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Q: Can't open email arttachments. ATTN: PWIZARD ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Can't open email arttachments. ATTN: PWIZARD
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: monreale-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 09 Feb 2003 20:51 PST
Expires: 11 Mar 2003 20:51 PST
Question ID: 159306
When I try to open an attachment I get this message: "The file can not
be opened for Quick View. It may be open or locked by another
application or you may not have access to it." I've checked the
Options>Security tab and there's no problem there. I've tried saving
the attachment but I still can't open it. Help!

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 10 Feb 2003 13:59 PST
Greeting monreale,

Can you give me a little more information about the problem while I
begin researching the solution?

1. What email client are you using? Outlook 97/2000/XP? Outlook
2. What types of attachments are these? Word documents? JPG/GIF
images? Does it matter?
3. You say that you're tried saving the attachment, do you get the
exact same error when simply trying to save the attachment to disk?
4. Did you install anything recently or before it stopped working?
Perhaps Norton AntiVirus or a firewall software like ZoneAlarm or
Norton Internet Security?

Thanks and I'll wait to hear back.

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 10 Feb 2003 14:23 PST
One thing I would go ahead and suggest would be the uninstall and
reinstall of the Quick View application within Windows 98. If there is
a problem with the app or if some of the configuration got messed up,
this might correct it.

Look here:;en-us;189301

Follow the steps outlined under "Resolution" except do the opposite to
first REMOVE quick view (uncheck the icon). REBOOT, then follow the
steps again to add it back. REBOOT again and then try your attachments
to see if there is any improvement.

If not, just get back to me on the above questions and we'll continue.


Clarification of Question by monreale-ga on 11 Feb 2003 11:05 PST
1. Outlook Express.
2. Word documents, although I haven't had the opportunity to try to
open JPG/GIF images.
3. I'm able to save the attachment (it seems) but I get the exact same
error when I try to open the saved attachment.
4. No. Norton antivirus and firwall have been installed for a year.
Incidentally I've tried disabling them but it doesn't help.

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 11 Feb 2003 11:37 PST
What it sounds like to me is possibly a combination of a couple
different things. I think that you may have a problem with the Quick
View application which may be solved by uninstalling and reinstalling
as mentioned above. I also think you may have a problem with your file
associations (for .doc files and possibly others).

Before this problem occurred, when you tried to open Word attachments,
did they actually open in MS Word? or did they open in the Quick
Viewer program? From what I understand, the Quick View app is supposed
to kick in when the file associations are not there or configured

Running the Microsoft Office or Word setup CD and selecting the
re-install or repair option is probably the easiest way to get all of
the associations back in place again. Otherwise, you can do it
manually going to Windows Explorer --> Tools --> Folder Options -->
File Types and selecting the .doc extension and making sure it's set
to open with Microsoft Word. There are probably other extensions that
are messed up as well, so running setup would take care of them all in
most cases.

Let me know if this helps.

Clarification of Question by monreale-ga on 11 Feb 2003 11:53 PST
I'm afraid, PCWizard, I am hopelessly bogged down. Is a live telephone
consultation possible and if so, what would be a fair price? I'm in
the San Fran area, Pacific time.

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 12 Feb 2003 06:16 PST
Actually, we are not allowed any outside contact with the users of the
Google Answers service. All correspondence must take place within the
site. Sorry.

As always, I'll be happy to help you work through the problem as we
have in the past if you're willing. Just let me know how you would
like to proceed.


Clarification of Question by monreale-ga on 12 Feb 2003 11:38 PST
Too bad we can't talk--I'm really ignorant about computers and a
one-finger typist to boot!

1. Using the CD's I have on hand, I inserted the MS Works Suite 99
setup CD and installed the setup program for Word 97.
2. I rebooted.
3. I clicked on START, clicked SETUP, then CONTROL PANEL.
4.I double clicked on ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS, then the INSTALL/UNINSTALL
5.Instructed to "install CD" I inserted the Works Suite 99 CD that
contains Word.
6. I clicked "Next."
7.Being instructed that "Windows was unable to locate the installation
program" I clicked "Browse", found and clicked on "Microsoft Works
Suite 99", then "setup", then "launcher.exe", all of which then
appeared in a window on the screen.
8. I then clicked "finish" and a window appeared labeled "Microsoft
Works 99 Setup" reading "To run the Works setup program, double click
the Setup icon on the Works CD." I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS.
9.I found the Microsoft Works folder, opened it and doublecliked on
"Setup" but nothing ran. WHAT NOW?

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 12 Feb 2003 12:34 PST
Basically it wants you to go to "My computer" then your CD-Rom Drive
(Drive D: possibly?) and double-click on the setup.exe file located on
the CD-ROM in order to execute the Works setup routine. Going to
ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS in control panel, then selecting Works 99 and
clicking CHANGE/REMOVE will probably also initiate the same setup
routine. Once the setup routine starts you're looking for the REPAIR
or REINSTALL option. If that doesn't work, you'll have to UNINSTALL,
reboot, then run the above steps again to reinstall the prouct.

You said that you first "Using the CD's I have on hand, I inserted the
MS Works Suite 99 setup CD and installed the setup program for Word
97." I'm not quite sure what you accomplished with this step. You
might have installed the product, but most likely not. As far as I
know, you don't really "install" the setup routine.

I hope this helps. I wish there was an easier way to accomplish what
we're trying to do, but the other methods would require even more
knowledge of the operating system functions, so I want to try the
simplest things first.


Clarification of Question by monreale-ga on 13 Feb 2003 11:34 PST
Despite various tries to follow your guidance, I've made no headway.

The only way to make this work is for you to give me step by step,
detailed, one, two, three...instructions. Otherwise, I get lost.

I've bumped the price up to $25.00.

Today is Thursday. Because of travel plans, Saturday will be the last
day I'll have to work on this until Feb. 26.

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 13 Feb 2003 13:43 PST
OK, let's start over. Now, I don't have Works 99, nor have I had
Windows 98 in quite a long time, so I'm going to do my best to step
you through this based on my knowledge of the process.

3. At this screen, scroll down to select Microsoft Works 99 (may be
listed as just "Works 99").
4. After clicking to highlight Microsoft Works 99, click on the button
labeled "ADD/REMOVE" at the bottom of the dialog box.
5. This should initiate the SETUP routine for Works 99. It might ask
you to insert your Works 99 CD at this point or soon after. This is
where things get a bit blurry because I don't have the software and I
don't know what their setup routine looks like. If they follow most
other Microsoft product setup routines, there should be one of two
options available. Either REPAIR (might be shown as REINSTALL) or
UNINSTALL (might be shown as REMOVE).
6. If the REPAIR option is available, this is the one we want. Select
it and just step through the screens until the setup routine
re-installs the files from the CD and finishes.
7. If the REPAIR option is unavailable, you will have to select the
UNINSTALL option. Step through the screens until the application is
uninstalled from your system.
8. Once either step 6 or 7 is completed, you will need to REBOOT your
9. After the reboot, if you did the REPAIR option, now is the time to
try and see if your problem is resolved. See if you can open a Word
document and if it opens in Microsoft Word. If it still does not open
in Word, you'll need to let me know and we'll have to look for a
different solution. Be sure to note the error message or what does
10. If you did the UNINSTALL option, now is the time to INSTALL the
application again. You might be able to simply eject the CD from your
CD-Rom drive and then re-insert it to start this process. Most CDs
will AUTOPLAY when inserted and the SETUP routine should start right
11. If not, make sure the CD is in your drive, then on your desktop,
double-click on "My Computer". Then double-click on the drive letter
that represents your CD-Rom drive (it will probably say Microsoft
Works 99 or something similiar). Most people's CD-Rom drives are drive
letter D:\. After double clicking on the CD drive, SETUP may start up
automatically. If it does not, look for a file called SETUP or
SETUP.EXE that you can double-click on in order to start it up. If you
can't find it, look for any other file you can use to start the disc,
12. Once you get the setup routine started, you should just take all
of the default settings to install the program. It will ask you
several questions, such as what different parts you want to install,
etc. Again, just accept the defaults and click NEXT until you're
13. After it's done, reboot again. 
14. Now it's time to try and see if the problem is fixed by opening a
Word document. If it doesn't work, let me know and tell me exactly
what happened.

These are probably the most detailed instructions I can give on
reinstalling your Microsoft Works application. I hope you're able to
get it done based on these instructions. It's hard when I don't have
the same software so I can't tell you "exactly" what to expect, but
this is my best guess. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Of course, I'll help you until we figure out a way to correct your
issue. Just don't get frustrated. I'm here to help.


Clarification of Question by monreale-ga on 14 Feb 2003 13:06 PST
At your step 3, I didn't find Works 99; instead I found Works 4.5. I
went through your steps and REPAIR not being available, I REMOVEd it.
After rebooting, I inserted the CD in the drive. Note: this CD is
labelled "Microsoft Money 99 Basic Audio/video Help. Microsoft Word
ValuPack." Maybe it doesn't contain Word--just "Word VAluPack"?

Anyway, at your step 11, I doubleclicked on Works 99 Drive D. Two
folders came up, MS Money and MS Word. Clicking on MS Word, two
folders came up, SR2 Patch and Valupack. Clicking on Valupack, many
folders came up, the most relevant of which seemed to be Word 97cnv.
Clicking on it, up came Word 97cnv.exe. Clicking on this, up came a
window labelled "Word 97 Converter Setup", reading "This program will
install the MS Word 97 converter..." etc. I saw I was in a blind alley
but proceeded to the next window which read "Setup could not locate an
installed version of Word compatible with the Word 8.0 converter." The

Incidentally, back at your step 3, I could have selected "Word 97"
instead of "Works 4.5." I wonder if I should have selected that.

I hate to say this but maybe I should dump the whole business and
install a newer  operatin system than WIN 98?

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 14 Feb 2003 14:22 PST
It sounds to me like you might not be using the correct CD to install
the application. Usually Microsoft Works comes on several discs (at
least the "Suite" version does, which includes the full blown Word
product). It sounds like the CD you inserted isn't the one that
contains the full installation for the Works product. Do you have any
other discs that go with the Works product suite? Alternatively, do
you have a CD that has Word 97 on it, possibly as a stand alone

I'm going to guess that all of these things were probably
pre-installed on this computer for you when you purchased it. However,
you should have all the CDs necessary to reload the software. I would
look through all the CDs that you have and try to identify the ones
that are associated with Works and/or Word. We still need to get
Works/Word re-installed on your system.

You noted at the end of your last message that you have "both" Works
4.5 AND Word 97 listed in add/remove programs. This is what makes me
wonder if you have Word 97 on a stand-alone CD somewhere. Just
remember, if you remove Word from your system and you don't have the
CD, you won't be able to re-install it.

If all of this was pre-loaded with your system, you probably have a
name brand computer like DELL, Gateway, Compaq, etc. The last resort
would be to use a restore cd if you computer came with one which would
restore it back to factory defaults with all the original software (as
long as you had all the original CDs). This is truly a LAST RESORT as
it erases your hard drive in the process, erasing any email or stored
files you have unless you back it all up first. This may not even be
an option for you at this time.

The last thing you mentioned was upgrading your operating system from
Windows 98. While I believe just about anyone would benefit from an
upgrade to Windows XP from Windows 98, this probably wouldn't solve
your problem outright. It might also take a little while for you to
adjust to all of the cosmetic changes made between the two systems. I
think upgrading to a newer version of Works Suite or Microsoft Word
may be a better alterative if you're looking for a way to fix the
problem. If you're unable to locate all the CDs required to reinstall
Works/Word on your PC, this may be one of your only options.

You can purchase Works Suite 2003 (v7.0) which includes Word XP, Money
2003, Streets & Trips 2002 and several other things. You can usually
find it for around $99 (plus a $15 mail-in rebate) at places like
Office Depot, Best Buy, or online. If you buy it, just make sure you
get the "SUITE" version and not the plain Works 2003 as it doesn't
contain Word. The plain version sells for around $50.

Here's the info on it:

Just let me know how you want to proceed from here.

Clarification of Question by monreale-ga on 14 Feb 2003 21:08 PST
I have the following CD's:
--Windows 98
--Works Suite 99
  --MS Graphics. Studio Greetings 99
  --Setup: Word 97; Works 4.5A; Works Calendar; IE4.01; MS Money
    Setup; MS Encarta 99 Set Up; MS Graphics Studio Greeting 99 Setup.
  --MS Money 99 Basic Audio/Video Help; MS Word ValuPack
  --MS Encarta.

I don't have a rescue CD.

I conclude I don't have what I need. Agreed?

Is there any downside to my purchasing and installing Works Suite 2003
Would it rejigger anything on my Dell laptop with cable modem? Erase
Require me to recalibrate anything, such as Outlook Express, Norton
Security, Window Washer?

I await your advice.

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 14 Feb 2003 22:02 PST
So, from reading your message, you have only one CD with Works Suite
99, correct? This one looks like it may have the applications that you
need on it (Works 4.5a, Word 97), but the only way to know for sure is
for you to try and install them from the disc. I know that later
versions of the Works Suite (such as version 2001 and up) were
multiple CDs, but it's possible that the 99 version fit all on 1 or 2
discs. I would probably try to install Works Suite from that first
Works 99 CD you have listed (Setup: Word 97; Works 4.5A; Works
Calendar; IE4.01; MS Money) and see if it works for you. There should
be a single setup routine that will let you install the whole thing.
You shouldn't have to run each individual setup on it's own.

Secondly, I don't see any reason why upgrading to Works 2003 would
interfere with anything you have on your computer. It would probably
remove and/or upgrade any remnants of Works 99 and Word 97 you have
left on your computer and it will probably want to update Internet
Explorer to version 6 and or possibly update some of Windows 98's core
components, but that should be about it. I don't see it interfering
with your configuration of Outlook Express, Norton Internet Security,
etc. I believe the setup routine for Works 2003 would probably be more
user-friendly as well so that you would have an easier time than you
are now should you have problems down the road and need to reinstall
or repair the installation.

Now, I have to give myself a bit of a disclaimer here as computers are
very unique and customizable to each individual that uses them. There
can ALWAYS be circumstances that would cause ANY program to have
negative side effects on your PC or configuration. So, please take
that into consideration when deciding if you should follow my advice.
Also, we at this point don't know for certain if this will ultimately
correct your initial problem with email attachments. This is just the
most logical place to start as a file association issue would
definitely cause you to not be able to open Word documents correctly
from both Outlook and Windows Explorer.

Just let me know what you decide to do. Thanks.

Clarification of Question by monreale-ga on 15 Feb 2003 09:39 PST
My message was misleading--sorry. I have a Windows 98 CD and four
Works Suite 99 CD's, none of which say they contain Word per se (the
closest is "Word Valupack"). So I'm going to try to buy and install
Works Suite 2003 today, Saturday, and let you know what happens. If I
don't get this done today I'll be back in touch on Feb. 25, when I
return from travel.

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 19 Feb 2003 06:53 PST
I did receive your last message regarding the installation of Works
2003, however, since you posted your email address in the message, I
had the Google Editors remove it in order to protect your privacy. As
I had mentioned before, we are not allowed to contact users outside of
the Google Answers site, so I cannot email you a test document. With
this being a public forum, I didn't want people to start sending you
spam and contacting you without your permission, so I hope you don't
mind that I had your last post deleted.

Please respond when you get back from your business trip and we will
continue our troubleshooting session. Perhaps you can find a Word
document on your computer and simply email it to yourself as a test?
We'll also address the Streets and Trips problem before we conclude,
but let's see if we can beat the original problem first.

I'll wait until I hear back from you after the 25th before proceeding


Clarification of Question by monreale-ga on 24 Feb 2003 21:07 PST
I'm back from travel and here's the situation:

I bought Works Suite 2003 (cost-$93 after rebate) and had it
installed. I'm able to open Wowrd attachments with no difficulty. Same
with Acrobat attachments. A certain type of attachment when opened
displays only code. The logo for this type of attachment is a steno
pad and, to take one example, it is labelled ATT001129.TXT Notepad.
Lastly I've tried to open a type of attachment where the logo is a
memo page with the top right corner turned over and, in the lower
right corner, a red, stylized, capital letter "A". When I try to open
this I get the same error message I mentioned in my Feb. 9 posting.
Then, when I save it, a left click on the logo produces the same error
messaga; a right click produces a drop down menu the second line of
which reads "Quick View." At this point when I click on "Quick View"
the attachment opens but nowhere on my screen do I have something I
can click on to engage the printer and make a copy. "File" does not
produce a drop down menu that includes "Print" nor does anything else.

In addition, as mentioned earlier, I'm unable to bring up the "Streets
and Trips" feature of the new Works suite.

Looking forward to your assistance...

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 25 Feb 2003 06:42 PST
What version of Internet Explorer are you currently running?

Open Internet Explorer, click on HELP, then select ABOUT INTERNET
EXPLORER. It will say "Version: XXXXX". Please let me know what you
have in this version number field.


Clarification of Question by monreale-ga on 26 Feb 2003 19:10 PST
Version 6.0.2800.1106IC.
Subject: Re: Can't open email arttachments. ATTN: PWIZARD
Answered By: pwizard-ga on 28 Feb 2003 06:44 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Greetings monreale,

After our many troubleshooting sessions, I now believe I have enough
information to give you a qualitative answer to your question.

What has happened to your computer is that Windows has lost some or
all of it's "file associations" and this is causing your attachments
not to open correctly. Windows uses file associations to determine
which piece of software installed on your computer is used to open or
view certain types of files. These associations are set both initially
when Windows is installed and subsequently when new applications are
installed which allows Windows to support additional file types. If
Windows can't determine what application to use for opening a
particular file type, it will either generate an error or it will try
to open the "Quick Viewer" if it believes it can display the file
correctly that way. I believe that your Quick Viewer application may
also be corrupted in some way.

When you installed Works 2003, the file associations for Word
documents and several other Works related files were re-established in
the system. This is why those files now open correctly. In order to
fully correct the problem, there are two different ways to do it. The
first way involves a beginner to intermediate level of skill with the
Windows operating system and the second requires a intermediate to
advanced level. The second way involves good working knowledge of the
different file extensions and their associated applications and also
where to find them on your hard drive. Based on our previous sessions,
I don't think this is a viable option so I'm not going to detail it
here. If you would like details on this method, simply "ask for
clarification" and I'll be happy to list it out for you.

In order to correct the problem using the first method, what has to be
done is basically the same thing we did with Works 2003. All of the
programs for the supported file types that are not working will need
to be re-installed. What you will have to do is find out what types of
attachments are still not working and then determine what application
you will need to open them up and then reinstall that application. If
you're not sure on an attachment, I would email the person that sent
it to you and ask them for specific info on the attachment such as
what type of file it is, what program did they use to create it, etc
(for example, JPG image, EXCEL spreadsheet, etc). Re-installing these
applications is usually as simple as running the SETUP that comes with
the program. You may have some of these programs on a CD or you may
need to download them from the Internet. Once reinstalled, just like
with Works 2003, the file associations should re-register themselves
and you should be able to open the attachments again.

A second thing you can do is try to fix the Quick View application on
your computer. I found that this is located in the ADD/REMOVE
programs. You can follow these steps:

3. Click the Windows Setup tab.
4. Click Accessories and then click DETAILS at the bottom.
5. Scroll down and find "Quick View" and click to UNCHECK it.
6. Click OK to SAVE the change.
8. Repeat steps 1 thru 7, except click to CHECK it again so that it's
9. REBOOT again.

This may or may not correct the Quick View problem. If it doesn't, the
only way to correct it may be a re-install of Windows 98.

I would recommend first trying to reinstall the Quick View
application. See if that will allow you to open up any additional
attachments that you can't open now. If it doesn't, then you'll need
to move on to the solution I outlined above. The most common
attachments sent in email are Office documents (Word, Excel,
Powerpoint) and images (JPG, GIF, BMP). We know that Word works fine
for you. You also mentioned that Acrobat works fine for you. If images
are not working and the Quick View program can't be repaired, there
are several FREE image viewing tools available for download on the
Internet that you can install which will allow you to view every image
type available. I'll leave a link to one that I am familiar with at
the end of this answer.

I wish that your problem could have been a very straight-forward
one-step fix, but unfortunately file associations are not easily
corrected. They don't make a fix-it utility for that type of problem
as the associations on your computer could be completely different
than the ones on mine. If you feel that the corrective measures are
out of your reach or too overwhelming, I would suggest taking your PC
into a local computer repair shop and letting one of their software
techs correct the issue for you. I doubt that it would cost that much,
especially since you already know what the problem is, you just need
someone to correct it. Having managed one of these types of shops for
a couple of years, it's possible that they could find something that
I'm not able to see as computer troubleshooting is really meant for a
hand-on type of environment.

Regarding your remaining problem with Streets and Trips, it sounds
like this too probably needs to be re-installed as something might not
have been installed properly. Since you just purchased this new, I
would take advantage of Microsoft's free product support and let them
help you with troubleshooting the problem. You can actually talk to
them over the phone and they can probably get you a solution much
faster and be able to walk you through it, where as you know I cannot.
Of course, if you don't want to talk with them I'll try and help you
if I can, I just think it would be good to use Microsoft's resources
since they have experts at Works Suite in house and have probably seen
your probably many times before.

I've enjoyed working with you on this question and while the answer is
not a quick fix, it's the only way I know to correct the problem
(outside of the more difficult way I spoke of earlier). Please find
some helpful links below and don't hesitate to "ask for clarification"
if you need additional assistance on this question. I'll continue to
help as best I can.

Microsoft Support;en-us;top

XN-View v1.5 Image Viewing Software

(on XN-View, after installing, run the application, go to the Tools
--> Options screen, go to Associations, click ADD ALL, then OK -->


Request for Answer Clarification by monreale-ga on 01 Mar 2003 15:36 PST
Well pwizard, it's been a long, rocky road. The most recent example is
that after I installed XN-View, following your directions, ran it and
went to the Tools-->Options screen, nowhere do I find "Associations."
Enough!--I'm headed for the local tech shop. But you gave it a good
try. Thanks.

Clarification of Answer by pwizard-ga on 01 Mar 2003 19:33 PST
Just a quick note on XN-View -- unless the Options screen is different
on a Windows 98 installation than on XP, as I look at my options
screen, "Associations" is the last item on the left-hand list (the
list begins with "Misc.", follows with "View" and goes down the left

I appreciate you baring with me during our extensive troubleshooting
sessions. I also appreciate your generous rating for the question and
wish you luck getting the problem resolved with your local computer
shop. Any experienced technician should be able to take care of your
problem fairly quickly.

If there's ever anything else I can do to help, please let me know.

Take care,
monreale-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Although pwizard wasn't able to solve my problem, I think the main
reason was my own lack of computer skills and inability to capitalize
on his abundant expertise.

There are no comments at this time.

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