My Sunday in the home IT support barrel

My first mistake was installing three products at once on my wife’s PC. First I upgraded her from Office XP (2002) to Office 2003; then I installed the Palm software for her Palm z22. Finally I installed Franklin Covey’s PlanPlus for Outlook.

Initially everything operated smoothly, except for a few rumbles in dealing with the alien world of Palm, which we easily figured out.

Then Outlook quit working.

Outlook could be opened, but if it was closed, it could not be opened again. Oh, it would start the Outlook process which you could see by using Task Manager, but Outlook simply refused to reopen once it was closed, unless you used Task Manager to close all instances of Outlook.

Countless searches of the Microsoft Support Knowledge Base using phrases like “Outlook 2003 does not respond” and “Die, Pussycat Die!” (Ok I can be a bit random) did not return any useful results.

So I removed PlanPlus, which does not do a clean uninstall even after one uses RegEdit. PlanPlus still displays a menu in Outlook.

No change. Outlook still refused to reopen once it had been closed.

I removed all the Palm software.

Still no change.


Finally after 5 hours of this I found the solution BURIED in a user forum on the web:

Remove WinFax. Huh? Well, actually you change it from using email to send faxes and you have to rename 4 WinFax dll files, but that worked!

I reinstalled the Palm and PlanPlus software and all is well. There is a note on Symantec’s site that one must have WinFax 10.03 in order for WinFax to work with Outlook 2003. Seeing as my wife has Symantec’s Norton Anti-Virus on her PC, one would think that Symantec might have put WinFax into their Live Update program.

I mean who would have thought to look to WinFax for a problem with Outlook?

As far as that goes, this entire scenario should be somewhere out on Microsoft’s Support Knowledge Base. It’s not like Symantec is some small company with a tiny installed user base.

I’m very disappointed in both Symantec and Microsoft.

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