I had installed Outlook 2003, Infopath, and OneNote on Friday, and really haven’t had time to look at them. The install for them went, well, not great. The install for Office 2003 took a really long time, and there was no indication that anything was happening. It finally reported that the install was successful, so I plodded along and played with the new UI. Nice… I especially like that the junk email filtering seems to be much more proficient than versions past.
I sat down to read some emails yesterday and to do some tinkering with Infopath. I loaded up Outlook, and started downloading messages. Boom! Got an error dialog asking me to send debug information to MS. No problem, always some glitches with beta products. Tried it again, no dice. OK, maybe there is some feature that I need to turn off. I turned off autopreview, junk mail filtering, just about any feature I could find… no dice. Then I notice that reading *any* unread mail causes this error. Uh-oh.
So, I decided to install Outlook with contact manager… the install is non-responsive. Remembering the experience with the Office install, I decided to let it run… 2 hours now, and no signs of it doing anything.
I decide to load up SharpReader. I am going to be in Dallas tonight again, and thought it would be great to download all the latest messages (actually, I have not read weblogs in several weeks now). SharpReader won’t load. I go get the latest version, hoping it is a version thing: no dice. SharpReader becomes a process in the Task Manager, but not an application.
I pull up DependencyWalker and run it on Outlook to see if I can find a corrupt or missing DLL. There are several. I run it on SharpReader as well, and find a common missing DLL: MPR.DLL.
All roads point to MPR.DLL being corrupt or missing on my machine. I could easily have blamed my woes on Office and Infopath, but the reality is that I probably hosed my own machine. I remember that on Friday I had also installed a product called Trillian and a skin for Trillian… maybe that was the real culprit for corrupting MPR.DLL. Who knows. The fact is that something did it, and now I can’t read emails outside Outlook Express.
My machine is greatly reduced from where it was Friday. Tonight, I am likely going to be installing a new OS and trying to get my old settings back.
Man, how many times do I need to learn this lesson? Do not install beta software and 3rd party products on your main productivity machine?