"The document name or path is not valid" error message when you open a Word 2003 document

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Article ID: 837016
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Symptoms

When you use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to try to open a document, you may receive one of the following error messages:
The document name or path is not valid. Try these suggestions.

- Check the file permissions for the document or drive.
- Use the File Open dialog box to locate the document.
C:\...\path\filename
or
Word was unable to read this document. It may be corrupt. Try one or more of the following:
* Open and Repair the file.
* Open the file with the Text Recovery converter. (<Path>\<Filename>)

Cause

This problem may occur if one or more smart tags in the document are damaged.

Resolution

This problem was first fixed in a hotfix that is now contained in a service pack. If you installed the latest Microsoft Office 2003 service pack, you do not have to install the hotfix.

Service pack information

This problem is corrected in Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 1.

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Microsoft Office 2003. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
870924 How to obtain the latest service pack for Office 2003
Install and activate this hotfix when you cannot use Word 2003 to open and to repair your damaged Word 2003 document, such as when your Word 2003 document is contained in a document management system.

For additional information about how to force Word to try to recover a file, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
826864 How to troubleshoot damaged Word 2003 documents
Important note If you install and activate this hotfix to repair your damaged Word 2003 document, changes may be made to your document such as the removal of damaged text or data.

Hotfix information

How to obtain the hotfix

This issue is fixed in the Office 2003 Hotfix Package that is dated May 14, 2004. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
839657 Description of the Office 2003 hotfix package: May 14, 2004

After you install this hotfix, follow the steps that are listed in the "More Information" section of this article to set the RepairSmartTags registry key and to activate the hotfix.

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.This problem was first corrected in Office 2003 Service Pack 1.

More information

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

To activate this hotfix, follow these steps:
  1. Quit your Office 2003 programs.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  4. Locate, and then click to select the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common
  5. After you select the key that is specified in step 4, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value.
  6. Type RepairSmartTags, and then press ENTER.
  7. Right-click RepairSmartTags, and then click Modify.
  8. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  9. On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.

References

For more information about smart tags, click Microsoft Office 'program' Help on the Help menu, type smart tags in the Search for box in the Assistance pane, and then click Start searching to view the topic.

Properties

Article ID: 837016 - Last Review: June 20, 2014 - Revision: 6.0
Keywords: 
kbqfe kboffice2003presp1fix kbfix kbbug KB837016

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