Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Microsoft Windows & Office Software Troubleshooting

Clip Organizer Error 0x80040154

I received an interesting trouble ticket yesterday at work from a user stating that when they create a new document in publisher and begin to add clip art, Microsoft Publisher gives an error stating,
"Clip organizer cannot complete this operation. Class not registered. Error Code: 0x80040154" and does not allow you to insert any clip art using the clip organizer. This is a problem since my customer is trying to design a much needed flyer by the end of the day. I immediately begin to think the worst, that Microsoft Office is corrupt and will have to be removed and reinstalled....remotely. The customer is about 25 miles away. So to provide the best customer service possible by taking this issue on promptly, I call the customer to let them know I need the PC for a while.

One of the first things I did was recreate the issue. Sure enough, the error popped up when I tried to add some clip art to my awesome blank geek announcement. I was puzzled, never seen this error before. That's where Google & Microsoft's TechNet website comes in. Google came back with the same article that TechNet had, which was that the issue was with the MDAC component in Windows needing to be updated. I already had the most up to date version. The article I found can be viewed here. Well, this little gem did not do the trick for me. So I completely removed Office 2003 and reinstalled the software. The error persisted. More Google searches found even MVP's not being able to fix this issue. I included a co-worker in the search for a fix who came across a possible fix posted on a website called This site has come through for me multiple times before and I definitely recommend it as a site to check out while troubleshooting strange and even complex computer & networking issues. Here's what he found:

OK, how to repair a copy of MDAC 2.8 on WinXP with SP2 installed

first, locate the mdac.inf file in c:\windows\inf right click and
when prompted for a location, point to
c:\windows\servicepackfiles\i386 then when promtpet for the XPcd,
either load the cd or point to c:\i386

hey presto, this reinstalls / repairs MDAC 2.8
reference >>

Sure enough, this fixed the issue and I was then able to search and add clip art to my awesome blank geek announcement. Problem solved and the customer was also extremely happy! All thanks to the valuable information found from and the websites.