Issues after installing PowerPoint 2003 update KB2464588

Some users have contacted Microsoft support (and found their way to the blog comment feature) to ask for a remedy to the background images issue identified in the KB article relating to our PowerPoint 2003 April 2011 Public Update.

We had mentioned earlier that we intended to make a hotfix available as quickly as possible to address the situation. We have now posted an update to fix this issue. The KB article is here, and the download is here. You can manually download and install or deploy the fix. The new KB number is 2543241.

In our June Public Update release, we will release the update through the Automatic Update channel, where any remaining users will be updated with the changes.

Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If you have installed the KB2464588 update for Microsoft PowerPoint 2003, which is related to Microsoft Security Bulletin MS11-022, you may be aware of/experiencing the following known issues:

    When you open presentations that contain layouts with background images in PowerPoint 2003, an error may occur. When the error occurs, you receive a message that states that some contents (text, images, or objects) have corrupted. You can determine what
    content has been lost by viewing the layout, but not by viewing the slide content. Items that were removed will display a blank box or a box that contains "cleansed."

    The KB2543241 hotfix was created to alleviate these issues. The following steps can be used to install the KB2543241 hotfix in a manner that is conducive to an enterprise environment (i.e., via command line, silently, and requiring no user interaction):

    1) Extract the MSP file from the KB2543241 executable, by using a command line similar to the following ("C:KB2543241" is an example of a path where files could be extracted to):

    <path> office2003-KB2543241-ENU.exe /C /T:C:KB2543241 /Q

    2) Attempt to silently install the KB2543241 MSP file, generate a verbose installation log, and suppress reboots using a command line similar to the following (change "/QN" to "/QB" to display only a basic progress indicator):

    %windir%System32msiexec.exe /P C:KB2543241POWERPNT.msp REBOOT=ReallySuppress /L*V C:KB2543241KB2543241.log /QN

    3) Check the end of the verbose log file (i.e., KB2543241.log) for a return code. A value of zero indicates success with no further action required. A return code of 3010 also indicates a successful installation of the MSP file, but a reboot is required
    to complete the update process.

    4) See…/aa368542(v=vs.85).aspx
    for additional info on Windows Installer return/error codes.

    5) Machines with Windows Installer 4.x and later (Windows 7 ships with Installer 5.x) contain functionality provided by the MSI Restart Manager. The design of the MSI Restart Manager is to reduce required system restarts caused by required files being in
    use during a maintenance mode or update process.

    6) With the MSI Restart Manager, if a file that is to be updated is held in use by another process or application (i.e., PowerPnt.exe), that application is restarted in order to allow for an "on the fly" update.

    7) This has the potential to cause issues with open Office applications, which may be unexpectedly restarted. To prevent applications from being restarted, a command line similar to the following can be used:

    %windir%System32msiexec.exe /P C:KB2543241POWERPNT.msp REBOOT=ReallySuppress MSIRESTARTMANAGERCONTROL=Disable /L*V C:KB2543241KB2543241.log /QN

    8) It is important to note that if the MSI Restart Manager is disabled, a reboot is suppressed, and Office files to be updated are in use, changes to files will not occur until after the machine is rebooted (this would be a scenario where the log file ends
    with a return code of 3010).

    9) See the following articles for additional info on the MSI Restart Manager:

    Using Windows Installer with Restart Manager…/aa372466.aspx

    MSIRESTARTMANAGERCONTROL Property…/aa370377.aspx

    10) For further information on the KB2543241 and KB2464588 updates & hotfixes, see the following blog posts, articles, and bulletin:

    Office Sustained Engineering and Release Team Blog post, "Issues after installing PowerPoint 2

  2. @Scytale – the new KB article contains this text:

    "Hotfix replacement information

    This hotfix replaces security update 2464588, which is described in bulletin MS11-022."

    Were you hoping to see something else?

  3. @Nick, Claudio – yes the update is global and should install on non English versions.

  4. @Mark E…/bb332157.aspx WSUS is a free service (as part of Windows Server) you can use to deploy updates to multiple desktops.…/adding-cumulative-updates-to-display-in-windows-server-update-services-console.aspx is a post to help you get started in adding hotfixes to your update catalog.

    We are planning to release the fixes to these solutions in a future Public Update, and they will be available at that time as Automatic Updates. Our choice to offer these as hotfixes first is our choice to get the fixes delivered as quickly as possible.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft Team, yesterday evening you posted; "We are investigating the reported issues of PowerPoint 2002, 2003 and 2007 freezing, and we will continue to update the blog with plans to address that issue."

    This is an acknowledged issue impacting all XP SP3 Office 2003 user.  Please provide status on the resolution plan ASAP.

    Notes:  We've uninstalled KB2464588 and installed hotfix KB2543241, and the Powerpoint freeze issue remains.

  6. @Carol, have you contacted Microsoft support to raise this issue? (1-866-PCSAFETY), we have not been able to reproduce an issue like this internally, and your call may help us address any remaining issues.

    @Stefan, we're looking into a solution for XP as well. Stay tuned (this week) for updates. Apologies for the delay.

  7. We are investigating the reported issues of PowerPoint 2002, 2003 and 2007 freezing, and we will continue to update the blog with plans to address that issue.

  8. @Christopher Burger – we are working on a fix and will post it as quickly as we can. Again I would encourage those of you experiencing issues with PowerPoint freezing to contact 1-866-PCSAFETY (it's a free support engagement). This will create a support case which will provide you with the most current information.

  9. @Ian, I would recommend calling 1.866.PCSAFETY and creating a case. We have not seen reports of issues with Excel, so your assistance in helping provide envrionment data, sample documents and reproduction steps will be helpful to identify any potential issues.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So I posted a comment yesterday that contained my solution to the issue but for some reason it is not showing up.  The following is what worked for me and allowed me to get our users access to their corrupted PPTs.

    Disclaimer: I accept no responsibility if there are any adverse reactions (e.g. all of your computers explode, etc).  However, if it works – which I suspect it will – please feel free to send all "props" in this direction 🙂

    1) Open PowerPoint program.  NOT a powerpoint file; just the program.  If you don't show a blank ppt when you open it, you've done something wrong.

    2) Go to Insert->Slides from files

    3) Browse to the affected PPT

    4) Check the "Keep source formatting" box in the lower left corner.

    5) Click "Insert All"

    6) Click Close.

    7) Delete the blank slide at the beginning of the email

    That should about do it.  Again, this worked for all of my users who were running Win XP w/Office 2003.

    Good luck.


  11. Carol says:

    The hotfix does not fix my ppt freezing problem. My ppt does not have any background images. It is a plain white background.

  12. Stefan says:

    What about Powerpoint 2002? When do you expect to publish a hotfix for 2002 users?

  13. Gensys says:

    We are having this same issue with Powerpoint 2007.  Uninstalling "Security Update for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 (KB2464594)" solved the problem.  Is there a similar hot-fix to use with Powerpoint 2007?

  14. nick says:

    This patch is the English version, can be installed for the Italian version?


  15. claudio says:

    I received a link to the hotfix for KB: 2543241 but I noted this is a ENU (eg. English).

    Can I apply surely this hotfix to a Office 2003 Italian? or the hotfix could be used only for an en-us version?

    Kind regards

  16. claudio says:

    I received a link to the hotfix for KB: 2543241 but I noted this is a ENU (eg. English).

    Can I apply surely this hotfix to a Office 2003 Italian?

    Kind regards

  17. Volker says:

    After applying the hotix PP opens my pot file with background images properly. However, I still have the freezing problem, too.

  18. Kingsley Newman says:

    I have installed the hotfix (KB2543241) but this still has not resolved my problem.  We are running Windows XP SP3 and Offcie 2003 SP3.  When we try to open an existing presentation that was created only last week.  Some of the slides have data imported from Excel and whenever you try to move this data Powerpoint hangs.

    I can get around this by copying and pasting the data into a new file but i lose all the formatting

    Is this the type of error Microsoft are trying to fix?

  19. ryan says:

    @Carol – I am in the same possition as you.  

    I first tried deleting the update (KB2464588), that didn't work, then I downloaded and installed the Hotfix (KB2543241).  And that didn't solve the problem either.  I've tried other tricks mentioned (disable spell checking, looking for background images, etc), but that has not solved my issue.  My powerpoint 2003 still freezes on files that have no background.

    I guess a call to the number mentioned will have to happen later today.

  20. claudio says:

    Thanks, I go to try

  21. Scytale says:

    What a terrible mess.

    Why does the new hotfix not actually state or reference the previous problematic KB?  Even in the prerequisites it only states PPT 2003 SP3.

  22. Wolfgang says:

    I have deinstalled also all other MS office related security updates from 15th April, and powerpoint seems to be back to working fine again without reinstalling powerpoint entirely.

    I am frustrated, this problem caught me while I was under pressure having to create an executive presentation – which was delayed ….

    Greetings from Germany.

  23. Mark E says:

    A manually downloadable hot fix is just great for one PC or a few PCs, but what about enterprise class customers?  I am supposed to go out, buy a 3rd party deployment tool to install this on over 200 PCs?  Have of which are not conected via my WAN, rendering a newly purchased deployment tool useless anyway?  

    Microsoft – you caused the problem, you fix it properly.  This hotfix is an unacceptable solution – re-release a proper patch available through WSUS please.

  24. Ashford says:

    "In our June Public Update release, we will release the update through the Automatic Update channel, where any remaining users will be updated with the changes."

    Why do we have to wait until June when you know it is an issue for so many users and you already have a fix?

  25. Sebastian says:

    Well, the automatic updates are annoying sometimes, but after many years this is really the first time, where it brings me into serious problems. I wonder really that I cannot just uninstall such a KB patch. And I do not just have a spare notebook and have to prepare a business trip.

    As others described the hotfix fixed the disappeared backgound images problem , but the freeze problems is still there, after 1 minute or so, so what to do? (XP, Office 2003)

    @MS team: "we are working on a fix and will post it as quickly as we can", are we talking about hours, then I am happy to wait? Or can it even take weeks??

    Bye from Germany, where an American phone number for support doesn't help much, need a fix, really.

  26. Mark says:

    This looks to get around the hanging problem in PowerPoint 2003 until MS can get a proper fix out:

    turn off the “Check spelling as you type” option in Tools, Options, Spelling and Style.

  27. Philip says:

    I am still having problems with my powerpoint freezing. Is there any way to fix this?

  28. KCrawford says:

    Still don't see a fix for Office XP. Anyone know when an expected fix will be available?

  29. Ulrich Bernskov says:

    Can this be imported into WSUS?

    It does not appear to be searchable in the Update Catalog using "office2003KB2543241ENU" or "2543241" or variations thereof.

  30. Aaron A says:

    I tried calling 1-866-PC-Safety as recommended and it just continues to ring with no answer.

  31. Aaron A says:

    Turning off “Check spelling as you type" fixed the issue of PowerPoint not responding/crashing.  Thanks for the suggestion Mark.  Now I just have to communicate to my users that they can turn that feature back on once MS puts and update out for this issue.

  32. tony says:

    I have Office XP 2002.

    The update had completely changed my powerpoint files (background, text) and was freezing when I attempted to do anything.

    I followed Wolfgang's advice and deleted all office updates and everything seems to be OK.

  33. David Soussan says:

    I posted this elsewhere, but this appears to be a better place to get knowledge into those that need it.

    I too got bit by this.

    I had problems with PowerPoint 2003 and opening up a chart – both Graph.exe and PowerPoint.exe hung up. It appears to hang about 2 minutes after opening up the graph while the spell checker is running through the document and the little animated pencil / book icon is moving. Just before it finishes, the pencil stops animating and both processes are hung / require killing.

    Initially, I tried the hotfix and the document still hung at the same place. Uninstalling did not help. So I took the document to a virtual machine that had not had neither update – the one that caused the problem nor the hot fix, and that same document hung up in the same way!

    Taking the original document prior to the first crash / recovered file, that document worked fine on the VM. That same original document worked fine as well on the system with the hot fix.

    So, it appears like once you've hit the crash, recovering the document will not recover a usable PPT file – you have to revert to a version that was not molested by the pre-hotfix version of PowerPoint. With that in hand, I'm functional again.

    I hope this helps someone else! That is my experience, YMMV.

  34. Ian S. says:

    Is anyone having very similar problems with Excel 2003? I am having a very hard time finding any useful information beyond vague recommendations to "uninstall the update" without any specifics as to which update or whatever. MS doesn't seem to have a KB on the Excel issue either, great exposure on the Powerpoint problem, found the answer in five minutes, but Excel is a mystery and I am getting reports of problems here at work with Excel 2003 users on WinXP

  35. Catherine says:

    The hotfix does fix the background image problem (which was a big issue for us, since hundreds of people in our organization create PPT presentations using our company templates on a regular basis) – BUT – it did not fix the freezing problem.

    THIS IS A MAJOR PROBLEM.  It is preventing users in my company from doing a big portion of their work.

  36. karen says:

    PROBLEM IS BACK — background disappears & powerpoint freezes up. The hotfix worked fine last week on my pc after I removed the security update from Add & Remove programs. HOWEVER, the problem is back again today and downloading the fix is not working. When I enter the password for the self-extracting utility and click ok, what I entered disappears and it continues to ask for the password. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

  37. michele says:

    After downloading the hotfix, PowerPoint presentations that I had created after I downloaded update KB2464588 had OK backgrounds but were still freezing. So I contacted Microsoft. Their solution was identical to that offered by Matt/mbalonso above. Unfortunately, some of the slides in the presentations were corrupt and I had to fix them (bullets, graphics). But I'm now back in business.

  38. PruTech says:

    I just installed the lastest update, but PPT 2003 is STILL freezing.

  39. dirk says:

    Indeed same result. Hotfix doesn't solve the freezing problem. My colleagues will kill me soon. Please Microsoft SOLVE THIS ISSUE!!


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