Office Upgrade Best Practices: Office 2000 to Office 2003


There is a ton of useful information flitting about on various email threads at Microsoft every day. This one comes from Marc Janssens, a technical account manager for customers in Belgium/Netherlands. I used to live in Brussels (1985–1987) when I was 19, so I naturally adore people from Belgium anyway. Marc put together a list of recommendations when upgrading from Office 2000 to Office 2003, which a LOT of customers are doing right now. I asked for his permission to share his recommendations with my audience, and he consented.


Keep in mind, this is an unofficial set of recommendations. If there are official Microsoft recommendations regarding this matter of which I am not aware, then, it would be wise for customers to seek these out and implement them. If you have any doubts or questions, contact our support resources. Also, my Rock Thought for the Day is still at the bottom of this post. So, with that little disclaimer done, get ready for….


Best Practices from Office Upgrade from Office 2000 to Office 2003 (on Windows 2000 but most work on winXP as well.).


Best Practice Recommendations (December 2005) :


1.      To avoid general slowness issues: Upgrade to SP2 of Office 2003 (multiple slowness issues and “stop responding” issues have been solved with SP2).


Note : Before Applying SP2 please take into consideration the following Knowledge base 906323 When you try to install Office 2003 Service Pack 2, http://support.microsoft.com/?id=906323


2.      Outlook Exchange Cached mode is the recommended mode: it allows for a copy of the users Exchange Mailbox to be “Cached” on their local hard drive.  The benefits for this configuration are increased performance for the end user, a more fluid user experience when disconnected from the network, and the ability to continue working in outlook if a network outage occurs.  The draw backs to Exchange Cached Mode are increased local hard drive space, (the size of the users mailbox on the Exchange Server will increase by roughly 20% when copied to the local machine, so a 10 MB mailbox becomes, a 12 MB locally cached copy).


3.      To avoid slowness when using network documents: make sure you set the EnableShellDataCaching regkey as described in 833041. (833041 An Office 2003 program is slow or may appear to stop responding (hang)http://support.microsoft.com/?id=833041


4.      To avoid attachments always getting uploaded even in preview: don't forget the disabling of the antivirus plug-in in Outlook, which forced a download of attachments on every read/preview of a mail message.


5.      To avoid hang of system due to (Old Office 2000) speech recognition CFTMON.DLL http://support.microsoft.com/?id=326526  (disabling requires script this on Windows 2000, as this reinstalls itself always on W2K).


6.      To avoid additional messaging slowness: Install Office 2003 Rollup patch that contains the latest MSMAPI32.DLL. KB Article Number(s): 899340, 905303, 910374


7.      To avoid slowness while opening the calendar: Make sure you archive/clean old calendar Items (e.g. like DBB everything older than 13 months) in addition of installing SP2.


8.      To get appointments faster in the calendar of the recipients, you can add the AutoProcessIdleTime registry key in HKEY_Current_User/Software/Microsoft/Office/11.0/Outlook/Options/General/     with a decimal value like e.g. 5000  ((1000 = 1 second) to speed up the sniffer process.


9.      Mail merge can be failing as consequence of the network drives not being "trusted zone". See http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS00-071.mspx


10.  To avoid slowness while saving (save as) documents: make sure old drive mappings to servers that no longer exists are removed.


11.  Upgrade the proofing tools as well to SP2 : Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 2 for Proofing Tools makes sure that Microsoft Office 2003 performs with complete functionality when you use an Office 2003 Proofing Tools. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;887618  


12.  Take into consideration "Outlook meeting requests: Essential do’s and don’ts" (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HA011276781033.aspx)


13.  Consider installing https://premier.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;883915 (not in SP2) for issue “When a delegate updates an item, such as an appointment or meeting request, in someone else's calendar, the calendar item is updated in the recipient's calendar, and the delegate receives the following error”


14.   If using JP-Morgan applications : as we suspect a memory leak with this application (under investigation at Jp-Morgan).


15.  Make sure your systems have enough RAM (especially in Dealing Rooms with systems running plenty of applications at the same time). 


16.  Take into consideration kb : 899919 Developer information about the calendar changes in Outlook 2003 Service http://support.microsoft.com/?id=899919   it is possible to disable the new meeting acceptance behaviour via a registry key :HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Options\Calendar    DWORD: DisableMeetingRegeneration    (Values: 1 = revert to the pre-SP2 behavior; 0 = use the new SP2 behavior)


17.  Missing name of calendar user in “shared calendar view” : workaround available :


There is a workaround for this issue:

Detailed steps to add the Calendars to the “Other Calendars”
1. Open Outlook
2. Select the Calendar
3. Click “Open a Shared Calendar…”
4. Insert the user alias (ex: i-gomart@microsoft.com <mailto:i-gomart@microsoft.com>) and click Ok
5. Now you will have the Calendar available on the “Other Calendar” and if you select it, the NAME of the user will show up on the top of the Calendar.
Other way to do this is by:
1. Open Outlook
2. Click File -> Open -> Other user’s Folder…
3. Select the Calendar Folder
4. Insert the user alias (ex: nospam@microsoft.com <mailto:nospam@microsoft.com>) and click Ok
5. Now you will have the Calendar available on the “Other Calendar” and if you select it, the NAME of the user will show up on the top of the Calendar.


18.  New high color icons do not appear after you upgrade to Office 2003  (825936) - Describes a problem that occurs where the Microsoft Office icons are not upgraded to the new Office 2003 high color icons when you upgrade an earlier version of Microsoft Office to Microsoft Office 2003.  Microsoft KB - 8/24/2004 - https://premier.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;825936


19.  Consider installing related to tiff Images https://premier.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;900612


Other recommendations:


·         Please follow-up on the Office updates (cfr. Office updates information in SMS or via http://officeupdate.microsoft.com.


·         Please subscribe for the “Desktop Applications” Premier product Flash via the https://premier.microsoft.com site to follow up on the Office issues and tools and white papers (id not subscribed yet).


·         Make sure you involve Microsoft Premier Support immediately when getting issues.


·         Make sure your helpdesk asks for detailed information when users have issues with office (not general info like “it is slow”) to speed up resolution of the problems. (Suggestion: make a list of questions and provide it to the helpdesk).


Examples of questions that could/should be asked :


o         Problem description?


o         What is the userId of the user?


o         At what time did the problem occur?


o         Can you repro the problem or force the problem to recur ?


o         What was its last action the user executed before the problem occurred?


o         In which application was the problem occurring (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, FrontPage, OneNote, … ,whole system?)


o         Which type of document was being used? (Outlook, Word, Excel, ...)


o         What is the name of the document?


o         Was the document attached to an e-mail?


o         Was it a network document (stored on a file server)?


o         What applications were running on the system at the moment of the problem?


o         In case of slowness, was it a sudden kind of hang, or did it became gradually slower and slower?


o         What was the CPU load at the moment of the problem? =>(CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) and you’ll see the CPU load in the bottom of the window


o         What processes were taking most of the CPU?   =>(CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) click tab “processes”, click column CPU and take a screen shot (CTRL+ Print) and paste it in the problem record.


o         What processes were taking most of the Memory?   =>(CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) click tab “processes”, click column “Mem usage” and take a screen shot (CTRL+ Print) and paste it in the problem record.


o         Does the problem also arise with colleagues?  (Yes/No)


§          If yes, does this happen approximately simultaneous? 


o         Does the problem regularly during the day?


§          How often does it occur per day?


§          Does it occur always approximately at the same time during the day?


§          Always in the same application?



 Rock Thought for the Day: This past weekend I went to Salt Lake City as best man in the wedding of my brother, Rudy. He and his family (all very musical) took me in some years ago, and we are family to this day. The three of the youngest siblings (14,16, 19) in the family have a group, Against the Season, and I saw them play at a small club. Tiare, the 14 year old lead guitarist, is a very good soloist live. She had great licks, and they rocked the house.


Rock On

Comments (4)
  1. Steve Hansen says:

    Cool – lots of tips here I hadn’t heard of/thought of. A link to one of your old posts bears repeating here:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/johnrdurant/archive/2005/04/05/405575.aspx

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Steve. I forget what I post after a while! That link in that post is a good one.

    Also, I blogged about Quadrophenia that day. Progrock. What a concept!

    John.

  3. Keith Spragg says:

    The list here is excellent, however, the problem with some of the links is that they require Premium content provision from Microsoft – which is a shame, because I have been having issues with TIF files recently in Office, and wondered if the document would give me any hope.

    K

  4. There is a ton of useful information flitting about on various email threads at Microsoft every day. This one comes from Marc Janssens , a technical account manager for customers in Belgium/Netherlands. I used to live in Brussels (1985–1987) when I wa

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