Word 2000 or Word 97 stops responding when you start the program

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Article ID: 290771 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to start Microsoft Word 97 or Microsoft Word 2000, the program does not start.

CAUSE

During startup of Microsoft Word, two of the events that occur are the loading of the Registry Data key and the loading of the Normal.dot global template, and any templates that are located in the Word Startup folder or Office Startup folder. If any of these items is damaged, Word may fail to start.

RESOLUTION

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, Microsoft strongly recommends that you rename the Normal.dot template instead of 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, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me):
C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates
Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition with profiles enabled:
C:\Windows\Profiles\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Template
Microsoft Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates
Follow these steps to rename the Normal.dot template.

In Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows NT 4.0, or Windows 2000:
  1. Quit all Microsoft Office programs.
  2. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files Or Folders.
  3. Search for the file Normal.dot.
  4. Make sure that you search your computer's local hard disk.
  5. For each occurrence of Normal.dot that appears in the Find dialog box, right-click the file. Click Rename. Type a new file name (for example, OldNormal.dot), and then press ENTER.
  6. Quit Find and restart Word the way that you normally do (without using the /a switch).
In Windows XP:
  1. Quit all Microsoft Office programs.
  2. Click Start and then click Search.
  3. Under What do you want to search for, click All files and folders.
  4. In the All or part of the file name box, type Normal.dot.
  5. In the Look in box, make sure that you search your computer's local hard disk.
  6. Click Search.
  7. For each occurrence of Normal.dot that appears in the Find dialog box, right-click the file. Click Rename. Type a new file name (for example, OldNormal.dot), and then press ENTER.
  8. Quit Find and restart Word the way that you normally do (without using the /a switch).

Clear the Startup Folders

Word can 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 invalid page fault (IPF) when you start Word. To correct this problem, follow these steps:
  1. Quit all Microsoft Office programs.
  2. Using Windows Explorer or My Computer, locate 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 Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition:
    C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP
    In Windows 2000 or Windows XP:
    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 must contact the manufacturer of the template that was removed from the Startup folder.

Delete the Word Data Key

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows


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 expanding the appropriate folders: In Microsoft Word 97:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Word\Data
    In Microsoft Word 2000:
    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 Registry Editor.
  8. Start Word the way that you normally do.

    NOTE: When you start Word 2000, 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.

WORKAROUND

As a basic troubleshooting method, 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. Find the folder where the Winword.exe file is located.

    NOTE: The default location is as follows:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office
    Click to select Winword.exe, and then click Open.
  4. Click in the Open box, and then press the END key to move the insertion point after the quotation marks that enclose the path and file name.
  5. Type a space and then type /a. The command line should look like the following example:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\WinWord.exe" /a
  6. Click OK.
Try to start Word. If Word starts correctly, the problem may be a damaged Data key in the registry, a damaged Normal.dot global template, or compatibility issues with templates that are stored in Startup folders. Follow the steps in the "Resolution" section of this article.

If Word does not start correctly when you use the /a switch, see the following Knowledge Base articles for additional information about troubleshooting startup problems in Word:
168198 WD97: Troubleshooting Invalid Page Faults in Word 97
236319 WD2000: Part 1: Troubleshooting IPFs and Exception Errors
236383 WD2000: Part 2: Troubleshooting Invalid Page Faults (IPFs) and Exception Errors
236423 WD2000: Part 3: Troubleshooting Invalid Page Faults (IPFs) and Exception Errors)

MORE INFORMATION

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
259413 How to troubleshoot problems that may occur when you start or work in Word 2000, in Word 2002, and in Word 2003

Properties

Article ID: 290771 - Last Review: October 20, 2005 - Revision: 2.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 97 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Word 97 Service Pack 2
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbstartprogram kbnofix kbprb KB290771

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