This problem began when I noticed that the icons in the Windows 7 task bar for MS Word and Outlook were generic. I rebuilt the icon cache. Still not the right icons, but not the generic "document" icons either, and both are identical (to each other). The two programs seem to be working OK.
So then I tried to repair MS Office. I ran the setup file. It extracts the files, I get the splash screen, and then the message, "Setup has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available." with a "Close program" button. Microsoft does not notify me about a solution.
What I have tried: 1. running two other copies of the setup program; 2. doing an in-place re-install of Windows 7.