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These are some general steps for troubleshooting Troubleshooting is between an art and a science, so may take a little patience and several steps. Often there is a solution nearby.


These are general troubleshooting steps for a variety of problems.

Reset user's application profile

Resetting your application profile is useful if you suspect your profile may be corrupt.

This procedure will reset your profile, so you will lose settings including extensions, custom words in your spell checker dictionary, toolbar settings, anything listed in the Tools - Options menu, macros listed in My Macros, etc. However, once you solve or identify your problem, you may reverse the procedure.

Follow these steps in order:

  1. Close all windows.
  2. Exit the Quickstarter (if applicable).
  3. Rename the user configuration directory.
    1. Windows XP
      1. Navigate to the directory beneath the user configuration directory. Normally this is C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Application Data\
      2. Rename Openoffice.org2 to another name such as Openoffice.org2.backup
    2. On Linux, run a command such as mv ~/.openoffice.org2 ~/.openoffice.org2.backup
  4. Start

Problem: error code #### when install on Windows

First, temporarily disable any antivirus software.

Second, search OOoSearch and/or Google with the verbatim error message. Because these errors are caused by the Windows Installer designed by Microsoft, you may find solutions describing applications.

Here are some specific solutions

You may wish to try installing in Windows Safe mode. To do that, reboot. During the bootup, press the F8 key. Then, choose Safe Mode. (Do not choose Networking or Command Line.)

Problem: won't start

These can be run independently in any order.

  • Kill any running processes, which are named soffice.bin or soffice.exe.
    • In Windows, use the Windows Task Manager
    • In Linux, from a terminal run the command killall soffice.bin
  • Reboot your computer.
  • Make sure you are using the latest vanilla edition
  • Windows: Temporarily disable any firewall.
  • Windows: Temporarily disable any anti-virus.
  • Linux: Use a standard GNOME or KDE theme.
  • Linux: Start in terminal and watch terminal for error messages.
  • Linux: Disable SELinux or change it to permissive mode.
  • Linux: Use the 32-bit version of instead of 64-bit.
  • Linux: Remove any 64-bit Java. (You can restore it once you have identified the problem.)
  • Linux: For troubleshooting, run the command strace -f openoffice.org2.4 &>/tmp/ooo.log. Then, read the last lines of the log.
  • Linux: Uncomment SAL_NOOPENGL=true; export SAL_NOOPENGL in /opt/openoffice.org2.4/program/soffice (or equivalent path).

There are multiple ways to start If one does not work, try another.

"C:\Program Files is not accessible. Access is denied."

If you get this error on Windows, see phil447's solution based on Microsoft Knowledgebase article Error Message: "Access Is Denied" When You Try to Open NTFS File System Folders.

Problem: can't open a document

FIXME write this section crashes

Sometimes crashes, but usually there is an easy solution.

  1. Read the general troubleshooting section. In particular, make sure you are using the latest vanilla version.
  2. Uninstall. Then, reboot. Then, reinstall.
  3. Check your operating system's drivers. In particular, check video drivers.
  4. Try to figure out what triggers the problem.
    1. Does the problem happen with all documents of the same type (for example, all .odt documents)?
    2. Does it happen with documents of other types (such as .odt, .doc, .xls)?
    3. Does it happen every time?

Nuclear option

If you are having installation or profile problems, this forceful procedure removes most traces of so you can have a clean start.

  1. Disable antivirus
  2. Quit all Windows including Quickstarter.
  3. Uninstall
  4. Optional: Follow the steps to reset application profile.
  5. Windows only: optional: run the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility if is still listed in the Control Panel under Add/Remove Programs.
  6. Windows only: optional: run a registry cleaner such as CCleaner.
  7. Reboot
  8. Reenable antivirus
  9. Reinstall is stuck in an endless recovery loop

If show you documents can be recovered, you click Start recovery and then get a message that “Recovery failed,” just delete the file user/registry/data/org/openoffice/Office/Recovery.xcu in your user profile directory. gives me an error message

When (or any software) gives you an error message, search for it in Google. Put quotation marks around the text. It is important to use the original error message verbatim, but you may search for part of the error message at a time. Here are some examples:

Error message Search query
Application can't start. The user interface language cannot be determined. "The user interface language cannot be determined"
Warning! The column “ID” could not be changed. Should the column instead be deleted and the new format appended? "The column" "could not be changed" openoffice

Notice in the second example that “ID” could be replaced with any column name, so the query is split into three parts to remain generic.

  • Troubleshooting Common Problems (some parts are outdated)
  • [[Warning! The column “ID” could not be changed. Should the column instead be deleted and the new format appended?| · Last modified: 2008/08/13 21:16 by andrewz