You receive an "System is dangerously low on resources" error message in Word

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Article ID: 307814 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you use Microsoft Word or another program that uses Word as the default editor, Microsoft Word may stop responding (hang), or you may receive one of the following error messages:
Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.


If you were in the middle of something, the information you were working on might be lost.

Restart Microsoft Word

Please tell Microsoft about this problem.

We have created an error report that you can send to help us improve Microsoft Word. We will treat this report as confidential and anonymous.

To see what data this error report contains, click here.
-or-
Microsoft Word has generated errors and will be closed by Windows. You will need to restart the program.

An error log is being created.
To view the error log in Microsoft Windows 2000, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders.
  2. In the Search for files or folders named box, type Drwtsn32.log.
  3. Click Search Now.
  4. Right-click the file, and then click Open.

    By default, the Drwtsn32.log file is located in the following folder:
    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\DrWatson
-or-
This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.

If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.
When you click Details (on Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, press ALT+D), you receive the following message:
WINWORD caused an invalid page fault in WINWORD.EXE at address.
NOTE: The actual memory address may vary. Followed by the following error message:
System is dangerously low on resources.
This behavior may occur under any of the following circumstances:
  • You open Word.

  • You try to print a document.

  • Word appears to stop responding (hangs), and you press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to quit Winword.exe through the Task Manager.

CAUSE

This behavior can occur if the default Word template (Normal.dot) is damaged.

RESOLUTION

NOTE: Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.

To resolve this problem, rename your global template (Normal.dot). To do this, follow the steps for your version of Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft Windows XP:
  1. Quit all instances of Word, including Microsoft Outlook if Word is set as your e-mail editor.
  2. Click Start and then click Search.
  3. In the Search Results dialog box, 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, select your local hard disk (or an alternate user template location if you are running Word from a network server).
  6. Click Search to search for the file.
  7. For each occurrence of Normal.dot that appears in the Search Results dialog box, right-click the file. Click Rename on the shortcut menu. Type a new name for the file, such as OldNormal.dot or Normal-1.dot, and then press ENTER.
  8. On the File menu, click Close to close the Search program.
Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) or Microsoft Windows 2000:
  1. Quit all instances of Word. If you use Word as your e-mail editor, be sure to quit Microsoft Outlook also.
  2. Click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders.
  3. In the Search for Files or Folder Named box, type Normal.dot.
  4. In the Look in box, select your local hard disk (or an alternate user template location if you are running Word from a network server).
  5. Click Search Now to search for the file.
  6. For each occurrence of Normal.dot that appears in the Search Results window, right-click the file, and then click Rename on the menu that appears. Type a new name for the file, such as OldNormal.dot or Normal-1.dot, and then press ENTER.
  7. Close the Search Results window. Restart Word normally (without using the /a switch).
Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows NT 4.0:
  1. Quit all instances of Word. If you use Word as your e-mail editor, be sure to quit Microsoft Outlook also.
  2. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders.
  3. In the Named box, type Normal.dot.
  4. In the Look in box, select your local hard disk (or an alternate user 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, and then click Rename on the menu that appears. Type a new name for the file, such as OldNormal.dot or Normal-1.dot, and then press ENTER.
  7. Close the Find dialog box. Restart Word normally (without using the /a switch).
If Word starts correctly, you have resolved the problem. In this case, the problem is 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 contains 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 by using the Organizer.

For more information about using the Organizer in Word 2000 or Word 2002, 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.

For more information about using the Organizer in Word 97, click Contents and Index on the Help menu, click the Index tab in Word Help, type the following text
using the organizer
and then double-click the selected text to go to the "Use settings from another document or template" topic. If you are unable to find the information you need, ask the Office Assistant.

MORE INFORMATION

More than one copy of Normal.dot may reside on your computer if multiple users are enabled, or if there are multiple installations of Word (for example, on different operating systems). It is important that you rename the correct copy of the Normal.dot template file.

Use the following path information to select the correct location and instance of Normal.dot:
  • Profiles enabled (multiple users use this computer and each user must use individual credentials to log on):
    drive letter:\Windows\Profiles\your user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Template
  • Profiles not enabled:
    drive letter:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates
To further narrow the search, use the following criteria:
  • Look at the time and date when the file was last modified. These variables should correspond to the time and date when the problem first occurred.
  • The size of the damaged file is often well in excess of 100 kilobytes (KB).

Properties

Article ID: 307814 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 2.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbstoprespond kberrmsg kbprb KB307814

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