In September of last year, Microsoft released Service Pack 3 for its Microsoft Office 2003 system.  Along with fixing numerous bugs, they seem to have caused another.  To sum things up, Service Pack 3 disables a users ability to open pre Office 2003 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) documents.

Today I got a call from one of my users with the error message "You are attempting to open a file type that is blocked by your registry policy setting."

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The user in this case was trying to import a .RUN file from Land Desktop’s pipe works directory.  In essence the file is really nothing more than a CSV file with a different extension.  Knowing we hadn’t applied any new security policies or the like, my initial reaction was "say what".  Finally after digging I discovered it’s cause, and more importantly – it’s solution.

Once again, the cause is quite simply Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3) disabling certain file types.  The excluded file types must be re-enabled using the registry. 

A full outline for doing this can be found in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

You can use REGEDIT to manually add/change the needed values.  On the other hand Microsoft has actually been kind enough to provide some REG files which will perform the fix automatically.

Be sure any MS Office products are closed, and simply double-click the downloaded REG files to add to your registry.  Afterwards you should be able to open the same files you were able to pre SP3.