Thanks m w- I've done all that. I think the problem lies in that Qlik is 64-bit so it's trying to use the 64-bit driver, so it can't find my 32-bit office.
I've tried forcing it to call 32-bit and I've found some suggestions to use windows scripting (wscript) to accomplish that, but the qlik vb editor isn't recognizing wscript.
Otherwise, anyone talking about forcing a 32-bit connection is talking about doing it from the command prompt which is why this becomes a Qlik specific question. If Qlik affords a way to force call a 32-bit OLE or ODBC connection- it would be so easy, but it seems not many want to do this. If I could do it, it would solve the woes of 3 major processes within my company.