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Windows Installer & Office 2007 Professional

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I have now been on Microsoft's helplines for 4+ hours in 3 separate calls to no avail.

Windows Vista Ultimate
Office 2007 Professional (Installed from free downloaded files provided from attending Product rollout seminars)
HP Pavilion dv8380us Laptop w/2G Ram

Whenever I try to access any of my office programs the small 'Windows Installer' window pops up and says "Installing MS Office - checking current configuration" "Configuring Office 2007 Professional" - and when it is complete (about 20 secs), I get the program splash screen and the a large "Configuring Office Professional" window opens which takes about 1 1/2 mins to complete and THEN the program opens.

Anyone know what is causing this or how to stop it? There was a fix for this problem in Office 2003 but nothing for Office 2007.

Here is what we have tried so far:
- uninstalled and reinstalled (including removing the specific Keys from the registry manually)
- re-downloaded files and reinstalled
- Had MS tech use Easy Assist to try to fix
- tried running in Safe Mode - would not get past windows installer window
- created new user administrative account and reinstalled
- ran with minimum startup items to see if 3rd party software was interacting
- ran custom install to ensure all elements were installed
- swore, prayed

Nothing has worked so far, the same error every time.

Please tell me that there is a genius out there who can help me...

Hopefully Grateful in advance. :whistling:
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