Service Pack 2 bugs - real or imagined?

We look at some reports of Office 2007 SP2 bugs.

There are some complaints appearing of problems are installing Office 2007 Service Pack 2 – hardly a surprise.

It’s always hard to work out whether an Office Service Pack is truly to blame, though the uninstall option for SP2 makes it easier to switch back and compare with Office 2007 Service Pack 1.

Regular readers might remember us suggesting they wait a few weeks until the full effect of Service Pack 2 is known – here are some examples of why caution is warranted.

One list of reports comes under the scary headline ‘Office 2007 SP2 Breaking Corporate Email‘ but can be broken down in various ‘issues’.

Can’t access Global Address List GAL

The GAL is the organization wide address book for Outlook users connected to Exchange Server.

There is no way that Service Pack 2 could have been released with Outlook unable to connect to the Global Address List. It’s a key feature and Microsoft staff use the GAL in-house, let alone all the companies with Exchange Server who tested Service Pack 2. Office Watch has tested Outlook 2007 SP2 with Exchange Server 2003 – no problem getting to the GAL.

That said, it is possible that, in some circumstances, there is a problem with Outlook 2007 SP2 and Exchange Server. Or it’s an issue with the connection settings between Outlook and Exchange Server.

Even without use of the Global Address List, Outlook will continue to work. You can’t lookup people in the organization but you can reply to messages and send email to people in your contacts list (or copy their address from a past message).

It will be interesting to see some report from Microsoft on this.

‘Send to OneNote’ disappears

This is known bug in Service Pack 2 – it was listed by Microsoft at the time of public release.

The solution is simple – just go to Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs, select Office 2007 then Change and when the setup system starts up choose ‘Repair’.

Office 2007 repair installation.jpg image from Service Pack 2 bugs - real or imagined? at

You probably won’t need to insert your Office 2007 install disk because the key install files (updated with Service Pack 2) are stored in a hidden folder on your hard drive.

Desktop Alerts stop?

Outlook desktop alerts are the semi-transparent notices of new emails which appear on the bottom of your screen. Some people say their alerts have stopped appearing after installing SP2.

It could be a bug, but again, it’s not the common experience. We can’t replicate the problem on any of our test machines.

If it happens to you, first double-check the desktop alerts setting. It might have been changed somehow during the SP2 update. Go to Tools | Options | Preferences | E-mail options | Advanced E-mail options.

Outlook 2007 - Preview desktop alert.jpg image from Service Pack 2 bugs - real or imagined? at

Under Desktop Alert Settings there is a Preview button which, going by the reports of users, doesn’t work after installing SP2. As you can see from the above image, it’s working for us.

If you have this problem, we can only suggest trying the Repair option mentioned above. If that doesn’t work you should contact Microsoft.

In the past there have been ‘post Service Pack’ patches released to fix problems caused by the SP itself. Office 2007 Service Pack 1 had a post-Service Pack 1 hotfix package dated February 7, 2008. Office 2003 Service Pack 3 needed a patch to reverse a ‘feature’.

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