Background: I have a 2003 desktop machine that runs Windows XP Pro and had run Office 2003 and a few other nominal programs well, though slowly. Two weekends ago, I installed MS Office 2010 via download. When I first tried to do the instalation, there was a glitch in the download so I restarted it. After letting the download run all night (it was late and I was tired), I checked for Microsoft updates and was directed to install an upgrade for Office 2007, which I did. I also upgraded Adobe Reader and upgraded and ran Spybot - Search & Destroy. I may have even run a Norton scan (I have Norton Internet Security version 220.127.116.11). I did all of this with the appropriate reboots after the upgrades.
Issue 1: At some point, I tried to sync my Treo 650 with my computer to update my Outlook calendar, contacts, and tasks on both. The sync failed; no connection between the Treo and computer was made.
Issue 2: About two days after that, I tried doing a "labels" mail merge on Office 2010. The merge failed to work (whehther started in Outlook or Word), with the error generally being that my "Contacts" couldn't be found. And the on-line Outlook help button wasn't connecting to the internet.
Issue 3: In the course investigating Issues 1 and 2, I opened my Start Menu to run a system search to find my Outlook data and discovered all but two of the icons typically on the right side of the menu had disappeared. I opened the Start Menu option in the control panel and found the icons had been disabled.
Issue 4: Also in trying to find my Outlook data, I opened my Recycle Bin. Although I have never examined my recycle bin, I noted that the box "discard protected files in 7 days" was checked, though the bin contained numerous items, possibly including protected files, much older than 7 days.
I have contacted the Microsoft Answer Desk several times, focusing on Issue 2. They couldn't solve the problem. They recommended calling Microsoft and having them walk me through a complete reinstall.
Does anyone have any advice? Should I just try a restore and go back to Office 2003?
Thanks very much in advance for any help!