Solved – Freezing of Excel and Word when opening the IRM / DRM enabled documents.

My employer uses DRM (Digital Rights Management) services for protecting the confidential content through in premise DRM server. While it is very useful security feature, it becomes a nightmare when it gives a problem. At one fine day, two of the users started facing issues when they tried to open DRM enabled documents. Both had MS Office 2010 and windows 7 OS. The Excel and Word programs used to go into indefinite loop at the splash screen.

After some search on internet and obviously MS site, i found following solution to be working in both the cases.

The DRM server URLs and names are stored at following locations in Windows registry.

MSOffice 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\DRM

MSOffice 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\DRM

MSOffice 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\DRM


After deleting all the keys (and not folders under DRM) pointing to the DRM server, i tried opening the documents. It asked once for credentials and everything started working properly after that. Surprisingly, the new keys created were exactly same as old ones !.

Next when i tried to dig more through DRM logs (basically IIS logs, as it is a frontend for this service), i came across certain links like following. I don’t know whether every DRM will have similar links, but browsing those from a workstation or troubled user might give a hint about issues with DRM.





Don’t forget to write in the comments sections if you benefit from above tip or if you find any different solution working, it will help others. following KB article from microsoft provides more information on this.


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