Microsoft has admitted that one of last week's Black Tuesday patches broke Office 2013 Click-to-Run on "less than 1% of our user base." Details are lacking, but the solution is clear: If you can't get Office 2013 to run, uninstall it using the FixIt in KB 2739501, then reinstall the Office 2013 CtR stub from your My Accounts page. You'll need your registered email address and password to log on. For those of you who own Office 2013 Click-to-Run, now would be a good time to make sure you don't have Microsoft Automatic Update turned on.
Shortly after June's patches hit the fan, problem reports popped up all over the Web saying Office 2013 wouldn't work. The main Answers thread on the subject is now up to 191 posts. Details remained sketchy at first, but on Friday, official word came down. The TechNet Office Update blog posted this advisory:
Shortly after the release of the June Public Update, we received notification of a potential issue affecting a subset of Office 2013 Click-to-Run users. In some cases, users running Office 2013 may not be able to launch Office products after the June Public updates are installed. The Office team is aware of this issue and is working on a solution.
Although we have seen this impact less than 1% of our user base, we consider this a high priority issue.
You'll know that you have the problem if you have Office 2013 and receive the message:
Something went wrong
We're sorry, but we are unable to start your program.
Please ensure it is not disabled by the system
Go online for additional help.
Error Code: 30145-4
Ironically, Click-to-Run is designed to make patching less stressful. As Microsoft puts it:
By default, Microsoft Office 2013 products deployed via Click-to-Run are kept up to date automatically. Click-to-Run will automatically check for updates in the background.
It's possible one of the dozen-plus Black Tuesday patches is causing the Click-to-Run downloader to misbehave; it's also possible the Click-to-Run updater generates the error as it's trying to update the local copy of Office, or some interaction between the updater and the patches hasn't been explained yet. There are reports that restoring to a pre-patch Registry brings back Office 2013 Click-to-Run, but even if it works, that approach is fraught with problems. The only obvious precautionary measure at this point is to turn off all Microsoft updates until the botched patch is fixed.
I have to give Microsoft credit for getting out in front of this one. Although it took two days and details remain sketchy, at least the company has owned up to the problem and spread the word on its Answers forum. We've seen worse.
Of course, if you rely on Office 2013 Click-to-Run to get any work done, a couple of down days won't win any huzzahs.
I still don't understand why Microsoft doesn't institute a Patch Monday. This problem would've been caught in a New York nanosecond.
This story, "Another botched patch: Error 30145-4 plagues Office 2013 Click-to-Run," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.