Microsoft Office Starter licensing registration problem

  tallboy 10:39 AM 21 Jun 13

I have an HP Netbook running 32-bit Windows 7 Starter Edition. It came pre-installed with Windows Office Starter Edition and whilst it has a 'recovery' partition on the Hard Drive, it did not come with any installation discs.

Recently something has happened to prevent Excel Starter Edition from running. It starts up OK, but comes up with the message 'Microsoft Office encountered a problem with licensing and needs to close'. On closing down the message panel, Excel also closes.

How can I fix this problem? Does it need a re-install of Excel (if so, how do I access the recovery partition) or is there an easier fix?

  sunnystaines 10:52 AM 21 Jun 13

download from

was a download link on the pca article but cannot find the article. i found it installs ok on w7 but get your error when i tried on w8

  Secret-Squirrel 11:28 AM 21 Jun 13

Tallboy, running the Office Starter repair utility may return things to normal:

Go to Control Panel -> Programs & Features. Click once on "Microsoft Office Starter" to select it then click the Change button on the top toolbar. Answer "Yes" when asked if you want to repair the Office installation.

  tallboy 09:17 AM 23 Jun 13

Thanks for your respective replies Sunnstaines & Secret-Squirrel. Unfortunately, neither of them fixed the problem.

I tried Secret-Squirrel's method first & got the MS messages 'The action cannot be completed. Try the action again. If the problem continues, contact product support'& the Click-to-Run Application Manager message 'Fatal error while trying to stop the task.'

I then downloaded the exe file for MS Office starter and tried to load that. I got the message 'There was a problem setting up MS Office Starter 2010. Try running set up again. If the problem continues, contact MS Product Support.'

With nothing to loose, I tried to remove my installation of MS Office Starter from the Control Panel. That wouldn't remove it. I then tried the more powerful IObit Uninstaller. This enabled me to remove it from the listing in the Control Panel and 'clean up' the registry 'leftovers'. However, when I try to re-install MS Office Starter from the newly-downloaded exe file, I get the same Click-to-Run error message that I had before, so clearly, something hasn't been entirely removed.

Any further suggestions as to how to obtain a 'clean slate' so that I can successfully reinstall MS Office starter?

  michaelw 09:45 AM 23 Jun 13

The only way I can think of to recover this pre-installed software is to back up your data then restore to factory settings.

  Secret-Squirrel 09:52 AM 23 Jun 13

".........I tried to remove my installation of MS Office Starter from the Control Panel............I get the same Click-to-Run error message that I had before, so clearly, something hasn't been entirely removed."

When you were uninstalling things, did you also remove Microsoft Office Click-to-Run 2010? If you didn't then try that and start the Office Starter installation again when it's done.

  tallboy 22:31 PM 23 Jun 13

I've removed all MS Office programs Secret-Squirrel (including Click-to-Run 2010) according to the lists in the Control Panel, but I haven't checked out msconfig & regedit. (Jock1e). I'll try them next.

I'm not too sure how I can restore to factory settings (michaelw) without instructions as to how to access the recovery partition. (HP probably keep this info to themselves.) Loss of data is not a problem since all the important data is held on my main PC anyway. (The Netbook is only used when I'm away from home.)

  sunnystaines 09:18 AM 24 Jun 13
  tallboy 22:34 PM 25 Jun 13

Thanks for the posts sunnystaines & Jock1e.

After downloading the exe file from the PC Advisor website I tried again to load it - but it failed again. (The exe file is the same as that downloaded from the website you gave in an earlier post.)

I checked the registry for any mention of click-to-run, but as I expected, there isn't any now. There is an entry for Microsoft Office (not the starter edition) - this is for Outlook & One Note, neither of which are active on my Netbook.

I guess I'll just have to see if Microsoft Support have got any ideas how to fix the log-jam; that is, if they still support the product. (Since they are ditching it, they may not.)


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