Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

Inside Windows – Office Repair vs. Reinstall

Posted by William Diaz on February 3, 2011

All of you have at one point or another had to troubleshoot an issue with Office that required you to repair or reinstall Office. Have you ever wondered why these two options exist and what they do differently from the other? The answer is in a single parameter attached to the command and this parameter can sometimes make all the difference.

Microsoft KB article 298027 states:

There is a subtle difference between these two options and you will want to make sure you choose the appropriate option based on your situation. In either case, the Windows Installer /f command line switch is being called. The difference is in the parameters that are being attached to the /f switch.

Note You can also perform a Repair procedure from any of the Office programs by clicking Detect and Repair on the Help menu. This procedure is the same procedure that is performed when you click the Detect and repair errors in my Office installation command in Maintenance mode.

The following table outlines the /f default combinations that are called when you perform either a Repair or Reinstall:
Note If you click Detect and repair errors in my Office installation, the Restore My Start Menu Shortcuts check box becomes available, but is not selected. If you select this check box, then the /f switch combination becomes /focums instead of the default /focum.

The following table lists all of the parameters that are available for use with the /f Windows Installer switch.
Read the rest here:


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