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After installing Office Home and Business 2010, SP1 and all Windows Updates, whenever I try to run Excel, I get this message...

The program can't start because MSVCR90.dll is missing from your computer.
Try reinstalling the program to fix the problem.

This problem is driving me nuts. I've repaired, uninstalled and reinstalled, used a Microsoft Office 2010 removal tool (Microsoft Fixit 50450), none of which have helped.

Only Excel doesn't work - Word, PowerPoint and Outlook are fine. I also haven't noticed any other applications with any problems. I've tried the C++ 2008 SP1 installer as you suggested, but it's made no difference.

Holding down Ctrl, or adding the command line argument -s doesn't make any difference - the error message is just the same. There don't appear to be any add-ons defined in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Excel or HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Excel.

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Is it just Excel or do all the Office apps not work? It's missing the Visual C++ 2008 Runtime, or so it thinks, so something more serious could be happening. A quick experiment would be to install the redistributable yourself: microsoft.com/download/en/… There's also a 64-bit version here: microsoft.com/download/en/… - download whichever one matches your Office version (32-bit or 64-bit). –  birryree Oct 28 '11 at 15:37
    
Only Excel doesn't work - Word, PowerPoint and Outlook are fine. I also haven't noticed any other applications with any problems. I've tried the C++ 2008 SP1 installer as you suggested, but it's made no difference. –  Matty Brown Oct 28 '11 at 17:53
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Some plugin/add-on to Excel might be causing this. See if you can start Excel in sale mode by holding down 'ctrl' on the keyboard before starting it: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/… –  birryree Oct 28 '11 at 20:27
    
Another option for the safe mode is to open command prompt (type cmd in run) and try with "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\EXCEL.EXE" -s –  AndrejaKo Oct 28 '11 at 21:20
    
Holding down Ctrl, or adding the command line argument -s doesn't make any difference - the error message is just the same. There don't appear to be any add-ons defined in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Excel or HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Excel. –  Matty Brown Oct 29 '11 at 7:04
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3 Answers

The MSVCR90.dll is a dynamic link library which is used by programs made in Microsoft Visual C++ 2008. The simplest way to solve the problem is to download the redistributable and install it or reinstall it if it's already installed. Office setup is supposed to do that automagically, but it seems that it's not working.

Here's a link to it.

In addition to that, you may want to download the Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package. I'm not 100% sure if Windows update will automatically upgrade regular redist to SP1 version or not. I'm recommending to first get the non-SP1 version because I've heard of people who had problems is they got the SP1 version first.

If you have a 64 bit operating system installed, you should get the 64 bit versions of those downloads too. They're here and here.

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I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling the redistributables downloaded from the links in your answer - it's made no difference, I'm afraid. :( –  Matty Brown Oct 28 '11 at 18:02
    
@Matty Brown Try piutting the dll in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14 directory. –  AndrejaKo Oct 28 '11 at 18:18
    
@Matty Brown Another option that comes to mind is to try to copy the MSVCR90.dll to C:\windows\system32 and see if that helps. –  AndrejaKo Oct 28 '11 at 18:30
    
If I copy the missing dll to c:\windows\system32\, I get the following message: Runtime Error! Program: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\EXCEL.EXE R6034 An application has made an attempt to load the C runtime library incorrectly. Please contact the application's support team for more information. –  Matty Brown Oct 28 '11 at 20:51
    
@Matty Brown Does anything happen when you copy the file to the office directory itself? Also do you have another office disk to experiment with? Some research shows that the excel.exe should have that .dll embedded in itself. So far only bad installation media comes to mind, but that is strange too. The installer should be able to detect bad media... –  AndrejaKo Oct 28 '11 at 21:17
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This error was driving me crazy. After installations and uninstallations, I realized that this issue was starting after updates from Microsoft. As soon as a specific update was installed the problems would start. I started uninstalling updates. The issue is not SP1 but a specific security update for Excel 2010. As soon as I uninstalled it, the issue was gone. If you click programs and features and then "view installed updates" you will see a security update specifically for Excel 2010. Uninstall it and everything will be good again :)

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Seems like a good answer, achieved with a lot of pain, that may be of great use to others. But it is appreciated that you take care with presentation! –  pnuts Sep 28 '12 at 16:22
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Just when I thought I was going to have to wipe the computer and reinstall everything to fix the problem, I decided to uninstall applications one at a time to see if one was conflicting.

I uninstalled these apps...

  • Zetafax Client Applications

  • Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Second Edition Runtime

  • Microsoft Silverlight

I then performed yet another repair on Office Home and Business 2010, rebooted and voila - Excel is working again.

I've since reinstalled Zetafax Client Applications and Microsoft Silverlight with all the latest Windows Updates and Excel is still working.

I think the conflict was with "Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Second Edition Runtime", though I've no idea which application installed this in the first place.

Problem solved.

This issue now appears to have been solved with a Windows Update. We encountered the same issue again with another machine. Uninstalling the apps listed here and repairing Office didn't help, but running the latest batch of updates that came out on Tuesday 14th February 2012 seems to have fixed the issue.

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I've had the same issue on another PC. This time, I didn't uninstall Zetafax Client Applications and still managed to fix the problem. –  Matty Brown Nov 15 '11 at 21:27
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Got this problem now so it's not only fixed by the updates. I only had Silverlight of those, uinstalled and installed that which fixed the problem. –  user146647 Jul 17 '12 at 18:32
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