You receive a "The document name or path is not valid" error message when you open a document in Word 2002

This article was previously published under Q328100
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When you use Word 2002 to try to open a document, you may receive the following error message:
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:\...\file path\file name

Service Pack Information

This problem is corrected in Office XP Service Pack 3.To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Microsoft Office XP. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307841 OFFXP: How to Obtain the Latest Office XP Service Pack

Hotfix Information

After you install the hot fix, you will have to do an Open and Repair from the File|Open menu. This hotfix allows you to successfully open the files by using Open and Repair without using safe mode (/safe) for Word.

Note If you use a document management system to manage your document workflow, you will not be able to use this hotfix because Microsoft Word's Open and Repair feature will not be accessible. Most document management systems do not provide access to this feature.

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, submit a request to Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

The English version of this fix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.
   Date         Time   Size       File name   --------------------------------------------   13-Dec-2002  16:52  5,501,152  Winword.msp   13-Dec-2002  17:42  6,633,192  Winwordff.msp
After the hotfix is installed, the following files will have the listed attributes or later:
   Date         Time   Version      Size        File name   --------------------------------------------------------   13-Dec-2002  08:58  10.0.4810.0  10,598,984  Winword.exe

To work around this problem, use either of the following methods.

Method 1: Use the Word 2002 Safe Mode

  1. Start Word 2002 in Safe mode. For more information about how to do so, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    827706 Description of Office Safe Mode for Word 2003 and Word 2002
  2. Open your problem document.
  3. Put the insertion point at the end of a paragraph.
  4. Type a blank space.
  5. Save your document, and then close your document.
  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 for each affected document.
  7. Quit Word.

Method 2: Disable Smart Tags

  1. Start Word 2002.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Click the Save tab.
  4. Click to clear the Embed smart tags check box.
  5. Click OK.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Office XP Service Pack 3.
This problem has been reported to occur in environments that use the Smart Tag technology.

Article ID: 328100 - Last Review: 12/07/2015 12:20:55 - Revision: 6.2

Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition

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