Ask the Expert

Does your computer reboot when using PowerPoint?

I have a computer running Windows XP on our network and it reboots occasionally when using PowerPoint. There are two computers used in this theatre, one for English and the other for French. They project side by side and both are plugged into the same power bar so the power supply has been ruled out. It is only the English side computer that reboots. I will check the hardware -- any hints on what to look for, procedure - order etc., would be appreciated.

My network admin thinks there may be a corrupt file in PPT but all our presentation computers, 40+, are ghosted from the same image and this one computer is the only one rebooting (so far), and only when using PPT. Have you heard of any rebooting problem occurring from people using PowerPoint?

If the problem only occurs when running PowerPoint, then it could be a PowerPoint issue. Make sure you have all the latest Office patches from Microsoft. Also, you may want to re-image the system to rule out any local file corruption. You can swap out the RAM chips with another system and see if it still happens. Otherwise, a call to Microsoft may be in order.


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Alan B. writes:
Two additional suggestions:

  1. French law prohibits the use of encryption, so the French versions of Office were different in that they did not allow the use of password protection, etc. I work for a French firm and found that, when swapping Word files, there were often problems. The work around was to generate files on the French system and not use any form of file protection.

  2. When I upgraded to Office 2003, I found that I had this problem on all Office applications, whether opening an existing file or starting a new one. The application would start up, appear to be stable, but moving a mouse or attempting to access a menu and the system would crash right down to the boot menu. I tried completely uninstalling, re-installing, etc. The only thing that worked was re-installing Office XP, installing 2003 side by side, running 2003 then uninstalling Office XP. Go figure.


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  • This was first published in November 2005

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