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You receive a "The Office Assistant could not be started" error message when you start an Office XP programs


View products that this article applies to.

This article was previously published under Q298035
For a Microsoft Office 2000 version of this article, see 236822 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/236822/EN-US/ ) .

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Symptoms

When you start any of the Office programs listed at the beginning of this article, or when you start the Office Assistant, you may receive the following error message:
The Office Assistant could not be started. The Assistant might not have been disabled properly, there might be problems with your Office setup, or your computer might be low on memory.
Also, if you have not activated your product, you may receive the Activation Wizard dialog box with the following message:
Please wait while the wizard initializes...
The wizard appears to stop responding (hang), but you can click the Close button in the upper-right corner to close the dialog box.

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Cause

This behavior occurs when the following conditions are true:
  • You attempt to start any of the programs listed at the beginning of this article.

    -or-
  • You attempt to start the Office Assistant.
-and-
  • You turned off (disabled) virtual memory.

    -or-
  • You set the maximum size of the virtual memory too low.

    -or-
  • The paging file is on a hard disk that does not have enough free disk space.

    -or-
  • The following line entries appear in the [386Enh] section of the System.ini file:
    MaxPagingFileSize=
    MinPagingFileSize=
You also may receive this error message when you attempt to start any of the programs listed at the beginning of this article or when you start the Office XP Assistant, on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 or Microsoft Windows 2000 if the size of the paging file is too small.

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Resolution

To resolve this behavior, use the following methods, as appropriate.

Turn On Virtual Memory

To turn on virtual memory, follow these steps:
  1. On the desktop, right-click the My Computer icon, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Performance tab, and then click Virtual Memory.
  3. Clear the Disable virtual memory. (Not recommended) check box.
  4. Click to select the Let Windows manage my virtual memory settings (recommended) check box.
  5. Click OK and then click Close.
  6. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

Increase Virtual Memory Paging File Size

To increase the virtual memory paging file size, follow these steps:
  1. On the desktop, right-click the My Computer icon, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Performance tab, and then click Virtual Memory.
  3. Increase the size by using the spin box for Maximum. Or you can select the Let Windows manage my virtual memory settings (recommended) check box.
  4. Click OK and then click Close.
  5. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

Change the Disk that the Virtual Memory Paging File Uses

To change the disk that the virtual memory paging file uses, follow these steps:
  1. On the desktop, right-click the My Computer icon, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Performance tab, and then click Virtual Memory.
  3. Click to select the Let me specify my own virtual memory settings check box.
  4. In the Hard disk drop-down list, select another disk that has more available hard disk space.
    If another disk is not available on the computer, you must free disk space on the default disk.
  5. Click OK and then click Close.
  6. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

On Microsoft Windows NT and Microsoft Windows 2000

On Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000, you cannot turn off virtual memory. You can increase the size of the paging file, the file that provides virtual memory. To do this, follow the steps appropriate for your operating system.

Windows NT

  1. On the desktop, right-click the My Computer icon, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Performance tab, and then click Change.
  3. In the Virtual Memory dialog box, change the parameters for your paging file (initial size, maximum size, and so on). After you change the settings, click Set and then click OK.
  4. Click Close.
  5. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

Windows 2000

  1. On the desktop, right-click the My Computer icon, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Performance Options.
  3. In the Virtual Memory section of the Performance Options dialog box, change the parameters for your paging file (initial size, maximum size, and so on) by clicking the Change button. After you change the settings, click Set and then click OK three times.
  4. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

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More information

In Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition (Me), Windows NT, and Windows 2000, virtual memory allows the computer to use hard disk space as random access memory (RAM). The computer uses virtual memory to augment the normal RAM that is installed on the computer.

If, for some reason, you turned off virtual memory in Windows 98 or Windows Me, or the maximum setting for virtual memory is too low, or if you reduced the size of the paging file in Windows NT or Windows 2000, Office programs may not start correctly or may not start at all. This behavior can occur even if the computer has a large amount of installed RAM, 32 megabytes (MB) or more. The amount of virtual memory required varies, depending on the amount of installed RAM. For a system that has 16 MB of RAM, a minimum of approximately 16 MB of virtual memory is required to start an Office program. However, increasing the amount of virtual memory also greatly increases the performance of your computer under Windows.

For additional information about virtual memory in Windows, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
128327� How Windows 95/98/Me Manages Virtual Memory

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Keywords: KB298035, kbprb, kberrmsg, kbtshoot, kbstoprespond

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Article Info
Article ID : 298035
Revision : 6
Created on : 1/31/2007
Published on : 1/31/2007
Exists online : False
Views : 359