While re-loading the OS and apps on my iMac at work, I ran into major issues whilst updating MS Office 2008. When running the first update, Office 2008 SP1 (12.1.0) I had no problems, however none of the other updates would run. I kept getting the error “You cannot install Office 2008 Updates on this volume. A version of the software required to install this update was not found on this volume.”
At first I thought that this might be due to some permissions shenanigans revolving around my AD/OD setup, since the logged in user was not a local admin, but had been granted administrator privileges through a nested group trick.
After more searching I ran across a post on the forums MacRumors.com pointing out problems when running updates on an Office 2008 install that had been altered by using Monolingual or XSlimmer.
Both of these programs were developed to slim down the sizes of binary applications on OS X. Monolingual strips the “additional languages” from OS X programs and operating system files, while XSlimmer is designed to remove both the extra language information and the unused binary code in a fat binary. I have never used either of these programs, since I was not concerned about the amount of disk space they utilize.
After more searching, I ran across a post in the Entourage Help Pages discussing troubleshooting Office 2008 installations. While this page also mentioned issues with installations being altered by Monolingual and XSlimmer, it also pointed out an issue with a workaround created to handle a bug in how Safari deals with the docx file extension. While the automator workflow mentioned does not appear to actually affect anything other than the names of files, it did jog my memory about something else Safari related that occured when installing Adobe CS 4 earlier the same day.
While installing CS 4 and the available updates, I was prompted to not only quit Safari, but also to quit XMarks for Safari. For those that don’t know, XMarks is a great service for synchronizing your browser bookmarks between multiple machines, platforms, and browsers.
On a hunch I quit XMarks for Safari, as well as the browser itself. No dice, I still got the error. Knowing how easy it would be to reinstall the helper application, I uninstalled XMarks. Eureka! The Office updaters now ran without a hitch. So, if you are having this problem, try deactivating or removing anything plugins that effect the default nature of Safari.