Reinstallation can fix scanty search


April 10, 2003|By James Coates | James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I have two pretty identical computers, both running Windows 98SE and loaded with Office Pro 2000.

The Find function under the Start menu allows me to specify under the "Advanced" tab to search only for "Word Documents" (actually many different types of Word files, etc.).

The other computer's Advanced tab shows very few file types and no Word types. As I have tons of files, the Advanced tab usage could shorten the search time significantly.

How can I get this feature to run on my other computer?

The computer where the file search command lacks Office Pro file types (.doc, .xls, .ppm and such) failed to register those files when the Office Pro software was installed. This happens sometimes when folks get a bit ahead of themselves during installation and click one of the many progress boxes shut before they're done.

You will be able to see this during the repair job I'll describe.

You need to uninstall Office Pro and then reinstall it, a task that will take about half an hour. So put the Office Pro CD installation disc in your CD drive and wait for the automatic start.

The software will check your computer and see that Office is installed and offer you the chance to uninstall all or part of it. Pick a complete uninstall.

Afterward, reboot the computer and put the disc back in the drive to trigger a reinstallation of your software.

Now hold your fire with the mouse button and wait as the computer installs the software. As this happens a box appears from time to time advising the user which step is under way. One of these steps is registering the software's file types with the operating system.

Afterward your computers will be two PCs in the pod when it comes to performing those search-by-file-type operations.

James Coates is a reporter for The Chicago Tribune. He can be reached via e-mail at

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