Problem: Windows 7's Right Mouse Click ("other-mouse-click" button) stops working after Office 2010 was installed. Sadly, this article does not contain a great solution to the problem.
Right-Mouse click (aka Context menu) no longer works in any Office Application
Right-Mouse click does not work in Windows Explorer
Right-Mouse click works sporadically in Windows Explorer
Right-Mouse click does not work on desktop or start menu
Right-Mouse click does not work in other applications, such as Visual Studio, etc.
"other mouse-click" the desktop; confirm if the menu pops up
In Excel, other-mouse-click a cell; confirm if a context menu pops up
This was not a hardware problem
This is not a control-panel, mouse-configuration problem
Installing or re-installing Mouse driver did not resolve the problem
De-installing recent software (e.g. Office 2010) did not resolve the problem
Another program has installed a Context Menu subsystem that was interfering with the operating system's menus. Knowing the history of my desktop computer, the most likely suspect was a recent Office-2010 upgrade (from Office 2007) or perhaps (unlikely) WinZip Pro. In both cases, de-installing did not resolve the problem.
I do not have definitive proof Office 2010 was the problem. Other posts on the web point in this direction, but most noted the context menus did not work in MSWord. I suspect context menus were failing everywhere. There is a possibility a recent Microsoft Patch (on or about 2012.03.06) could have caused the issue.
Inconclusive Detailed Diagnostics:
Using a program called "ShellMenuView," you can selectively disable the shell menus for individual programs, until you find the culprit:
ShellMenuView v1.15 by Nir Sofer (safe for Windows 7)
Web Site: http://www.nirsoft.net
This program is easy to use and understand. It is recommended to disable all non-Microsoft context menus and reboot the computer to test. Then, slowly re-enable each individual program until the problem-child is found.
What I discovered was the problem persisted, even after disabling all third-party, and then later, all Microsoft context menus. Testing is tedious because after each change, it takes a reboot. Additionally, I saw evidence where the context menu would work sometimes, but not others -- usually failing. Results, even with this tool were inconclusive.
Brute-Force Solution 1:
You are not going to like this solution. Normally, I like to find the actual problem, one that is more than un-install/re-install, but in this case, I could not find the answer. I decided to restore a recent image backup and start over.
I did this, using Acronis True Image, but found my most recent image still had the problem, which surprised me because this image was prior to Office 2010. However, I had fiddled with I-nfopath Forms and One-Note. That makes me a bad-boy for not having a solid backup.
Prior images were too old to be useful.
Brute-Force Solution 2:
If you didn't like Solution 1, you won't like this one. Because my machine was now several years old and has seen a lot of traffic, I thought it might be best to start over and do a bare-metal OEM install, rebuilding the machine from scratch. It is like having a new computer and it would give me a lot of fodder for this blog.
Also, because I just had an appendectomy the other day, I had few better things to do. I realize this won't help your computer. I would have preferred a real solution. Clearly, many people are having this issue.
Results: Problem solved. Although it took most of the day to rebuild, all Context menus work. Office 2010 is installed; all patches applied.
As a caution, prior to installing Office 2010, take an image backup, then test the context menus. My guess is my context menus were damaged for several days, perhaps a week ago, and I had not noticed. Admittedly, the machine "felt weird" during the past week, where expected features were not working.
Your unregistered comments on a better solution are welcome.