Microsoft Office97 problems.

Matthew Geier matthew at
Mon Jan 5 05:38:10 GMT 1998

 We have a problem with our site were Office97 applications (Word and Excel
really) randomly crash with an Illegal operation in shell32.dll, usually
when the user is trying to save their work. Often this results in the loss
of that work.
 We have been looking for causes for months and have been unable to isolate
a cause. 
 Some people have never had it happen, I for example cant make word crash on
my system, but other people find it unusable. Disabling VET (Virus checking)
for some people made the problem go away, but some systems work with VET
resident checking on, and others still fail with VET not installed.
 We have roving profiles enabled, and one user reports the problem following
her to another machine, a system which the usual user hasnt reported any
problems of the Illegal Operation kind.

 Im currently running Samba 1.9.18alpha13 on Solaris 2.5.1, with oplock
support turned on. I was hoping that upgrading to oplock support might
make a difference, but it has not.

 The PC's are all Win95B, Office 97 has SR1 installed, although we ran
one with out the service pack installed, and it crashed the same way. Some
machines have the ole update, the rpc update and the redirector update
installed. This has made no difference.

 Most machines have PCI NE2000 clones, running full duplex to ethernet
switches, but the type of NIC doesnt seem to be a factor, several compaq
machines with intergraded AMD NIC's do the same thing.
 The 10Mb FD workstations connect to Catalyst 3000 switches, which are 100MB FD
connected to a Catalyst 5000, to which the Solaris server is connected to
at 100MB FD.
 The ethernet switches are not registering any congestion or errors.

 Im running out of ideas and the natives are getting restless. Any one have
any ideas ?, even ones we have to pay for ?.
 If this keeps up they will hire an external consultant who will probably want
to solve the problem with NT server. :-(

 Any one care to enlighten me as to what shell32.dll provides to the system ?

Matthew Geier,                          matthew at
Computer Systems Manager,               +61 2 9351 0240
Law School, University of Sydney        +61 2 9351 0200 (fax)

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