Microsoft Word crashing shortly after start-up. Tried common solutions with no success - other ideas?
April 22, 2009 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Microsoft Word crashing shortly after start-up. Tried common solutions with no success - other ideas?

A few days ago, my Microsoft Word 2003 started crashing. It starts up fine, and if I just leave it running and do nothing, it will not crash. However, when I start editing a document, it will typically crash from anywhere between 30 seconds and 5 minutes into it. The crashing is not very consistent, but it seems like I can bring it about by: typing in basic symbols like parentheses, etc.; changing font to bold / italic; and using numbered lists. Doing those things does not consistently cause Word to crash, and sometimes it will crash seemingly at random.

Things I've tried so far (without success):

- Bypassing normal.dot at start-up
- Deleting add-ins
- Deleting Data registry key
- Running ScanDisk

I know that the best thing would be just to reinstall it, but, of course, I can't find my installation CD. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks, all!
posted by Pontius Pilate to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
 
Not sure what your uses are or what kind of limits there are on installing new software you might have (say, if you're using a work computer), but for me using a different word-processor like OpenOffice Writer fills all my needs quite well and has the added benefit of not crashing.

If you're in a pinch, you can also use GoogleDocs.

Wikipedia compares word processors on this page.
posted by mdonley at 9:03 AM on April 22, 2009


Perhaps normal.dot (or whatever other template you're using) is corrupted. Try renaming it.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:06 AM on April 22, 2009


Have you installed any other software recently? Have you tried using System Restore?
posted by shinybeast at 9:31 AM on April 22, 2009


I would delete and recreate your normal.dot.

You could also try Tools/Options/Save and uncheck allow background saves and fast saves.

Does this happen in any document, or on a specific document (especially a long multi-page table)?
posted by Sheppagus at 9:57 AM on April 22, 2009


Reboot?
Photoshop was giving me problems earlier this week an reluctantly I rebooted and the problem "fixed" itself.
posted by doorsfan at 10:27 AM on April 22, 2009


A few days ago

Just noticed this has been going on for a few days and since then you probably have restarted.
posted by doorsfan at 10:29 AM on April 22, 2009


Office 2003's default behavior was to cache the installation files on the hard disk. So, unless you specifically chose the option to delete the installation cabs during setup, you can go to Add/Remove Programs, click Change, then choose the Repair option.

Worth a try anyway.
posted by tcv at 10:57 AM on April 22, 2009


Go back to an old restore point, before you started having the problem. 90% of the time that has worked for me when Windows went wonky (including when I had a nasty spyware problem).

You won't lose any data or media files (Word docs, mp3s, etc.), by the way.
posted by hiteleven at 11:33 AM on April 22, 2009


Nthing rename normal.dot. And open the event viewer and see if there are any application events marked in red. Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management.
posted by theora55 at 11:37 AM on April 22, 2009


Sheppagus - this happens in all documents.

I may not have been clear, but I've already tried both bypassing normal.dot (by running Word with /a) and deleting it, which hasn't worked. Also tried resetting. Just performed a System Restore with no success. Nothing in the event viewer.

Thanks for the suggestions, all. Any other?
posted by Pontius Pilate at 11:54 AM on April 22, 2009


I had exactly this behavior in the following situation:

- C: (system) drive had been backed up regularly (CMS) to D: drive to maintain a bootable copy.

- One day, I swapped C and D drive letters, rebooted successfully off of the "new C drive" (which had been the backup D drive previously). Everything pretty much worked - except for Word, which would start ok but would crash as soon as I clicked anywhere over the window.

- In diagnosing this, Disk Manager showed that the new C (former D) was not the system drive.

- Once I changed the new C to be the system drive, Word started working normally again.
posted by buzzv at 6:28 PM on April 22, 2009


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