Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Uninstalling Outlook and Office when they don’t want to be uninstalled

OUTLOOK Q&A

By David Gewirtz

Reader Stuart sent us an interesting question. We're not going to subject you to it in its entirety, because he managed to create a single 2,055 character paragraph that's almost a page long, with no line breaks or white space of any kind.

But what he wants to know is how to completely uninstall Office so he can reinstall it. He's having problems with his calendars, and with other aspects of the system, but it looks like his first need is an office reinstall.

First step is to find all (ALL) of your important Outlook files and store them away someplace safe. Read "Where Outlook hides its secret stuff" to learn what to look for.

Then uninstall Office using Add/Remove programs. But here's the big (nasty) surprise. Uninstalling Office doesn't really remove everything. This has annoyed me for years. To make Office uninstall everything, read the last page of "Upgrading to Outlook 2007: It's good. It's bad. It's occasionally ugly!"

Then read the Microsoft Technote How to uninstall the 2007 Office system if you cannot uninstall it by using the "Add or Remove Programs" feature.

Now you can try reinstalling Office.

Exchange hosting and shared email

Stuart also is attempting to share .PST files so he can have shared email and shared calendar.

As for the Calendar sync problem, first off, we never recommend sharing .PST files, so that could cause you the problem. Frankly, based on what Stuart described, he'd probably benefit from a centralized server. Honestly, my big recommendation here is to find himself an Exchange hosting service. You can get online with one for under $10 a month if you shop around, and it should solve all your sync problems.