Windows 98 out of memory when loading Word

I'm running Win 98SE and office 2000 word. Everything works fine until I try to start Word. I can run excel, access, powerpoint, etc. and any other software I have (not all at once of course) but when I try to start Word it freezes at the startup screen and eventually I get a message saying  Insufficient memory to start . . . after that I cannot start any other software without a dangerously low on resources warning popping up. At this point the computer sometimes locks up completely and, if I can cancel the word startup, sometimes returns to a normal looking desktop. However, at this point I can sometimes hit the start button and only a blank box appears with no programs,  control panel, etc shown so I have to reboot anyway and the whole things starts again. I have uninstalled and reinstalled office. I've run virus scans, used msconfig to reduce startups to a minimum, run anti spyware programs and they come up with nothing.
sing141Asked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
How much memory do you have in the machine?....windows 98...that's a 9-year old software... I'm guessiing if  you are running with 64mb...you will run into that problem. at 128mb you will be squeezing by.

What is your computer made of?
sing141Author Commented:
256mb memory.  Made of ???  Not meaning to be difficult but what does running 9 yr old software have to do with my question? I run Win 98 because I have a DOS based program I need for a while longer -- I also have XP machines that will not run this software without errors and 98 works fine with all but Word. Which it also worked fine with until recently.

And, as I said, all software on the machine, including Quickbooks,  Microsoft Access, Excel, High-powered scanning and document storing software all run fine -- but not Word. And nothing will run once I have tried to start Word through Winword.exe or by clicking a word doc.
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
Made of ???  Not meaning to be difficult but what does running 9 yr old software have to do with my question?
- everything as you didn't make known what you have in the system..... and out of memory error is just that.. and in the era where this Win98 has been made, the machine's during that time, had limited configuration and stock memory. So therefore an assumption was made to provoke some other added response from you to assist us in determining where we need to look, in this case, you have ample RAM.

So now we move forward.

Have you applied the latest Service Pack?
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5C011C70-47D0-4306-9FA4-8E92D36332FE&displaylang=en

And / OR, the latest security issues?
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdate/CD010225821033.aspx

If that fails, you may want to take a look at what has recently been installed on your system at the time you had this error.
CompTIA Security+

Learn the essential functions of CompTIA Security+, which establishes the core knowledge required of any cybersecurity role and leads professionals into intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs.

nobusCommented:
i would start with testing the ram with memtest86+ :  http://www.memtest.org/      

other than that, you can do a repair on office from the add / delete programs section
nobusCommented:
and of course, run sfc from the run box.
another option is a repair install :

www.windowsreinstall.com/
blue_zeeCommented:

Locate and delete all files called "NORMAL.DOT" (no quotes).

Test.

Zee

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
blue_zee..... i remember doing that a few years back, and that worked...
sing141Author Commented:
Blue_zee's answer solved the problem. Funny, because years ago I had this same problem with normal.dot. Back then I found the solution on EE, saved it to a doc file and have been saving it along with everything else through 3 or 4 new computers on my home machine so I had the answer on another of my computers all the time -- but had forgotten it. Thanks all for the  help and suggestions.
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
I'm marking this a favorite....
blue_zeeCommented:

Thank you.

Zee
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.