Case of the Crashing Excel 2003

One of my users had an interesting cases of Excel crashing when opening certain files. Excel would restart 3 times and finally on the 3rd time, it would open the file without any formatting. The file opened file on other PCs I tried. Removing and reinstalling Microsoft Office 2003 made no difference. Neither did any of the suggestions at support.microsoft.com/kb/280504. Interestingly enough, when I logged in as myself using a different profile, Excel worked fine!

After setting up a new profile for the user, the problem returned. I pulled out my trusty Process Monitor program from Sysinternals. It appears when Excel is first started, the default printer is initialized. When I changed the default printer to another printer, Excel started fine. Deleting and recreating the default printer fixed the problem.

– Soli Deo Gloria

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