After searching the web for a few days and following hundreds of rabbit trails (mostly due to Google’s insistence on indexing those most annoying fake content pages that pretend to have whatever content one is looking for but actually don’t), I finally found a link to a site that actually still has the file and saved it here for others’ benefit as well.
(This is the English Language version – updated since the initial post)
And to make things easier while we’re at it, here are the links to WinXP SP1a and SP3 (the full download) as well
(I suppose I should find the other MS Office service packs and add them here as, since Microsoft will probably pull the same stunt with them in future)
For those that are new to this issue, here is a quick synopsis:
In order to re-install Office 2000 and subsequent service packs, MS Office SP1a is needed. There is an installer on Microsoft’s download site, but it in turn attempts to download a file which Microsoft says has been automatically deleted due to some policy rule. (Anyone ever heard of a policy change and putting the file back??). The bottom line is that without installing SP1a, you cannot install the other service packs.
Microsoft officially doesn’t support Office 2000 any more, but there are legacy apps that have been created to run in Access 2000 for example, that just chug along somewhere with no-one having any desire or need to upgrade and “fix” them (and pay the accompanying new Office fee which can amount to as much as R4000 per copy of Office). So, since this is Windows, a re-installation is often the only way to fix some issue, especially when a system has become really slow over time. So now you can re-install Office 2000, apply SP1a, then the subsequent ones and get on with your life.
Please note: I don’t run MS Office and haven’t for a very long time, but I had this problem with an application on a customer site, which prompted me to create this post. I use LibreOffice for new systems (running on Ubuntu), which offers significant advantages and features that MS Office doesn’t have and is significantly simpler to use than MS Office as well.