Part 1 of "Troubleshooting Invalid Page Faults (IPFs) and Exception Errors" in Word 2000

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SUMMARY

This article is part 1 of a series of three Microsoft Knowledge Base articles that present a systematic approach to eliminating exception error messages in Microsoft Word 2000.

For more information about the other parts of this three-part article, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
236383 Part 2 of "Troubleshooting invalid page faults (IPFs) and exception errors" in Word 2000
236423 Part 3 of "Troubleshooting invalid page faults (IPFs) and exception errors" in Word 2000

MORE INFORMATION


What Are Exception Errors?

An exception error signifies that something unexpected has happened within the Microsoft Windows environment, typically an improper memory access. For example, a program or a Windows component might read or write to a memory location that has not been allocated to it (memory that it does not "own"), potentially overwriting and corrupting other program code in that area of memory.

Fatal exception errors are typically of the form:
A fatal exception <XY> has occurred at xxxx:xxxxxxxx
Fatal exception errors are codes returned by a program in the following cases:
  • Access to an illegal instruction has been encountered.
  • Invalid data or code has been accessed.
  • The privilege level of an operation is invalid.
When any of these occurs, the processor returns an exception to the operating system, which in turn is handled as a fatal exception error. In many cases the exception is non-recoverable, and the system must be restarted or shut down, depending on the severity of the error.

In the following example of a fatal exception error:
A fatal exception <XY> has occurred at xxxx:xxxxxxxx
the <XY> represents the actual processor exception from 00 to 0F. The xxxx:xxxxxxxx represents the <code segment pointer>:<actual address where the exception occurred>.

For more information about fatal exception errors, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
150314 What are fatal exception errors


What Are Illegal Operation Errors?

With Word 2000, the most common error message you get if the program "crashes" is an invalid page fault (IPF). The error message is similar to:
This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.
If you click Details, the following error message appears:
WINWORD caused an invalid page fault in module <module name> at <address>.
After you click OK, the program is shut down.

NOTE: In Microsoft Windows XP, this error message will be similar to the following:
Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close.
When you click the Click Here link next to To see what data this error report contains, you see a ModName. This is the same as the module that is listed in the earlier versions of Windows.

When an invalid page fault occurs, an unexpected event occurs in Windows. An invalid page fault typically indicates that a program improperly attempted to use random access memory; for example, when a program or a Windows component reads or writes to a memory location that is not allocated to it. When this occurs, the program can potentially overwrite and corrupt other program code in that area of memory.

For more information about illegal operation errors, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
82710 Causes of general protection faults and troubleshooting tips


What Are Kernel Errors?

Kernel errors are also invalid page faults that occur between a program (for example, Microsoft Word) and Windows. A typical error message is similar to the following:
This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.
If you click Details, you receive the following error message:
WINWORD caused an invalid page fault in module Kernel32.dll at <address>.
After you click OK, the program is shut down.

NOTE: In Microsoft Windows XP, this error message will be similar to the following:
Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close.
When you click Click Here next to To see what data this error report contains, you see the ModName listed as Kernel32.dll.

For more information about troubleshooting kernel errors, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
218853 Troubleshooting Office Kernel32.dll errors under Windows 98
218873 Troubleshooting Office 2000 Kernel32.dll errors under Windows 95



Getting Clues from the Error Message

The first clue to the cause of an IPF is in the IPF error message that is displayed. The error message is similar to:
This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.
If you click Details, the following error message appears:
WINWORD caused an invalid page fault in module <module name> at <address>
After you click OK, the program is shut down.

NOTE: In Microsoft Windows XP, this error message will be similar to the following:
Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close.
When you click Click Here next to To see what data this error report contains, you see a ModName. This is the module referred to later.

Note the module name that is listed. If the module name is Winword.exe, then you must continue searching for the cause. Sometimes, however, the module name is a printer driver file, a video driver file, or some other non-Word component. If you can gather clues about the component that is causing the IPF, then you can target the specific cause of the problem.

If the module name is something that sounds familiar to you, such as a printer driver or a video driver, see the "Troubleshooting IPFs That Occur While Printing or Formatting the Document" section of this article, in part 2:
236383 Part 2 of "Troubleshooting invalid page faults (IPFs) and exception errors" in Word 2000
If the module name does not sound familiar or if you are unsure which component it is a part of, you can query in the Microsoft Knowledge Base on the module name. To access the Microsoft Knowledge Base, browse to the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com
For more information about how to use the Microsoft Knowledge Base, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
129725 Obtaining Knowledge Base articles on the World Wide Web
After you get to the Search page, use query parameters specific to your error message.

Sometimes, removing and reinstalling the file mentioned in the IPF corrects the problem. If this does not correct the problem, or if you are not sure how to remove and reinstall the file, continue the troubleshooting steps listed in this article, or contact Microsoft Technical Support for assistance.

For information about contacting Microsoft Technical Support, please see the "Microsoft Support Options" section in part 3 of this article:
236423 Part 3 of "Troubleshooting invalid page faults (IPFs) and exception errors" in Word 2000

Getting Clues from When the Error Occurs

Sometimes, noting when the error occurs can help determine the cause of the problem. For example, if the error occurs when printing the document, you can skip to the "Is the Printer Driver Damaged?" section of this article and try those steps first. If the error occurs when you start Word, skip to the "Troubleshooting IPFs That Occur During Startup" section. Otherwise, continue troubleshooting.

If the error is not resolved after you try those steps, continue troubleshooting at the beginning of this article and work through the steps systematically. The goal is to find clues to the cause of the problem and resolve it quickly by trying the most likely solutions first.


Determining the Scope of the Problem

A key part of troubleshooting IPFs is to determine how widespread the problem is. Try to answer the following questions: The following sections discuss each question and possible resolutions.


Is the Problem Reproducible?

Can you make the error occur again in a reasonable amount of time? To solve an IPF, try a solution and then attempt to make the IPF occur again. If the error goes away, you can assume you have solved the problem. If the error still occurs, you need to continue troubleshooting the problem.

If the error is not easily reproducible, try each solution one at a time. After you try one solution, go back to Word and work with the program for a while until you feel comfortable that the problem has been solved.

If the problem has not been solved, try another possible solution. Along the way, keep track of the solutions you have tried and their results. Remember, if the IPF occurs when you do specific things in Word or the document, you may get some clues about which solutions to try first.





Does the Problem Occur in Other Programs?

If the problem occurs in other programs besides Word, most likely the problem is not with Word but with Microsoft Windows, a component of Windows, or a piece of software that is running in the background. Although some of the troubleshooting tips and possible solutions in this article may help, the focus of this article is to resolve IPFs that are specific to Word.

For more information about troubleshooting errors that are not specific to Word, please see the "Windows 95 Support" section of this article.





Are There Specific, Known Issues Causing This Problem?

Some known issues with Word 2000 may cause IPFs under specific circumstances. For more information about specific causes of IPFs in Word 2000, query on the following words in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Word 2000 IPF
For more information about finding articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
129725 Obtaining Knowledge Base articles on the World Wide Web
If none of the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base describes your problem, please continue troubleshooting your problem using the information in this article.





Does the Problem Only Affect a Certain Document?

If the IPF is specific to a certain document, the document may be damaged. To test this, try creating a new empty document based on Normal.dot and reproducing the error in the new document.

To create a new document based on Normal.dot, follow these steps:

  1. On the File menu, click New.
  2. On the General tab, click to select Blank Document and click OK.
If the error also occurs in the new document, the problem is not related to a damaged document. Skip to the next section of this article to continue troubleshooting the problem.

If the error does not occur in a new document, the original document may be damaged. Damaged documents often exhibit behavior that is not part of the program design (for example, infinite repagination, incorrect document layout and formatting, unreadable characters on the screen, error messages during processing, system stops responding or crashes when you load or view the file, or any other unusual behavior that cannot be attributed to the normal operation of the program). Some of this behavior can be caused by factors other than document corruption.

To help rule out other factors, follow these troubleshooting steps:
  • Check for similar behavior in other documents.
  • Check for similar behavior in other programs.
  • Take the document in question to another computer and attempt to duplicate the behavior.



Does the problem only occur at a particular time?

For example, does the problem occur when you start Word or does the problem occur when you print or work with a document?

Start Word with the defaults:

During startup, two of the events that occur are the loading of the Registry Data key and the Normal.dot global template. If either of these items is damaged, Word may fail to start. You can temporarily bypass these items by starting Word with the /a switch. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start and then click Run.
  2. Click Browse.
  3. Locate the folder where the Winword.exe file is located.

    NOTE: The default location is as follows:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office
  4. Click to select the Winword.exe file and then click Open.
  5. Click into the Open box, and then press END to move the insertion point after the closing quotation marks surrounding the path and file name.
  6. Type a space followed by /a, so that the command line looks like the following example:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\WinWord.exe" /a
  7. Click OK.
If Word starts correctly, the problem is with a damaged registry Data key or a Normal.dot global template. Follow the steps in the next section of this article, "Reset Word Back to Default Settings."

If Word fails to start correctly, continue to start Word with the /a switch where indicated, skip the "Reset Word Back to Default Settings" section, and continue troubleshooting.


Reset Word Back to Default Settings:

You must perform the following three items in order to reset Word back to its default state:

  • Delete the Word Data key.

    NOTE: Deleting the Data key resets several options back to their default settings, including the File menu MRU (most recently used) list, and many settings in the Options dialog boxes.
    1. Quit all Microsoft Office programs.
    2. Click Start and then click Run.
    3. In the Open box, type regedit and then click OK.
    4. Locate the following registry key by double-clicking (or clicking the plus sign [+] to the left of the folder) to expand the appropriate folders:
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Word\Data
    5. With the Data folder on the left selected, press DELETE to delete the Data registry key.
    6. When you are prompted with the following message, click Yes to confirm the deletion:
      Are you sure you want to delete this key?
    7. On the Registry menu, click Exit to quit the Registry Editor.
    8. Start Word the way you normally do. When you start Word, messages similar to the following appear:
      Preparing to install...
      Followed by:
      Please wait while Windows configures Microsoft Office 2000.
      -or-

      Please wait while Windows configures Microsoft Word 2000.
      If Word starts and functions correctly, you resolved the problem. The problem was a damaged Windows registry key. Please note, you may need to change a few settings to restore your favorite options in Word.

      If Word fails to start or function correctly, you may have a damaged Global template (Normal.dot). Follow the steps in the next section of this article, "Rename the Global template (Normal.dot)."





  • Rename the global template (Normal.dot).NOTE: Renaming the Normal.dot template resets several options back to their default settings, including custom styles, custom toolbars, macros, and AutoText entries. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you rename the Normal.dot file rather than deleting it.

    Certain installations may yield more than one legitimate Normal.dot file. These situations include multiple versions of Word running on the same computer or several workstation installations on the same computer. In these situations, pay special attention so that you rename the correct copy of Normal.dot.

    The default location for the global template (Normal.dot) is in the following location:
    Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me):
    C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates
    Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me with profiles enabled:
    C:\Windows\Profiles\<user name>\Application Data\Microsoft\Template
    Microsoft Windows 2000 and Microsoft Windows XP:
    C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates
    Follow these steps to rename the Normal.dot template:

    For Microsoft Windows 95 or Windows 98:

    1. Quit all Microsoft Office programs.
    2. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files Or Folders.
    3. In the Named box, type Normal.dot.
    4. Set the Look in box to your local hard disk (or to an alternate template location if you are running Word from a network server).
    5. Click Find Now to search for the file.
    6. For each occurrence of Normal.dot that appears in the Find dialog box, right-click the file. Click Rename on the shortcut menu. Type a new file name (for example, OldNormal.dot) and press ENTER.
    7. Quit Find and restart Word the way you normally do (without using the /a switch).
    For Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows Me:

    1. Quit all Microsoft Office programs.
    2. Click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders.
    3. In the Search for files or folders named box, type Normal.dot.
    4. If you want to specify the location to start the search, click a folder in the Look in list.
    5. Click Search Options, select Advanced Options, and then select Search Subfolders.
    6. Click Search Now.
    7. In the Search Results window, right-click the Normal.dot file, and then click Rename on the menu that appears. Type a new file name (for example, OldNormal.dot), and then press ENTER.
    8. Close the Search Results window, and restart Word the way you normally do (without using the /a switch).
    For Windows XP:

    1. Quit all Microsoft Office programs.
    2. Click Start, point to Search, and then click All Files and Folders.
    3. Click More Advanced Options.
    4. Select the Search Hidden Files and Folders check box.
    5. In the All or part of a file name text box, type Normal.dot.
    6. Click Search.
    7. In the Search Results window, right-click the Normal.dot file, and then click Rename on the shortcut menu. Type a new file name (for example, type OldNormal.dot), and then press ENTER.
    8. Close the Search Results window, and then restart Word the way you normally do (without using the /a switch).
    If Word starts correctly, you have resolved the problem. The problem was a damaged Normal.dot template. You may need to change a few settings to restore your favorite options. If the Normal.dot file that you renamed contained customizations such as styles, macros, or AutoText entries that cannot be easily recreated, you may be able to copy those customizations from the old Normal.dot file to the new Normal.dot file using the Organizer.

    For more information about using the Organizer, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type using the Organizer in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.
    If Word fails to start correctly, continue troubleshooting using the steps in the following section of this article.



  • Clear the Startup Folder. Word has the ability to automatically load templates, WLLs (Word libraries), and COM add-ins at startup. These files give Word added functionality. If one of these files is damaged, it can cause an IPF when you start Word. To correct this problem, follow these steps:

    1. Quit all Microsoft Office programs.
    2. Using the Windows Explorer or My Computer, go to the Office Startup folder and the Word Startup folder.

      The default location for the Office Startup folder is:
      C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Startup
      The default location for the Word Startup folder is:
      In Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me:
      C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP
      In Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows 2000:
      C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\Startup
    3. Drag the contents of this folder to another location, such as your desktop.
    4. Start Word as you normally do (without using the /a switch) and try to reproduce the problem.
    If Word starts correctly, you know that one of the files you took out of the Startup folder is damaged or conflicts with Microsoft Word 2000. Add the files back to the Startup folder one at a time until you determine which file is damaged or has the conflict.

    If Word fails to start correctly, continue troubleshooting using the steps in part 2 of this article.
For additional information about troubleshooting invalid page faults in Word 2000, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
236383 Part 2 of "Troubleshooting invalid page faults (IPFs) and exception errors" in Word 2000

Properties

Article ID: 236319 - Last Review: November 16, 2005 - Revision: 3.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbinfo KB236319

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