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I'm running on OSX 10.7.3 using Microsoft Office 2008 (with the latest updates).

Recently, Excel started crashing on startup. It happens so fast it is hard for me to detect what's going on but several Excel windows are popping up then the whole thing disappears launching a "Microsoft Error Reporting" window.

I uninstalled and reinstalled Office. No improvement.

I called Microsoft and, after waiting several hours (that's right ... hours), a technician helped me walk through some troubleshooting. We set up a test id and Excel worked on that id, so it's something wrong with my id.

The Microsoft technician told me, after we launched FontBook, I had too many fonts in error. Since I've never played with fonts much, I took that as a solution and ended the call. Well, it turns out that the font that my test id has all the same font errors and all the errors are 'duplicates', which were created by Microsoft and the Microsoft ones are inactive.

I've followed other posts and trashed Excel's plists. No improvement. Trying some variations is starting Excel I was able to force it into a 'not responding' state where I could see it was trying to open a file I was using for income tax (which is done and submitted, thankfully). I've renamed that file, moved it around and opened it successfully on my test id. The only thing unusual about this file it was stored in Dropbox ... but I have used Excel on many many Dropbox spreadsheets.

Now I'm thinking this may be related to Lion trying to restart Excel with previously opened files or trying to reinstated Excel to a previous state. I uncheck the Lion preference "Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps." Excel still crashes.

I could use some help with the following:

  1. Is there a way to 'cold start' Excel or any app on Lion?

  2. Is there some way to tell why Excel is crashing. Microsoft pops up a windows that says "Microsoft Excel has encountered a problem and needs to close. ..." There's 'more information' but I don't know what to look for.

I'm not sure if this is an Excel bug, a Lion bug or a combination. Luckily, I have a workaround for now but I'd like to get it fixed.

Thanks in advance.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 23 '12 at 2:34

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1 Answer 1

No, Lion did not eat Excel.

I called Apple Support and their agent assured me that Lion does not keep information about apps unless you restart while the app is running. Since Excel was not running on restart, Lion was not the culprit.

I called Microsoft back and explained my situation. This time the Microsoft agent instructed me to hold down the shift key and launch Excel, and keep holding down the shift key. I did this and Excel came up clean and continues to launch successfully.

I asked where this trick was documented and the agent indicated that it was not documented. What a shame. It could have saved me a lot of trouble if I had known this technique for cold starting the app.

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If you register your account on both Stack Overflow and here on Super User, you will automatically regain access to your question, and be able to edit the original post and accept an answer. –  nhinkle May 4 '12 at 18:53

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