2. I removed PDFmaker functionality for Office, and that did not change the issue. I also ran "Repair" from the Adobe installation and that also did not change anything. 3. PDFmaker.xla could not be found anywhere on local hard drives. Last week, for no apparent reason, the problem went away and I was able to open files by double-clicking on them. Monday morning, after booting up (shut down over the weekend), the issue was back and I have to open from within the app again. Anything else? Thanks.
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  • Vfalcone74
    Today I had another guy at work look at my computer and he did 2 things which have so far resolved the issues. First, there was an XP service running called "theme...", I can't remember the whole name of it, I'll post it later if the other guy remembers. This service was also running on his computer and we verified that it is an authentic XP operation, I don't run any Windows themes anyway, so it's disabled. The other thing he did was remove some software for an Intel modem that we don't know how it got there. I don't have an Intel modem and I don't use the one I do have. We think this is the more likely cause of the issues. This was simply uninstalled using "Add or Remove Programs" from the Control Panel. As i stated above, so far all functions have returned to my computer and office files open normally again. Standby also works and links in emails open as quickly as before. Not sure why a modem software would cause these issues, but I didn't have to re-format and re-install everything.
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  • Bobvonh
    hi, office docs was really slowly opening, but fast when I first open ie. word (xp, 2003) and then open file from word menu. problem was solved when I shut off WIFI antena ( there was no wifi connection ).
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  • Bobvonh
    nope, it was kodak easysharing. sorry
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  • MacsPC
    Hi Folks - I have to start by saying that i'm no Office Expert - I can't stand 2007 BUT that's not important. :o) Anyway - When I worked at my previous job - we had a couple of instances of this problem - due to "Roaming Profiles" & one thing we found was that one common issue was that users had excessively large personal Windows & Office profiles. Check to see if your .PST files etc. are large ( we had a couple at 200+ mb ) - which on a standard PC would be OK but on a ROAMER - it has to be downloaded to the PC for every use ! Does your PC start up slowly - do you put your password in & then have a delay - especially under the dialogue "Loading Your Personal Settings" - if so - see how much you can back-up to CD etc & remove from roaming. Also - I agree that the system is looking for hardware & timing out - have you tried going into safe mode & removing all drive hardware etc & network cards & then booting up normally ? This shoud force windows to realise that not all is as it once was - as it will have to re-install the hardware BUT there will be NO SIGN of the histoiric hardware !!! Finally I ALSO AGREE with the theory of Software Clash - This has been proved above by you switching to Safe Mode & no problems loading. Try un-installing ANY old - un-used software. Run a decent registry checking software . . . even purchased NEW - it will cost you around $200 LESS than your solution. Go into Explorer settings / File Types & Assosiate the office files with something stupid like WordPad / NotePad etc. & re-boot ( DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THEM LIKE THIS ) then after the re- boot - using Explorer - "Right Click" one of your files & select "Open With" (DO NOT SELECT FROM THE CHOICES PROVIDED - but instead "Choose Program" NOW select the correct software - ie .Wrd = Word etc. BUT remember to tick the "Always use this program to open this file type" This little excersise SHOULD RESET explorer's control over what is called to open what file. IF ALL ELSE FAILS - IS the "Direct Shortcut" etc. problem you have - really worth $240 - even to a business - after all - how many licences will this grant you etc. I think you've done the right thing asking on this forum. The answers may not have been timely since you asked last year BUT THEY'RE ALL FREE !!! I hope I've been of SOME HELP :o) Cheers - M!ke - (Macs-PC)
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  • MacsPC
    - I've just thought of something I meant to mention - Using a better proggy than msconfig.exe ( I use a couple ) to view "Auto-Start" Loaders - almost every installed software from Office / Lotus etc right down to Nero / Power DVD throw loaders in there - these are usually Pre-Bundled with new machines. Switch off EVERYTHING that is not essential - I had to do this to so many PC's at my old place that I lost count ! BUT IT WORKS !!! You will not only improve performance BUT you may stop the problem program clashing with your software. EVEN STOP OFFICE from Auto-Loading. Remember - ALL of these programs will function 100% normally without the Auto-Loader - they install "Boot Auto-Starters" there so they have a tiny bit of Ram reserverd so they can start a little bit quicker. The problem is - usually - about 85% of the "Aauto-Loaded" softwares will not get used from one day to the next BUT they're still sitting in the memory - just awaiting that ONE TIME you might run them. Reguardless of the amount of RAM you have installed - you can get a large amount back ! Personally I SWEAR BY FreeRAM XP Pro http://www.yourwaresolutions.com/software.html A single click can empty your ram from 25Mb FREE to 300MbFREE - Running XP Pro on a 512mb RAM - this may also help you to load files faster. IF you are interested in any of the softwares etc. I've mentioned - PLEASE CONTACT ME & I'll try to sort you out !!!! :o) - Mike - ( Macs PC ) Mike.Macs_PC@NTLworld.com
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  • MacsPC
    SORRY - I don't know WHY the FreeRAM address went everywhere - it looked OK when I put it in ! It's w w w. yourwaresolutions . com / software . html I've removed the h t t p & w w w. & split the address to prevent the auto formatting AGAIN !!!! THERE ARE NO SPACES Cheers [B]- M!ke - (Macs-PC)
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  • BrandDynamicsNZ
    I found that a potential solution to this problem of slow opening files from Office 2007/2010 including the obscure contacting advirtualserver press ESC to close (in the status bar) and having word hang for an interminable period when loading or saving files from a networked or mapped drive . Solution is to go to your network connection settings and remove the following drivers QOS packet scheduler Client for MS networks File and printer sharing reboot and then re-install the drivers. This took me a lot of effort and several dead ends to work out including several office installs, many registry and folder hacks and NAS boots and was driving me insane and almost made me install openoffice just to get work done , nice but too clunky :( Mark Brand-Dynamics.biz before i worked it out.
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  • 1bit
    This problem was driving me crazy as well. It turns out the solution for me was making sure the Indexing Service was started: Start Menu > Run > Services.msc then scroll down to Indexing Service, double-click, turn to Automatic. The service usually then starts, but the effect won't be achieved without restarting the computer. Hope this works for you!
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  • Eschaq
    The other possibility, that I've seen, is it's looking for a printer. We have people that use laptops that set the default printer to their home printer. When they are on campus, and the printer is not available, we see a delay that is VERY similar to what I've read here. Check that your default printer is available.
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  • 00Dad
    I joined just to throw my experience into the pool... I had this issue pop up on a few users and none of the above worked. What DID work was to uninstall (via Programs and Features) the Getting Started Tab for each of the office apps. If you have these installed, give it a shot.
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  • Mstewart1903
    This is what worked for me: My xls files opend very slowly unless I Already had Excel opened. Then they opened normally. I am running Office 2010 and Windows 2010 is my operating system. Close all the programs you have running. Press the Start Button. Where it says at the bottom: Search Programs and Files, type in Indexing. Indexing Options will appear as one of the search results. Click on Indexing Options. The Indexing Options window opens. Click on the Advanced button. The Advanced Options window opens. Click on the Rebuild button. Now, walk away. It will take a long time to rebuild (mine was about half an hour). Don't do anything until it tells you it is through rebuilding. That's it! I didn't even have to reboot. I hope this works for you as well as it did for me.
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  • EddB
    This is probably being caused by the CrashOnAuditFail. If you have security hardened your system(s), one of the proposed ideas is to have the system fail if the system cannot write to the event log(s). Open regedt32 and do a search for CrashOnAuditFail and change the entries to 0. Some systems have numerous versions of this hive so make sure you get all of them.
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  • WPEngineer
    I got an answer as to why office is taking a long time to load files. The instruction are go to control panel Then select add and remove programs Find Microsoft file validation ad in and clock remove Also look at modifying registry 2003 HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Office 11 Common Open Find MAKE on EDIT menu NEW DWood Value call it' EnableShellDataCaching Right mouse MODIFY Value Data 1 It will now enable caching
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  • psdleung
    I have another suggestion, normally there is possibility that some newly installed program application has conflict to MS Word.  For me, I have the same issue, & after 2 weeks try & error & finally I found the ANSWER !!  It is Pandora TV which is installed when I upgrade KM Player to latest version.  Please try to UNINSTALL Pandora TV if you have already install & see whether it can fix or not !
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  • Boreman

    I to am having the slow to open files for both WORD & EXCEL.

    I tried several suggestions listed here and finally removing KODAK EASY SHARE fixed my problem.  Thanks.

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