SOLUTION: Windows Vista Updates for MS Office Fail if MS Office Live Add-In is Installed

In October, three Windows updates (KB973709, KB972581, KB974234) for MS Office failed repeatedly on my Vista Home Premium (32-bit) Acer laptop and on my Vista Home Premium (64-bit) Asus desktop.  They were failing for others, too, according to my fruitless research.  Everyone had suggestions, but no one had a solution.  Bad me, I hid the updates and moved on.

A few days ago, three more MS Office updates (KB973593, KB973704, KB974561) failed, too, although all updates other than those for MS Office installed without incident.

An unrelated problem for a client with MS Office and MS Office Live Add-In led me to the solution.

  • Download and Save the updates individually by KB number from
  • Uninstall Microsoft Office Live Add-in and restart your computer
  • Install each update individually from the downloaded files. I needed to restart and install KB974234 separately one the 64-bit machine.
  • Restart your machine and re-install MS Office Live Add-in

Why bother?  Because these were all Security Updates for one of the world’s most popular office suites – natural bait for malware.  And manual updating is a lot easier than dealing with a comprised installation of MS Office.

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