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"Microsoft Word has encountered a problem" every time on exiting (closing) Word

Posted on 2006-11-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Every time she exits from Word a particular user gets the "Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close..." box with a checkbox to "recover my work and restart Office Word" and an invitation to send an error report.
There is no identifiable error.
This always happens for one user when she is logged on to the computer - but not for other users who use the same software on the same computer.
This is Word 2003 SP2 running on fully-updated Windows XP SP2
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Question by:rashields
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by:irwinpks
ID: 18015260
Uninstall MS Word as administrator, then reinstall
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Author Comment

by:rashields
ID: 18015277
I have tried that already.
Please note that the problem only occurs for one user, and not for any others.
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by:irwinpks
ID: 18015293
Here's your resolve..
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/286839/en-us

Basically, delete the normal.dot for that user, and it will be recreate upon start of Word
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Author Comment

by:rashields
ID: 18015327
Sorry, but this is not the answer either!  I have tried it already.
The link that you quote from MS support refers to a problem encountered on STARTING Word, but the problem that I have reported only occurs on EXITING Word!
I have tried replacing normal.dot several times, including letting Word do it automatically after a previous deletion.
BTW, other users of the same computer actually use the same global template - with no problem.

I have increased the points offered because this has been really bugging me for months, and I can see that it is quite difficult!
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Assisted Solution

by:irwinpks
irwinpks earned 50 total points
ID: 18015363
You "could" take a chance on this;
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/252968/en-us
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Author Comment

by:rashields
ID: 18015502
OK - although that article referred to much earlier versions of Word - I just tried the equivalent of the workaround that it describes: I went into the registry and deleted hkey_current_user\software\microsoft\office\11\Word\data
(11 is the current version)

No luck!  The problem persists.
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Assisted Solution

by:Dreamboat
Dreamboat earned 50 total points
ID: 18017317
Delete the whole Word key, then.

Here are the appropriate steps to troubleshooting Word:
http://www.officearticles.com/word/steps_to_troubleshooting_microsoft_word.htm
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Accepted Solution

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dopyiii earned 150 total points
ID: 18019523
Does it work in Word safe mode (start > run > type winword /a and hit enter)?  If so, then you're on the right track, but haven't gotten all of the necessary steps yet.  My guess is there's probably something in a the Word/Office startup folder.  Have a look at this:
http://howtotroubleshoot.blogspot.com/2005/10/how-to-clean-word.html
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Author Comment

by:rashields
ID: 18026305
OK - many thanks to you all.  The answer seems to come out of a combination of these ideas - but mostly from dopyiii and the link to the (imperfect) howto... article.

The problem appears to have been caused by an Addin - almost certainly from Caere Omnipage Pro 14 (an OCR program).  It was not removed by deleting the whole Word key in the registry at HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\ because there was another Word key at the higher level: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office.  Deleting that Word key (which contained Addin information) cured the user's problem - although it subsequently returned after she ran Omnipage again!   There was a 26MB update available for Omnipage that had not been installed.  Finally, updating Omnipage seems to have cured the problem.

Thanks again - I'll try to split the points fairly!
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by:irwinpks
ID: 18026321
cool. thank you!
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by:dopyiii
ID: 18027677
I'm glad you got it fixed!  When you upgrade Office, the old registry keys are left behind, probably for resiliency and legacy support (I don't think it's necessary, but they didn't ask me).  But, they can cause problems as you've seen.

So, what's imperfect about the article?  I'll be glad to fix it.
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Author Comment

by:rashields
ID: 18028590
Sorry for my picky comment about the excellent troubleshooting article!  In Step 2 ("Clean out the registry settings"), in the third paragraph, there are two clauses both numbered "1".  They each appear to refer to the same registry location (so why repeat it?) - or should they be different locations?  
And (as we have seen) there is usually now a version number (eg 11.0) between the Office and Word levels.  This has been omitted (or got lost in a line-break)
Also these clauses are followed by a bullet point that doesn't read right!

... Anyway what's ever perfect? :-)

...certainly not MS's use of their registry!  It seems that they still register Addins under  ...\Office\Word whilst registering other things under ...\Office\11.0\Word.
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by:dopyiii
ID: 18028665
You know, I updated that section not too long ago and I think I just made it worse :\

I'll blame it on blogspot's horrible wysiwyg editor.  Thanks for the feedback though!  I'll put that on my BDS list (better do soon) :)
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