My o/s is XP 64bit. I had a problem with Word 2003 which suddenly started not to keep personalised settings in Options - such as insert images should be 'behind text'; recently used file list always reverts to 4, etc. Other settings would retain. I am sure this started after a MSoft update - I always take updates.
A reliable advice service said to delete Normal.dot and let Word re-create. After deleting Normal.dot which Word re-created in the correct place, now everytime I start Word, it takes Word 5 secs to display the toolbars at top - it first shows default bars, they disappear and secs later my customised ones appear. Whenever I change screen focus from Word to another programme or Desktop, Word stalls for 3 or 4 secs before starting again. I frequently switch focus to take content from elswhere to the Word doc, using it now is almost impossible. It is the same whether I have 10 programmes open at same time, or just Word alone.
Word access used to be instant. I have a reasonably powerful PC with dual core AMD Athlon 2.4 CPU, 6Mb Ram, my o/s and Office progs are on a physically separate drive; and data is on a pair of RAID drives, at least 60% spare capacity on both; paging is set at let system manage; graphics is by NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT with 512 Mb RAM, so, its not a graphics issue. I built my own machine (focus on video processing) which has worked reliably for 2 years.
I tried deleting all of Offie 2003 except Outlook and re-installing, that had no beneficial effect. I tried MS Tech advice for Word always reverting to default settings, to modify registry (took backup first) but problem remains the same.
I can put up with always reverting to default settings, but, the constant delay in Word starting after change of screen focus is unbearable with the amount of work I do on Word. It seems as if there is a conflict in the registry settings and Word config data in them. I don't know enough on Word settings there, but, am skilled anough to make guided changes to Registry which auto backed up every 3 days. I have always used a reliable 64bit Registry optimiser which runs every 3 days. Please can you help :)