This problem will be extremely difficult to solve.
This error is occurring sporadically when trying to use third party application written in VB running on a client machine trying to open a mail merged document located in a folder on a server machine. There is no consistent behaviour observed that leads up to causing the error. Users of the third party app. may go a couple of days without getting the error and then get it several times in one day. The configurations of the machines are as follows:
Office 97 SR-2
Windows NT 4.0 SP-6
The third party application runs normally at several other sites with the same configuration normally without this error occurring. That led me to believe DCOM was the culprit so I made sure the client machines were on the latest version of DCOM by upgrading them from version 18.104.22.16800 to version 22.214.171.12428 and the error still occurred sporadically. The third part app. is written in VB 6.0 and although I don't believe that is causing the problem, I am submitting the three lines of code that execute prior to the problem occurring in a sporadic manner.
wrd has been declared as follows
Public wrd As WORD.Application
Excerpted three lines of code:
wrd.Visible = True
wrd.WindowState = wdWindowStateMaximize
Set wrdDoc = wrd.Documents.Open(VLETTER, 0, 1) 'Where VLETTER is the directory/file name of the document
The user reports the application locking up and they do a ctrl+alt+del to view the tasks that are not responding and the Word application is listed. They end the task on Word and get the error 'The remote server machine does not exist or is unavailable.'
My suspicion is that it has something to do with the environment the users are running in because the third party app. runs fine in similar configured environments without any problem. Kudos and 500 points to whoever figures this one out. Thanks.