What's new

Microsoft Word 1997 - 2003 No Longer Works On My PC Laptop! (1 Viewer)

Tony Bensley

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
7,319
Location
Somewhere in Canada
Real Name
Anthony
A few months back soon after a Windows 10 Update, I noticed that anytime I tried opening a Microsoft Word document, I would get the dreaded (Not Responding) message right before Microsoft Word crashed without the MS document opening successfully!

Ever since then, I've had to open my existing MS Word documents with Libre Writer, which I have had for a few years without any issues prior to this summer.

Just a little while ago, I uninstalled and reinstalled Microsoft Office 2000 in the hopes Microsoft Word would be usable again, sadly to no avail!

Has anyone else experienced similar issues with MS word programs that have suddenly become unusable with recent Windows updates for Windows 10 and/or Windows 11. I find this recent experience rather frustrating to say the least, but I can't afford to, or even necessarily want to upgrade from the existing Microsoft Word program that I had been enjoying for almost 2 decades (And through OS and PC upgrades made during that time frame!) until this summer!

Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

CHEERS! :)
 

Richard Kaufman

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
514
Location
Washington DC
Real Name
Richard Kaufman
I'm a writer, and use Microsoft Word every day. Refuse to upgrade beyond 97-2003. Also refuse to upgrade to Windows 11, no matter how hard Microsoft tries to force me to do with it.
I open many docs a day and have no problem. But you have my sympathies.
 

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
11,509
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
I stopped installing MS Office about 6 years ago, switching to Libre Office for both my and my wife's computers. I've had no issues and like it much better than MS Office.

That said, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if a patch from MS broke the older versions of Office - intentionally. MS is trying to drive everyone to Office 360. I work in corporate IT and it's getting harder and harder to have a local install of Office.

So... have you tried starting it in Compatibility Mode? Right click the shortcut and select Properties. When it opens, select the "Compatibility" tab:
1699747049303.png

Check the "Run the program in compatibility mode for:" box and select Windows 8 *or* Windows 7 (either should work). Click Apply, and OK. Try Office again.
 

Dennis Nicholls

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
Messages
11,402
Location
Boise, ID
Real Name
Dennis
That said, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if a patch from MS broke the older versions of Office - intentionally. MS is trying to drive everyone to Office 360. I work in corporate IT and it's getting harder and harder to have a local install of Office.
Law of unintended consequences would apply if MS instead drove everyone to use LibreOffice instead of MS Office.
 

Dennis Nicholls

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
Messages
11,402
Location
Boise, ID
Real Name
Dennis
I'm running Windows 11 23H2 and have an installed copy of Office 2007. I opened an old Word document without any problems, although it did say at the header "compatibility mode". I didn't have to take any steps to call up compatibility mode.

Normally I use LibreOffice but I do have a legal "3 user" license for Office 2007.
 

Rick Thompson

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
1,866
I'm immune from Windows 11. My motherboard doesn't have the gizmo (though it has a socket for that chip) installed that Microsoft wants me to have for Win11, so no worries. I get the message "This PC doesn't currently meet the minimum system requirements to run Windows 11." And it won't. Haven't had a problem with any application yet. Just opened a Word file 20 minutes ago.
 

Dennis Nicholls

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
Messages
11,402
Location
Boise, ID
Real Name
Dennis
Microsoft publishes their timelines for support. Office 2000 regular support expired in 2004, extended support in 2009. Office 2003 regular support expired in 2009, extended support in 2014. It's reasonable that updates to their recent operating systems won't be tested for such old application programs.

I had one hit me the other day. I use Windows 7 Backup, which although technically out of support still comes loaded with Win 10/11. On one of my machines it stopped working. Error 0x81000019 "not enough space". That's cryptic: I have a terrabyte backup drive. After much study it turned out that just that one machine had a smaller 568 MB recovery partition, which the backup uses as scratch. I downloaded the freeware Minitool partition software and expanded the recovery partition a couple hundred MB from the OS partition. Win 7 Backup started working again. :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

Tony Bensley

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
7,319
Location
Somewhere in Canada
Real Name
Anthony
Thank you all so much for your kind feedback!

Yesterday and today, I've been doing uninstalls and reinstalls with two different MS Word versions.

Earlier tonight, a friend suggested Libre Writer might be somehow interfering with my ability to use MS Word to open MS Word documents. It turns out, he may be at least partly right, for upon uninstalling Libre Writer and its device drivers, I can now open MS Words documents, BUT with a great big hitch! Now, every time I attempt to open an MS Word document, I get the following message box:

Screenshot (78).png


The problem is BOTH "Yes" and "No" options cause about half a million (Slight exaggeration!) MS documents to open!

Here is an example:
Screenshot (81).png

As you might imagine, they freeze up and crash after about maybe 10 - 15 seconds.

Before I uninstalled Libre Writer and the associated Libre View 3.3.4. Device Drivers, MS Word documents wouldn't load AT ALL beyond a single blank document page prior to MS Word crashing, so that's kind of progress, I guess?

Where I'm stumped is how on earth can I eliminate the insane multiple page loading bugaboo, and assuming this is even possible, will this finally fix my problem?

Any ideas?

CHEERS! :)

P.S. I did just try the X in the upper right hand corner option. Same result, sadly!
 
Last edited:

Edwin-S

Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2000
Messages
10,007
You would probably have to install a version of the OS that still supports the 97-2003 version of MS Word on a VM then install MS Word to open older docs.
 

Tony Bensley

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
7,319
Location
Somewhere in Canada
Real Name
Anthony
You would probably have to install a version of the OS that still supports the 97-2003 version of MS Word on a VM then install MS Word to open older docs.
If that proves to be the case, I'll just reinstall Libre Writer at some point. It's not like I have Windows 11, though.
 

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
11,509
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
Thank you all so much for your kind feedback!

Yesterday and today, I've been doing uninstalls and reinstalls with two different MS Word versions.

Earlier tonight, a friend suggested Libre Writer might be somehow interfering with my ability to use MS Word to open MS Word documents. It turns out, he may be at least partly right, for upon uninstalling Libre Writer and its device drivers, I can now open MS Words documents, BUT with a great big hitch! Now, every time I attempt to open an MS Word document, I get the following message box:

View attachment 203645

The problem is BOTH "Yes" and "No" options cause about half a million (Slight exaggeration!) MS documents to open!

Here is an example:
View attachment 203646
As you might imagine, they freeze up and crash after about maybe 10 - 15 seconds.

Before I uninstalled Libre Writer and the associated Libre View 3.3.4. Device Drivers, MS Word documents wouldn't load AT ALL beyond a single blank document page prior to MS Word crashing, so that's kind of progress, I guess?

Where I'm stumped is how on earth can I eliminate the insane multiple page loading bugaboo, and assuming this is even possible, will this finally fix my problem?

Any ideas?

CHEERS! :)

P.S. I did just try the X in the upper right hand corner option. Same result, sadly!
That message indicates that you may have a corrupt normal.dot (or normal.dotm) file. The "cure" is to delete or rename it so Word creates a new one (a new one is created when Word is opened *if* one can't be found).

Make sure Word is closed and go here (you'll have to enable "hidden items" to get there and may also need to enable showing file extensions - it's disabled by default):

C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

Find and rename normal.dot and/or normal.dotm. I usually add "ORG-" to the front (ORG-normal.dot) - makes it easy to find later if a rollback to the original file is needed.

The "normal.dot" file contains the defaults for a new document (font, font size/color, layout, etc.).

To enable "Hidden items" open Explorer, select "View" and check the "Hidden items" box" (I also strongly recommend that you also check "File name extensions" which then causes Explorer to display file extensions - it's a security thing you *want* enabled yet MS disables it by default, contrary to "best practices"):
1699878407255.png
 

Tony Bensley

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
7,319
Location
Somewhere in Canada
Real Name
Anthony
That message indicates that you may have a corrupt normal.dot (or normal.dotm) file. The "cure" is to delete or rename it so Word creates a new one (a new one is created when Word is opened *if* one can't be found).

Make sure Word is closed and go here (you'll have to enable "hidden items" to get there and may also need to enable showing file extensions - it's disabled by default):

C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

Find and rename normal.dot and/or normal.dotm. I usually add "ORG-" to the front (ORG-normal.dot) - makes it easy to find later if a rollback to the original file is needed.

The "normal.dot" file contains the defaults for a new document (font, font size/color, layout, etc.).

To enable "Hidden items" open Explorer, select "View" and check the "Hidden items" box" (I also strongly recommend that you also check "File name extensions" which then causes Explorer to display file extensions - it's a security thing you *want* enabled yet MS disables it by default, contrary to "best practices"):
View attachment 203667
I just tried renaming Normal.doc and when that didn't work (Apart from MS Word maybe staying open a few extra seconds?), I deleted it and it still didn't make any difference.

My second attempt to open MS Word after deleting Normal.doc:
Screenshot (82).png
 

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
11,509
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
I just tried renaming Normal.doc and when that didn't work (Apart from MS Word maybe staying open a few extra seconds?), I deleted it and it still didn't make any difference.

My second attempt to open MS Word after deleting Normal.doc:
View attachment 203785
OK... *now* you're dealing with a ton of "auto recovery" files...

Go to:
C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word

You'll likely see a bunch of files - that's the "autorecovery" file location. Delete all the *files* (leave any folders - probably has just one called "STARTUP") in that folder (or copy them to a new folder just in case). Then open Word again and see if the issue has gone away.
 

Carl David

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
552
Real Name
Carl
I'm a writer, and use Microsoft Word every day. Refuse to upgrade beyond 97-2003. Also refuse to upgrade to Windows 11, no matter how hard Microsoft tries to force me to do with it.
I open many docs a day and have no problem. But you have my sympathies.
Wise decision.

Windows 10 is atrocious.

Ultra slow and always restarting.

A lot of the programs don't work properly and always crash.

Have a lot of RAM and decent processing power and only have it for basic applications yet still dreadful.

Don't know how Microsoft are still in business.

How nobody else has managed to wipe em out and get a decent operating system installed in mass produced PCs is beyond me.

There is clearly a market there with potential huge profits.

Who are Microsoft hiring as software programmers/developers?

I have 3 PCs. The other two have Ubuntu and Windows 7.

Windows 7 is not bad.

Miss XP. Should never have thrown the XP desktop away.
 

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
11,509
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
Wise decision.

Windows 10 is atrocious.

Ultra slow and always restarting.

A lot of the programs don't work properly and always crash.

Have a lot of RAM and decent processing power and only have it for basic applications yet still dreadful.

Don't know how Microsoft are still in business.

How nobody else has managed to wipe em out and get a decent operating system installed in mass produced PCs is beyond me.

There is clearly a market there with potential huge profits.

Who are Microsoft hiring as software programmers/developers?

I have 3 PCs. The other two have Ubuntu and Windows 7.

Windows 7 is not bad.

Miss XP. Should never have thrown the XP desktop away.
Sounds like you have a possible corrupt install. I run Win10 at home with zero issues. I manage a network of computers with ~1,000 Win10 systems - zero issues (with the OS - end users are another story).

If you upgraded to Win10 over another version of Windows then that's probably your issue. Back up your stuff and do a clean install of Win10. You'll likely see all of your issues go away (depending on what other programs you run - sometimes what appears to be OS issues are actually caused by other poorly written programs).
 

Edwin-S

Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2000
Messages
10,007
Running Windows 7 with an Internet connection will become increasingly risky with no security updates or support being provided. Haven't had any issues with WIN10 on any machine I used that had it.
 

Scott Merryfield

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 16, 1998
Messages
18,892
Location
Mich. & S. Carolina
Real Name
Scott Merryfield
Wise decision.

Windows 10 is atrocious.

Ultra slow and always restarting.

A lot of the programs don't work properly and always crash.

Have a lot of RAM and decent processing power and only have it for basic applications yet still dreadful.

Don't know how Microsoft are still in business.

How nobody else has managed to wipe em out and get a decent operating system installed in mass produced PCs is beyond me.

There is clearly a market there with potential huge profits.

Who are Microsoft hiring as software programmers/developers?

I have 3 PCs. The other two have Ubuntu and Windows 7.

Windows 7 is not bad.

Miss XP. Should never have thrown the XP desktop away.
Never had an issue with Windows 10 on two home desktop PCs and one laptop -- still using two of these devices. Have Windows 11 on my new home desktop, and it's also been very stable, although I had a couple of issues installing applications and a printer on the PC when I first got it about a year ago.
 

Tony Bensley

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
7,319
Location
Somewhere in Canada
Real Name
Anthony
OK... *now* you're dealing with a ton of "auto recovery" files...

Go to:
C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word

You'll likely see a bunch of files - that's the "autorecovery" file location. Delete all the *files* (leave any folders - probably has just one called "STARTUP") in that folder (or copy them to a new folder just in case). Then open Word again and see if the issue has gone away.
There were maybe a half dozen files which I deleted. I no longer get the MS Word dialogue box, BUT the multiple file openings with freeze up, followed by eventual MS Word crashing bugaboo remains! :(
 

Clinton McClure

Rocket Science Department
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 28, 1999
Messages
7,797
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Clint
Microsoft publishes their timelines for support. Office 2000 regular support expired in 2004, extended support in 2009. Office 2003 regular support expired in 2009, extended support in 2014. It's reasonable that updates to their recent operating systems won't be tested for such old application programs.

I had one hit me the other day. I use Windows 7 Backup, which although technically out of support still comes loaded with Win 10/11. On one of my machines it stopped working. Error 0x81000019 "not enough space". That's cryptic: I have a terrabyte backup drive. After much study it turned out that just that one machine had a smaller 568 MB recovery partition, which the backup uses as scratch. I downloaded the freeware Minitool partition software and expanded the recovery partition a couple hundred MB from the OS partition. Win 7 Backup started working again. :rolleyes:
When I used Windows at home, I never had luck with Windows 7 Backup. It always backed up fine but could never recover. Eventually, I switched to Acronis which works perfectly. At work, I’ve used Acronis since Windows XP through our current deployments of Win 10.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Forum statistics

Threads
357,051
Messages
5,129,552
Members
144,285
Latest member
blitz
Recent bookmarks
0
Top