What's causing Word and Facebook to break at the same time?
June 27, 2013 8:35 AM   Subscribe

When I'm working, I often have Word 2010 document open and Facebook open in a Chrome browser tab. Every so often, I'll try to close a Word doc and it'll hang with "not responding". Simultaneously, I'm unable to do anything in Facebook - can't scroll, click, etc. Every other Chrome tab works fine, every other Windows application works fine. I can close the FB tab, but the Word doc is still stuck. Restarting Chrome and Word doesn't do anything. Task Manager doesn't show any unusual activity or processes running.

Eventually Word will unstick itself, but FB acts up until I restart the machine.

I do note that when I close and reopen Facebook, the tab continually displays the loading icon, and the live stream (or whatever it's called) and chat pane on the far right doesn't show up.

What the heck could be the common element between these two things?
posted by schoolgirl report to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
 
One more note: after this happens, a Word menu item will stay stuck on the screen. That is, if I right click a file and choose "Rename", the rectangle with "Rename" in it remains on the screen indefinitely.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:37 AM on June 27, 2013


Ex-tech support tip: Whenever I have Word and browser problems simultaneously, it is usually due to something large being in the clipboard (ie. if you have been cutting and pasting text from one place to another). To clear this large clipboard, copy a single character either in the browser or in word and that should speed up performance across the board.
posted by coevals at 9:11 AM on June 27, 2013


This might be a RAM issue, if you only have a couple gig might be a good idea to upgrade. Also might be a browser issue, does this same problem come up in Firefox/IE/safari?
posted by KeSetAffinityThread at 11:01 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I haven't tried different browsers, I'll have to fire one up next time it happens. And I've got 16GB of RAM in this machine - it's relatively new - so I don't think that's it unless something's really grabbing hold of it. But again, everything else runs just fine as it's happening - Spotify, Outlook, Thunderbird, other browser tabs, etc.

If it was just the FB tab I'd think it was some Javascript thing or a balky extension. But the simultaneous Word issue would seem to negate that possibility.
posted by schoolgirl report at 12:38 PM on June 27, 2013


MSOffice apps like to phone home. When I start up my computer, even when I choose workstation only login, it still wants to find the work network, which is unavailable when I'm not at work. It wants to find the work printer when I'm at home, the home printer when I'm at work, and both when I'm at Starbucks. I've made some registry changes that help(but probably won't remember), but there are some connections I haven't tracked down. One thing that speeds up the process of returning to normal is to shut off the network connection - my laptop has an external switch, and I just switch it off. It makes Office fail to ifnd network connections faster. When Office locks you up, try that; if it works, then network re/connection is the issue.
posted by theora55 at 3:19 PM on June 27, 2013


What antivirus suite are you using? Almost any network-related weirdness will be vastly improved by turfing Norton, McAfee or Trend and installing something free and better.
posted by flabdablet at 10:05 PM on June 27, 2013


I'm just using Microsoft's Security Center for anti-virus, but I'll look into that recommendation. I never install Norton etc, precisely because they're such hogs. I've scheduled anti-virus scans to run Sundays at 2pm, when I'm not here.
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:56 AM on June 28, 2013


The MS anti-malware stuff doesn't usually break networking, so I'd look elsewhere before blaming that.

Don't suppose you've got this thing installed?
posted by flabdablet at 7:06 AM on June 28, 2013


I don't think so, but maybe by mistake. I'll check into it.
posted by schoolgirl report at 9:56 AM on June 28, 2013


My go-to tool for tracking down this kind of thing is Sysinternals Process Monitor. Crank it up right before trying to close Word, and see whether Word or Chrome or both are persistently hammering on some registry key or file; that might give you useful clues.
posted by flabdablet at 8:37 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


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