Word Problem (opens on startup and is unresponsive)

By yukka ยท 6 replies
Jul 22, 2008
  1. Hi all.

    I have a slight issue with a users machine.

    They were working on a word document when it became unresponsive. The upshot of this is that word appears in the taskbar, with the document open but it cannot be closed. It appears in applications in task manager but clicking to close then the followup box to end now, just doesnt do anything.

    On top of this, the winword.exe process wont close either. AND it loads all profiles on the computer with the same problem, so other network profiles find they have winword showing the same document in the task bar. It cant be clicked to maximise and it cant be read and worked on, or closed.

    I have checked hkey local machine in Run and current user but there is no entry. msconfig shows nothing. startup folder in start menu is the same with no entry for it.

    I am a whisker from reimaging the whole machine tomorrow. Anyone got any idea what could cause this to occur?
  2. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +67

    I should add that the machine works perfectly fine in every other respect. its a xp pro machine on a 2003 server network. clicking "end now" has the error box dissappear from the screen and then the windows error reporting box appears as normal but the winword application showing in the task bar and task manager is completely bulletproof and utterly useless.
  3. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    First order of business in wacky Word problem is to delete all Normal.dot templates!

    Do search for same, enabling 'show all hidden files and folders. Right click> delete all Normal.dot files. Word will create a new template when opened again.

    IF there is a current document to be saved, copy and paste, save using Wordpad, then do the deletes.
  4. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +67

    It didnt make sense and didnt leap out at me but I think that you have fixed the problem :)

    A search as local admin found 27 different normal.dot files in different profile folders which have been deleted. Restarting again as admin resulted in the document not being present in the task bar!!

    Worth staying behind after work for - when I saw your response I had to do it before I left.

    If it does stay away, it could be something to do with the inbuilt preloading of certain office components to enable faster usage - it must check normal.dot at some point during that and that would be the reason for it appearing at startup without being in the usual places... just thinking aloud :)

    I will see how it goes tomorrow but fingers crossed, its the last time I underestimate the influence of the normal.dot file.
  5. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Normal.dot is a legitimate file- it just gets corrupt and causes Word problems! First thing I suggest for those 'strange problems' is to delete all existing Normal.dot templates! But 27 of them is too many. Just remember doing this and try that first if 'strange problem' presents.

    Don't forget to go back and re-hide the files and folders.
  6. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +67

    i was logged in as admin so it found plenty of templates in the other user profiles
  7. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    It's always a safe thing to run scans with the security programs when something out of the ordinary comes up. Although the normal.dot problem seems to frequently come up and is easily fixed, I try to never "assume" it's random.
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