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Tech: Word won't open

michaelr 28 Dec 13 - 05:08 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 13 - 05:23 PM
GUEST, topsie 28 Dec 13 - 05:57 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 Dec 13 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,Ed 28 Dec 13 - 06:51 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Dec 13 - 06:58 PM
michaelr 28 Dec 13 - 08:53 PM
Bill D 28 Dec 13 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 28 Dec 13 - 09:35 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Dec 13 - 09:56 PM
GUEST 29 Dec 13 - 07:45 AM
michaelr 30 Dec 13 - 12:00 AM
GUEST 30 Dec 13 - 12:46 AM
michaelr 30 Dec 13 - 01:39 AM
JohnInKansas 30 Dec 13 - 01:40 AM
treewind 30 Dec 13 - 04:19 AM
DMcG 30 Dec 13 - 07:09 AM
michaelr 30 Dec 13 - 01:04 PM
DMcG 30 Dec 13 - 01:27 PM
treewind 30 Dec 13 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Ed 30 Dec 13 - 02:21 PM
JohnInKansas 30 Dec 13 - 02:22 PM
michaelr 30 Dec 13 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,Ed 30 Dec 13 - 02:52 PM
michaelr 30 Dec 13 - 02:57 PM
DMcG 30 Dec 13 - 02:58 PM
GUEST 31 Dec 13 - 02:38 PM
michaelr 31 Dec 13 - 02:46 PM
michaelr 31 Dec 13 - 03:00 PM
DMcG 31 Dec 13 - 03:52 PM
michaelr 31 Dec 13 - 04:54 PM
JohnInKansas 31 Dec 13 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Russ 31 Dec 13 - 11:24 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Jan 14 - 12:34 AM
DMcG 01 Jan 14 - 05:06 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Jan 14 - 02:46 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Jan 14 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Ed 01 Jan 14 - 05:01 PM
Tattie Bogle 06 Jan 14 - 02:31 PM
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Subject: Tech: Word won't open
From: michaelr
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 05:08 PM

Suddenly, today, my Word (Office 2000) documents won't open. I get an error that says "Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close". Since all my song lyrics, chord charts and correspondence are Word documents, this is a major problem.

The same thing happened some weeks ago with Internet Explorer. I could not fix that and now use Google Chrome. And the weird thing is that System Restore does not work, either, no matter what date I choose.

I use XP Home. Please help!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 05:23 PM

Quick work around - download Open Office


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 05:57 PM

I have read that from April Microsoft will no longer support XP - it could be time for an upgrade.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 06:35 PM

Agree with Topsie: had a similar problem with stuff on my Mac: after updating the operating system it would no longer support MS Office 2004: had to upgrade to 2010 version at some expense, but all the original docs were still there, and lots of new and useful features. If you don't go for Open Office, buy the 3 PC version and share costs with 2 other people (who also have very old versions!)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 06:51 PM

after updating the operating system it would no longer support MS Office

What on earth are you on about? Michael makes no mention of an OS upgrade.

A few suggestions:

1. If you have the CD, reinstall the software (but presumably you've thought of this?)

2. You should have WordPad on your machine. Do a search for it. If you're .doc files are fairly simple (not lots of tables etc.), that will open them.

3. Otherwise, download LibreOffice which is free and will meet all your needs


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 06:58 PM

In WinXP, Control Panel in Add/Remove programs, it should allow you to "repair" both WinXP and/or Office. The procedure is essentially the same as if you want to add or remove "options" for them. (Note however that it's been a few years since I've used XP and my memory is subject to erosion and environemental effects. Since I ran out of Jack a while back I think the environmental effects should be minimal.)

If you have an installation CD/DVD you should be able to reinstall (overlay) Word without affecting any of the documents. Since both WinXP and Office 200 are "beyond support" you should still be able to get security patches from Microsoft after a reinstall, but may not be able to get any "optional" patches.

System Restore is not really too reliable a way of "going back" since a complete new restore point is created any time ANY (even minor) "system change" occurs. The new restore point is recorded at the next reboot/restart. The newest restore point pushes the oldest one out and the oldest one is discarded. Only a few restore points are kept, and especially if you shut down frequently, only the latest half dozen restore points (that may all contain the same error) will be available.

If you have a backup, you might try copying a previously saved .doc back onto your drive, and see if it will open, although that's unlikely if the error is in Word. If you don't have a backup, I'd suggest getting a backup (external portable) drive and making one of what's left of the documents and images on your computer ASAP (?).

As noted, you can download Open Office (or the better "new replacement" for OO whose name I don't recall), and it should be able to open any of your .doc files. That should tell you whether your corruption is really in Word or if the files have gone away.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: michaelr
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 08:53 PM

Thanks for the input so far.

I have since discovered that my computer also has MS Works (must have come with it), whose Word Processor can open my .docs. I therefore assume that the problem is with Word 2000. I'll try do find the disc -
must be here somewhere. Would I have to uninstall it first?

What I don't understand is why System Restore keeps telling me it can't do its job. The little calendar lets me choose any day of the last month. I've tried four at random, and the outcome has been the same: After it reboots my system, the message appears "System Restore could not do the selected task." This happened when I tried it on my recent IE problem, as well.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 09:05 PM

Libre Office, I think..


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 09:35 PM

Come on...use Mr. Gates PW

. . . OPEN SESAME ! ! !


For recovery...any version of Linux should work.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle
< Perfect example . . . why to always take the extra 20 seconds and save a copy in ... ansi ... text ... hex/dec ...for important cross platform documents. You may feel like a "Ludite"...but you will not need to re-input.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 09:56 PM

Bill D is right, I think, about the "new and improved" Open Office being Libre Office. I haven't looked at it seriously, but reviews have been good.

What I don't understand is why System Restore keeps telling me it can't do its job.

Failure of System Restore to fix something, if you went back a month, most likely just means that whatever corruption is causing the problem was there a month ago, and was saved in the restore point made then. Sometimes it appears that Microsoft programs will "work through" a minor corruption until it's recognized, but then will point it out to you and crash the program forever after until it's fixed.

The "Repair" method in Control Panel, if you find it, should work if the installation files (.CAB) and installation logs are still on your computer. They nearly all are in the original setup, but can be deleted by Disk Cleanup if you check them for removal. Back when Hard Drives were tiny little things, some people removed them to make space, but more recent (even WinXP era) machines generally have enough space that they're not noticed.

If the .CAB files are gone, you'd probably have to have an installation disk to reinstall.

An unlikely possibility is that even though the program is "unsupported" Microsoft update might still install critical security patches and occasionally one of these, or a botched install of one, can corrupt a program. At Microsoft update (on the web) it should be easy to look at "recent updates" and some of them can be uninstalled if there's good evidence they've scrod (past-perfect subjunctive tense of screwed?) you. If that's a possibility, you should look at Microsoft for removal instructions for the specific patch you think needs to be killed.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 07:45 AM

Blimey


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 12:00 AM

Thank you, John. I did not find the Repair method in Control Panel.

You wrote "At Microsoft update (on the web) it should be easy to look at "recent updates" and some of them can be uninstalled if there's good evidence they've scrod (past-perfect subjunctive tense of screwed?) you." I have no idea what would constitute good evidence.

But a good Samaritan member has pointed me to an upload he did for me, so if I can't find my disc, I should be OK.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 12:46 AM

To paraphrase Gargoyle. Save important documents as text files. You will lose some formatting but will save the gist.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 01:39 AM

Is that what he was saying?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 01:40 AM

I don't remember exactly what the instructions say in WinXP, but essentially if you tell Control Panel to "install" it should let you pick what options you want, and will overwrite any that don't agree with what you ordered. That's effectively a "repair" even if it doesn't call it that.

Since you indicated you have Works, and it came with the "Basic" versions of the Operating Systems, you possibly have one of the basic Win versions. Some of the "beginner" OS versions lacked parts of the repair and maintenance tools that were in Pro/Premium versions, so what you see in Contol Panel might be a little dfferent than what I remember.

I've never had much contact with the cheap versions since my usage has always needed more of the goodies. Recollection is that WinXP came in something like 7 versions, although it's been a while since I looked it up.

The Office versions were also numerous, but shouldn't make much difference. All versions had the "real" programs, and the different versions of Office just gave you different ones of them. Word should be in all, and the same for all.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: treewind
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 04:19 AM

Who's going to save a duplicate of everything as text, really?

The re-install option is obvious, but as many systems come with Windows and Office pre-installed and there's no installation CD, this may not be an option. I'd never buy a PC that had software I needed and no means of re-installing it.

One of the less frequently proclaimed benefits of Libre Office (and free software generally) is that you never have to deal with that kind of nonsense. Just download and install the latest version at no cost (unless you're charged for bandwidth or connect time), and optionally save to CD (but I never bother)

Not that I've ever had to re-install LibreOffice or (prior to that) Open Office because of it breaking.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: DMcG
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 07:09 AM

What on earth are you on about? Michael makes no mention of an OS upgrade.

It is not that rare for a hotfix, which may be automatically installed, causing problems. Just the week before Christmas (and naturally on the day of a major release) our IT department downloaded a batch of some 50-odd MS-supplied fixes and as a result our build servers started crashing. Personally I have never had that happen with the Office suite, but I have had it often enough elsewhere that it wouldn't surprise me.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 01:04 PM

I have now reinstalled Office from my disc, with no change in the problem. WTF?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: DMcG
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 01:27 PM

Do you know how to open the system and appication event logs? Are there any clues in those indicating something going wrong?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: treewind
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 01:33 PM

WTF indeed.

I wonder if it would make sense to email one of your files that won't open to someone else to see if they can open it. Then you'll know if it's the file itself that's corrupted or a software problem. Either way that eliminates a raft of possibilities.

DMcG's suggestion is a good one too...

Is it the same if you start Word and then use the File->open dialog or double click on a .doc file icon?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:21 PM

If there is no-one that you can email a document to, as treewind suggests, you might try downloading Word Viewer.

This is a free Microsoft product that allows you to do pretty much what it says on the tin, view Word documents. It also allows you to print and copy them. Whilst it's not a fix to your problem, it may also be of use if you need to access anything fairly quickly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:22 PM

Up to a point, reinstalling much of the OS and/or most programs can be done without an installation disk, if critical parts of the original installation are intact. Windows, and many Windows programs install from .CAB files that are copied to the hard drive as an initial step of an installation. The .CAB (Cabinet) files remain unless you deliberately (or accidentally on purpose) remove them and a reinstall can be done from them using "repair" functions built into most Win versions.

The .cab files are highly compressed, and the files contained in them must be "extracted" similar to getting individual files out of a .zip file; but the OS repair functions should take care of extracting what's needed.

IFF Control panel can find the .cab files needed, telling it to install (or reinstall) Word won't normally even ask for a disk, although in some Win versions it may ask if you "have disk." While this is a little ambiguous, what that often means is "Do you have a disk you'd rather use or should the .cab files from the previous installation be used." Just leave the "Have Disk" box unchecked and see what happens, and if the .cab files aren't there other options should appear.

Since many programs, and nearly all drivers, also use .cab files, you may find them scattered all over your drive(s); but recollection (a little hazy) is that the principal ones are likely to be in a C:\SYSTEM32 or C:\PROGRAM FILES folder, or something similar, in WinXP. (These files may be tagged as "hidden" and/or "system" files and may not be displayed in Win Explorer with common settings, so not seeing them doesn't necessarily mean they're not there. Control Panel can usually find them even if you don't see them if they are.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:44 PM

Treewing: I get the same error message whether I try to open the Word program or any .doc file.

DMcG and John: These operations are likely beyond my abilities. I'm hesitant even to dig around in the System or Program files for fear of screwing up.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:52 PM

michaelr,

Have you tried yet using any of the alternative bits of software (WordPad, LibreOffice, Word Viewer) suggested above to open your files?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:57 PM

Yes, WordPad and, as noted above, the word processor in Works can open my .doc files.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: DMcG
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:58 PM

Reading the event logs is safe: they are purely messages from the system held in a central location to help sort out problems of this type. Even if you wiped them out by accident, it would do no harm. However the exact command sequence varies by operating system, so I suggest you do a google search (or similar!) to find the exact sequence for your version of Windows. The logs show a little icon saying whether the message is information, a serious error, or something in between, along the date and time. Use that date-and-time to see if anything odd happens when you try to open word. You many not understand the message, but post any such here and we will try to help.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 02:38 PM

Search the local drive for normal.dot. Rename it. Start Word.
Good luck.
Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: michaelr
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 02:46 PM

DMcG: I found the Event log, and when I tried to open Word again, it generated the following:

Bytes:
0000: 41 70 70 6c 69 63 61 74   Applicat
0008: 69 6f 6e 20 46 61 69 6c   ion Fail
0010: 75 72 65 20 20 77 69 6e   ure win
0018: 77 6f 72 64 2e 65 78 65   word.exe
0020: 20 39 2e 30 2e 30 2e 32    9.0.0.2
0028: 37 31 37 20 69 6e 20 77   717 in w
0030: 69 6e 77 6f 72 64 2e 65   inword.e
0038: 78 65 20 39 2e 30 2e 30   xe 9.0.0
0040: 2e 32 37 31 37 20 61 74   .2717 at
0048: 20 6f 66 66 73 65 74 20    offset
0050: 30 30 33 65 34 66 62 64   003e4fbd
0058: 0d 0a                     ..      

Words:
0000: 6c707041 74616369 206e6f69 6c696146
0010: 20657275 6e697720 64726f77 6578652e
0020: 302e3920 322e302e 20373137 77206e69
0030: 6f776e69 652e6472 39206578 302e302e
0040: 3137322e 74612037 66666f20 20746573
0050: 65333030 64626634 0a0d


Very impressive, but what does it mean?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: michaelr
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 03:00 PM

Guest, Russ: normal.dot is a Word document in Microsoft Templates. What should I rename it, and what will that do?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: DMcG
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 03:52 PM

That specific error is mentioned here:
http://www.office-archive.com/24-word/0250929f1c17b912.htm

They also suggest renaming normal.dot. I would copy it to another folder, call it something like normal.dot.saved and delete the original and then try again.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: michaelr
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 04:54 PM

Well huzzah, hooray, halleluia and hosanna! Renaming the Normal.dot folder worked. This MS Support page gives more info.

Thanks to all for the help, particularly DMcG!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 05:10 PM

Normal.dot is the document template (.dot) that Word uses to know how to open a new blank document. It tells what font and character sizes, margins, and other "stuff" Word should use to start creating a new .doc.

If the file normal.dot is not found when Word tries to open, Word will automatically create a new normal.dot using defaults for a bare bones document. Any change in the file name that isn't normal.dot should be sufficient.

A common suggestion (with older Word versions where this was a more common problem) was to rename to normal.dox without moving the file, so that the .dox extension "reminds you" that's the one you used to call .dot that you "took out," in case you need to put it back and do something else. (Changing the name without moving it avoids having to remember where you got it from, and you can delete the .dox later if the new template brings Word back to life.)

In recent versions .dotx is a legal file extension that Word should recognize, and if you have the import/export filters for the new formats installed, that might not work, although .doxt should(?). The new name should be something that Word doesn't recognize as a valid filetype.

A "corrupted" template certainly could block Word from starting, but I haven't seen complaints about this for a very long time. I've probably just been "lucky" (?).

Letting Word create a new normal.dot is generally a very safe thing to do. The "new" normal.dot may slightly change the way your new documents look, although unless you've created other templates and/or intentionally modified the previous normal.dot that's unlikely. Existing documents should still look the same as before if the new normal.dot brings Word back up.

A good suggestion.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 11:24 PM

You're welcome.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 12:34 AM

Once upon a time, Word used to be one of the most "powerful" and useful programs extant. It did take some study (learning curve) to know how to use the more advanced features.

Begining, so far as I've been able to tell, with Word 2007, Microsoft decided that only idiots would buy their stuff, and rearranged all the menus (790 unitelligible icons on my Word 2007 MAIN toolbar, none of which reach a useful object in fewer than 7 clicks) so that only idiots could use their stuff. They also either removed or concealed the controls for anything that might "confuse" the rabble by actually being useful.

John (NAHC = "Not A Happy Camper" - in lieu of what I'd say if not for my inclination to be polite in public comment.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: DMcG
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 05:06 AM

Indeed so: when my daughter was eight she used Word for more stuff than I would have by far: drawing tool? Word, posters with text boxes sprinkled with textboxes and paragraphs flowing from one to the next? Word. And so on.

Now, at 27 and with Word 2007, almost everything beyond simply typing is a major fight, often with a several minute search to find a single option.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 02:46 PM

No need to be quite so very rudely dismissive of my post, Guest, Ed. (281213).

If you set your Windows-based PC to allow automatic updates it could conceivably be that one of these had affected michaelr's ability to open his docs created in an older version of Word.
My problem with Mac occurred after upgrading (OK, rather than updating) from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion: "Microsoft Word 2004 is no longer supported": sure I still had the installation disk but it was now of better/only use as a garden bird-scarer.
I don't profess to be anything like as knowledgeable as JohnInKanasas, who regularly provides very helpful advice - and is polite to other posters: I was merely reporting my experience.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 04:52 PM

Microsoft provides "filters" to permit the latest versions of Office to import nearly all older/obsolete formats. The filters are automatically included in the newer versions, and can be downloaded and installed in older versions to allow import of new formats as long as the older versions are "supported" and in most cases even for anything likely to be still in use. Importing to an older Office program supposedly loses "some features" of the newer formats, but I haven't seen any such features of sufficient interest to me to be a concern. (My Word 2007 is set to default to the old .doc format rather than .docx that Microsoft says would be "lots prettier.")

As long as the problem is with documents created on the computer with the problem, it's unlikely that format compatibility is the problem.

Microsoft updates rarely cause problems, although there have been a few cases. Most businesses with an effective IT department download the updates and do their own testing before permitting installation on their multiple machines. Most of the problems known have been with "OEM" (Original Equipment Manufacturers) programs purchased by computer manufacturers and provided to users as preinstalled software. For OEM programs, the vendor that distributes the software with the machines is solely responsible for whether it works, and is permitted to "tailor" the programs to their particular machines. Sometimes the "tailoring" produces unexpected results, but Microsoft has no good way of knowing what the vendors have done to the programs.

To get support from Microsoft, you must have an FRP (Full Retail Package) program, and even then "free support" is good for about 15 minutes after the program is installed (slight sarcasm should be noted).

My experience has been that even with the "install automatically" option selected for Microsoft patches, only "critical security patches" install without user intervention. To install "optional" updates, you have to indicate that you want them to be installed. The "optionals" sometimes are downloaded with the patches, but don't install unless I tell them to.

(There are several variations in how you can set up the download/installation, so my experience may be slightly biased by my settings. I've been happy with what I've got so don't pay much attention to other possible setups.)

News reports (in Tech circles) seem to indicate that Apple installs about as many patches as Microsoft, but Apple frequently doesn't tell you when they change your computer. "They know what's good for you." Major Mac updates are usually released as "upgrades" rather than as patches, but my observation is that this just seems to make them a little slower to respond to newly discovered threats. This is also often a "problem" with much freeware/shareware, with fixes appearing only when a new version is rolled out. (Although Adobe and Java are still the "winners" in this category.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 05:01 PM

Tattie Boggle,

I apologise if you thought me very rude, but to be honest I don't think that saying:

What on earth are you on about?

when you report a different problem whilst using a different operating system is particularly rude. But that might just be be me.

Sorry anyway.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word won't open
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 02:31 PM

"What on earth are you on about?" is a down-putting phrase whatever context it is used in. Even if you didn't follow my reasoning, there would be nicer ways of putting it. Ok, thanks for the apology.

I was drawing what I thought was a relevant parallel: the net result was the same for both michalr and myself: MS Word would not open, i.e. SAME problem at the end of the day. Yes, I was using a different operating system, and yes, I had knowingly made changes to my system. But there are times when changes to your system, especially Windows-based, can occur without your knowledge, especially if set to allow automatic updates, and I was wondering if this was possibly what had happened to michaelr's system.

Anyway, as I said, there are others that know more about this, probably yourself included, so I'll just say no more on the subject. Thanks to JiK for his further input. Hope michaelr has got it sorted now.


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