Software

Tip: Office 2003 Service Pack 3 available


This morning, I downloaded and installed Office 2003's latest service pack, published yesterday (September 18, 2007). The primary improvements seem to be in security. Specifically, the service pack promises improved protection against malicious software. There's already plenty of information on Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3):

If you have Automatic Updates enabled, you don't have to do a thing. Your system will download and update upgrades while you work. I recommend this setting if you don't have support personnel to control updates for you. To automate the download process do the following:

  1. In the Control Panel, double-click Security Center.
  2. In the Manage Security Settings For section, click Automatic Updates.
  3. There are several levels of protection, but choose Automatic (recommended) unless you have a specific reason to control the updates yourself.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

17 comments
medbiller
medbiller

I have a legit copy MS Office Pro 2003 in my PC. I tried to install SP3 from MS site but the install process started calling for files it could not find; SKU111.CAB & others. What a nightmare! Depressing experience.

LeonidasRomero
LeonidasRomero

Because we all know that we should always be very wary of Microsoft updates, with all the disaster stories out there on what the SP broke, less about the things it fixed. A skeptic, but more so a admin whose been burned before... Leo Philadelphia

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

This can happen if you installed Office from CD but took the option to not keep local copies of the installation files. Try the SP again with the CD in; when prompted for the .CAB files, browse to the CD. If Office was pre-installed on your system, you may want to contact the vendor.

pasinatoj
pasinatoj

Ever since we installed SP3, we've been having massive problems. The biggest is that most of the users cannot send encrypted email. If you try to send it, Outlook will crash. We either remove the certificates and republish them, or worse. We have to uninstall and reinstall Office. I hope Microsoft fixes this problem.

dick.sadler
dick.sadler

Following install of SP3, my boot times for Win XP Pro went from 48 seconds to 1 min 47 seconds. The C:\MSOcache file is massive. Can this be deleted? Could this be the cause for the long boot times? 9/26/07 for some inexplicable reason, boot times have reduced to a more reasonable time of 54 seconds. Though, still would appreciate any comments on advisability of removing the massive MSOcache file.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't use most features of Word or Excel, I don't use PowerPoint, and I don't have Access installed. I haven't noticed any problems with W, E, or Outlook. I also haven't rolled it out to anyone except myself yet.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Well... I know of at least one person who had to uninstall the release as everything went whacky he said. I installed it and I've rebooted twice, but I'm still showing SP 2 so I'm not sure it actually installed. I'm not the only one who's had that experience. One colleague said the installation failed -- she received an error and then this morning -- it seems to have installed despite the warnings. I do know that my 2007 Access reports suddenly won't hold their settings. Whether that has anything to do with SP3, I don't know. I'm certainly interested in hearing how everyone's faring. Of course, we only hear the horror stories -- we don't hear from the thousands who experience no problems. :)

medbiller
medbiller

Thanks. I did what the autho suggested (install MS Office SP3 from the Windows Update site) and it went without a hitch.

ken_steere
ken_steere

I have 2 machines that once SP3 was installed the autocorrect functions will not work when using Outlook as the editor. Some of our other users can not accept meetings due to an issue with restrictions on MAPI forms.

jamesisin
jamesisin

I am willing to deploy this service pack out across the various networks I support, but I have machines failing the auto-update process left and right. Even if I manually visit update.ms... the download portion of the update will tend to fail. However, if I manually download the SP3 installer and then manually run that installer on each local machine the update succeeds. Is anyone else seeing this kind of behaviour? Is there a forum out there where this is being discussed?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It doesn't discuss any details. The original TR article that started this discussion includes the features disabled and other details.

wbordenkecher
wbordenkecher

As an old, retired but wise IT Manager if there is one thing I have learned over the years is that M.S. will deploy any program, right or wrong or just plain broke. Wii SP3 be any differnt, well I guess miracles still happen

RNR1995
RNR1995

I am always amused at Microsoft lately. Their security fixes are: turn it off, disable it, or lets annoy you with more popup boxes you must click yes on.....As far as SP3, I almost accidentally installed it on my sisters PC as I thought she was running Office XP....But when it failed twice to install via windows update, I noticed it was for 2003 and then decided not to offer again. As usual I will wait at least a month for the fallout, and find out exactly what this breaks, as I am sure I will see it in the field next week!

ssharkins
ssharkins

I was just going to post that link. :)

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