It May Be an Edge Case, But It Shouldn’t Even Be an Issue…

I’ve taken to joking that I love my Macs, but Microsoft does more to give me business… fixing problems.

The latest? Installing an upgrade from the student/teacher version of Office for the Mac to the full version. The installer never asked me for the new license key, which should have been a sign of something going tremendously wrong, but I missed it.

The first sign I caught was not being able to open the existing email libraries. It turns out the S&T version had been updated to 12.1.5, and the version on the installation disc was still 12.0.0, so the libraries could not be opened by the “older” version of Office 2008. Not a huge deal, just run the updates, right?

Well, unless the updates won’t run. I tried running the built-in updater, and downloading the updates separately, but I kept getting the error that there was no software to update, or that the update could not run.

For whatever reason, either the key not being checked against the software version, or the patchers seeing more recent files spread across the computer not affected by installing a fresh copy, would NOT upgrade the older version until I not only uninstalled the application with the built in uninstaller, but deleted all references and preferences in both the system and user directories.

A completely clean install later, and the updates ran, and everything worked. Getting there only wasted five or six hours of working time for two people as well as my time fixing it for a process that should have only taken thirty minutes.