Another of the questions I answered last week was about Automatic Updates. In this case, on December 11th, the writer checked for Windows updates manually, after realizing that his automatic updates wasn’t working. He needed an update for Office 2003. When he installed the update, it almost finished and then failed. While Word, Access and others still worked, his Excel installation no longer worked.
First, addressing Automatic Updates, you are able to set the frequency with which Automatic Updates checks for updates. See the image in article 4 (above). Unfortunately, Microsoft also appears to identify available updates to different people at different times, probably to minimize the instantaneous load on Microsoft’s servers. In my experience, the update notice was sometimes several days afterr the update was released.
In his case, the last update that affected Excel was released November 8th, so he was over a month late in finding the update. Microsoft releases updates on the second Tuesday of each month and the last update to Office 2003 was on November 8th.
One of the “fixes” for Windows Updates is to shift to “Microsoft Updates.” If you are not using Microsoft Updates now, you should be. It gets the Outlook, Excel, Word, other Office application updates and other Microsoft program updates, all in one step, and not just updates for Windows, I.E. and Outlook Express.
If you haven’t switched to Microsoft Updates, start Windows Updates manually (Start / All Programs / Windows Updates). The link is on the right-hand side of the page when you get Windows updates. Otherwise,you also have to go Microsoft’s Office page to get Office updates andto other Microsoft pages to get other Microsoft program updates. Read more about Microsoft Updates.
After I wrote to him about Microsoft Update, he tried it and wrote
It worked like a charm. At 5PM today Excel returned.
Thanks for the tip.