Office 2003 Rights Management Bug Locks up Files

By  |  Friday, December 11, 2009 at 1:42 pm

UPDATED: It’s a nightmare scenario: Imagine coming into the office and not being able to access any of your organization’s vital documents. That scenario became reality today for an untold number of Microsoft Office 2003 customers who use Microsoft’s Rights Management Service (RMS), a technology for controlling access to documents.

Office 2003 users receive the error, “Unexpected error occurred. Please try again later or contact your system administrator,” when they attempt to open or save protected documents. The bug affects Office 2003 products including Excel 2003, Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, and Word 2003. It does not affect Office 2007 or Office 2010 Beta, according to Microsoft.

A spokesperson said that the bug was caused by a Information Rights Management (IRM) certificate expiring.

Microsoft has posted a bulletin to TechNet alerting customers to the problem, and says that it is working “as quickly as possible” to provide its customers with a solution. Further announcements will be posted to the blog.

Microsoft released a hotfix on Saturday. The Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3 update is required for hotfixes to be installed.


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9 Comments For This Post

  1. IcyFog Says:

    The other day I had a an issue with Office 2007. I can't remember the exact warning I received, but it had something to do with compatibility, and unless I clicked "No" Word wouldn't open.

    It's just a shame to me and my customers that I'm forced, by my company, to use Microsoft's poorly performing products when there are viable and free alternatives like, which my company restricts me from using, and GoogleDocs, which my company blocks that feature on the Internet.

  2. David Worthington Says:

    @IcyFog do you recall what the specific error was? An Office 2007 Service Pack added ODF support.

  3. IcyFog Says:

    No I don’t recall, but after I posted that, oddly enough it happened to Outlook, so I got a screenshot. This is the message:
    “Outlook experienced a serious problem with the ‘outlook scan’ add-in. If you have seen this message mulitple times you should disable this add-in and check to see if an update is available. Do you want to disable this add-in?”
    Now that I read that message, I’m thinking I had to click “Yes” instead of “No.”

  4. Francois Says:

    have the same problem, solved it using wordpad and rtf format. nobody notices the difference…

  5. Yo Gabba Says:

    Incorrect Maths, what the heck does that mean? Do you mean incorrect math or incorrect maps perhaps?

  6. me Says:

    Oh the irony…
    Microsoft’s Rights Management Service (RMS)

    Richard Stallman (RMS) must love that one.

    @ ms releases odf – you should google “microsoft odf incompatible,” you will see that ms odf is broken. For example ms excel strips out all formulas in an odf spread sheet, and just saves the values the cells had when the spread sheet was opened up. In fact, it appears that ms intentionally broke odf in every way they possibly could, and still fit a very loose reading of being compatible with the odf standard.

    When I see stories like these, they give me hope– eventually, even stupid people will come around, and stop using the products put out by these abusive corporations.

  7. IcyFog Says:

    @ Francois
    Typically I use Notepad to write. Only when I’m ready to format and spellcheck will I use Word. Then I forward my documents in that format because of my company’s requirement. Notepad is where I start, and frankly it’s all I really need.

  8. juegos de sonic Says:

    Incorrect Maths, what the heck does that mean? Do you mean incorrect math or incorrect maps perhaps?

  9. jackson Says:

    The points the data mentioned are top notch on actual encounters help more. Continue doing that which you do once we enjoy reading through your work.
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