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Mac Office 2011 SP2 auto-update pulled

by on23 April 2012

Flaw corrupts identity database in Outlook

After releasing Service Pack 2 for the Mac version of Microsoft Office 2011, Microsoft has confirmed that Service Pack 2 for Mac Office 2011 has been suspended for the time being. Microsoft is investigating the cause of the reported issues, and has issued a workaround for the issue.

According to what we have been able to uncover from a number of sources, the SP2 update seems to be causing some problems for what Microsoft is calling a “small percentage” that are experiencing issues with the update, and specifically the related changes to the Outlook for Mac database. Microsoft has stopped the auto-update for the time being and has issued a workaround fix that should be applied before attempting to apply SP2.

SP2 can still be downloaded from the Microsoft web site and applied manually, but the workaround update needs to be applied first. Many Mac Office 2011 users are anxious to get the SP2 update because of the significant performance improvements and updates that take advantage of the OS X Lion update that the service pack provides. Apparently, if you apply the workaround first, applying the SP2 update isn’t an issue.

If you have already applied the SP2 update, then you have to follow a more complex series of fixes that require you to restore the database from an existing backup. From what we understand, the issue seems to center around a flaw that corrupts identity databases in Outlook; but little is known beyond this.

Microsoft is planning to issue a new version of Service Pack 2 at some point in the future of Mac Office 2011 that will apparently address the issue and deal with the problem so this doesn’t happen. At that time, they plan to turn the auto-updating back on. So, until that time you can either follow the manual process or wait.

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