back to article Microsoft Office for Mac fix falls at first hurdle

Microsoft on Tuesday released an Office 2008 for Mac 12.1.7 update. By Wednesday, some fundamental problems with its installing had surfaced. According to multiple posts on Mac-news site MacInTouch, multiple users are experiencing installation failures. The update is intended to patch remote code execution vulnerabilities in …


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  1. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Fix for the Monolingual problem

    I've had this problem with Office 2008 since day 1 and there is a fix which always works for me (including the latest update). It needs a text editor and nerves of steel, but little else.

    1: First of all, get the update from the Mactopia site at - you'll need to root around for the actual update as the featured 'latest' update is for Office 2004. Well done Microsoft.

    2: Open the DMG file and drag the installer file on to the Desktop.

    3: Go to the Desktop, right-click the installer file and choose [Show Package Contents].

    4: Navigate down to Update/Contents/Resources/ and open the file package_updatable in your favourite text editor. You may be prompted if you want to make the file editable, say Yes.

    5: Find the line 'found_valid_version=False'

    6: Change 'False' to 'True'

    7: Delete all the text below that line as far as the line 'if not found_valid_version:' BUT DO NOT DELETE THIS LINE.

    8: Save the file.

    9: Rerun the installer.


    But why the Microsoft Office installer is so shite? Sorry can't help you there.

  2. Mario Aeby


    If you face an error message telling you to quit "Microsoft AU Daemon", abort installation. Fire up Activity and Force Quit Microsoft AU Daemon. Attention: Starting an Office Application reloads the AU Daemon and you get stuck again.

    What helped me to finally install 12.1.7 on top of 12.1.5:

    1) Set Microsoft AutoUpdate to "Manually" (App is located in /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/MAU2.0/Microsoft

    2) Reboot

    3) Install

    @Microsoft: It's 2009 for god's sake! It still seems impossible for the Mac BU to create a decent updater ... What's so difficult in replacing some 100 files in a folder?!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Easy Solution to this whole problem.



    iWork 09 does the job just fine... if our scrooge then go get openoffice from

    Why the heck are you bothering with the frustration? Why put up with the hassle?


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  5. Gray
    Thumb Down

    Loyalty Reward

    I tend to think of it as the "Microsoft Loyal Customer Rewards Program" (MicLoCRaP). Obviously, if you have tinkered with the software by removing the Latvian language segment, then you've proven yourself unworthy of upgrades. Ditto for insisting on sticking with Macintosh. Only if you switch to Windows "7" can you be trusted with the full Microsoft "Loyalty" experience.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep paying

    Seriously, keep paying. I've ported 4 clients from Access to a LAMP in the past 3 months.

    MS, keep going at it and paying me! PLEASE!!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Easy fix.

    Get a real computer with a real OS (and a real office app) - or even Windows is better...

    Can't decide between Linux and iHate icons...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Not a total clunker

    I heard about this and made some test runs on machines without a hitch. Rolled it out to select users just to see and when there were no problems there rolled it out to everyone else. What I find is that about one out of every three Office updates for the Mac will go sideways for what ever reason.

    However much like a previous commenter I fail to see how after all this time the Mac BU are still saddling everyone with this shitty updater that frankly is one of the first things I disable after installing Office. Not that Office is getting very many new installs these days. I've moved a large chunk of folks to Open Office and those with minimal to medium processing needs to iWork.

    Paris because I'm beginning to think she has more brains alone than all of MS "engineers" combined.

  9. raving angry loony

    or use something reliable.

    Meanwhile, OpenOffice 3 for MacOSX is working just fine for me, thanks.

    Thank you Microsoft for making it so fucking easy to convince clients to move away from your OS and software. Once shown the alternatives, they've chomping at the bit to get you off their computers. They just didn't realize there were alternatives, because you've paid enough well placed newsmongers to convince people there isn't.

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  11. Cristhian Mejia
    Gates Halo

    All Green Here

    I was using Entourage when the update popped up and after it downloaded it installed without any issues. Here is my program version Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac, version 12.1.17(090302), Last Installed Update: 12.1.17. So no problems here, I'm using a late 2006 iMac 24" with Leopard 10.5.6.

  12. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    MS don't really care anyway

    MS have never really cared that much about Mac Office anyway, it's always been inferior to the Windows version, neat features in Win version not ported, stuff like duplicate finder in Excel an obvious example.

    Why bother with MS overpriced gear, Jobs ensures we get fleeced enough anyway! Stick with iWork or better still go with OpenOffice, support people who give you something great for a great price and work hard to enusre we have open standards with regards document sharing.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is everyone so angry...

    so far the 2 causes mentioned are a piece of beta software that MS specifically tell you not to install this on, or people that have fiddled with there installs and deleted files, in which case they should know that thers a chance of problems updating.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Easy Fix

    AC wrote: "Windows is better..."

    You've obviously got a lot to bring to this conversation.

    If you like Linux so much, then I suppose you've got MS Office to work on that, have you? If so, I'd be intruiged to find out how. If (as I suspect) you're a Linux/OpenOffice man then why don't you just f*ck off, since you've nothing useful to say?

    Personally, I'm sticking with MS Office 2004 for the Mac. When it stops being useful, I'll get OpenOffice. (Sorry, that implies that MS Office has actually been of some use to me so far and frankly, it hasn't really)

  15. Jay

    Belt, braces and stickytape

    Ah just in time, as I downloaded 12.1.7 this morning but was going to wait a few days before installing it.

    I was (and still am) happily using OpenOffice 3, though my girlfriend managed to aquire Office 2008 for much cheapness and so I got that for Xmas. No big problems so far, though I only really use Word and Excel (and as a fallback I've got Office 2003 on XP on Parallels).

    The only problem I've had in this area is that something made a mess of an xls that I was using to import something into MySQL. Though now I can't remember which of OO3/Excel screwed things up and which was OK!

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  17. Cameron Colley

    Solution: Make your F***ing mind up.

    Decide which company you want to pay and stick with them. Paying MS and Apple is just stupid.

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  19. Jerry Masterson

    Do the math

    Keynote > Powerpoint

    Pages = Wordpad < Word

    Numbers = OOo Calc v1 < Excel

    As much as I'd like to ditch Office, for business there is no competitor. OOo is improving but is still too far behind to justify retraining. iWork is just nasty. Keynote is good, Pages can be used if you're desperate, Numbers is a total waste.

  20. Jinai

    Comments from Microsoft

    Greetings and Salutations

    Some folks have mentioned that they have not been able to install the Office 12.1.8 update. I would like to remind folks of some of the caveats that apply to installing an Office update.



    The Apple Installer technology that we are using requires that the application and the folder they reside in maintain their original names. If you have renamed the applications or the folder they reside in, you'll need to revert it to the original names.



    While you drag Office anywhere after an install, the Apple Installer technology will not find a copy of Office that is not on a bootable partition. So if you have Office on a spare partition with no OS on it, you'll need to move it to a partition that has an OS on it.



    The updater only works on the language it was intended for; therefore, if you installed Italian Office, the German updater will not work for it. Because we use Apple's Installer the UI will match the UI of your OS so judging which updater you got by the UI of the Installer will not work.



    If you have multiple language versions of Office on your machine, then you'll want to put the one you wish to update in your Application folder; update it; then either rename it or move it out and put the next language in the Application folder.

    The Installer will search for Office, and if the first one it finds is a different language than the updater it will not keep searching for copies with the matching language.



    In some instances, the temporary folder used to install the last update does not get deleted. In these instances, the next Office update cannot install – you can rectify this by restarting your machine.

    Please also see the Knowledge Base Article we have at

    For more information.

    I hope this covers most everyone's issues, and if not we are watching this forum, so please describe your situation and we will do our best to help you with INSTALLATION issues.

    David Pelton

    Microsoft MacBU

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I notice that they are not posting any of our complaints on their "Help blog" at

    We need to clearly send to MSFT that this Update was unacceptable.

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