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Microsoft Word 2003 nightmare


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#1 Loochery

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 12:53 PM

I have never had a problem with Microsoft Word until now. I can use Word fine on my computer. In the past week or so, however, when I send Microsoft Word documents to people, sometimes they say they can open them and sometimes they say they can’t open them. It depends on the person.

On some of my e-mail clients (I have multiple e-mail accounts), I can open the files I send myself (i.e. I will send an e-mail to my multiple e-mail accounts and I will attach Word documents to that e-mail. On some clients I can open the files I send myself, and others I can’t...

I did a check disk /r (checkdisk repair) on March 9 and it fixed the problem. I could send Word documents and everyone could download them and I could send Word documents to myself and download them via AOL Mail, Yahoo, and everything. And then the problem came back again.

When I click on the file in the mail client that doesn’t read the documents correctly, the attachment comes up as saying that the mail client interprets the .doc file as being related to Notepad (specifically listing Notepad as the program it wants to open the file in), not Word. Then when I try to open it (either straight from the e-mail or after downloading the file back to my hard drive), it tries to open in word and gives me the converter message.

When it was working for a little while on March 9, the way I knew a Word document would work correctly even before trying to open a file is that AOL.com Mail would list it as being a Word document. Every time when I click on the attachment and see that it interprets it as a Notepad document, I know that it's not going to open:

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Now, as I write this (the morning of March 10), Yahoo is doing the same notepad error. Lavabit and Gmail still open it as Word and it works fine. Yahoo wasn’t doing the notepad error yesterday, even when AOL Mail was. So, what I’m saying is, up until this point, AOL Mail was the only e-mail client that seemed to be giving me (I can’t speak for other people I’ve sent the documents to) a problem; now Yahoo is giving me the problem, too.

A family member bought their desktop computer together with mine at the same time from the same place, and they also have Word 2003 like I do, and never had a problem opening documents I sent them (and could open them yesterday when this was working again). When this is not working (now), this is what that family member sees when they try to open a Word document I send them.

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Another person gets this message when they try to open the files in Word 2007:

Word experienced an error trying to open the file.Try these suggestions.*Check the file permission for the document or drive.*Make sure there is enough free memory and disc space.*Open the file with the text recovery converter. And on the same dialog box it has a button there for help

Another person said this:

I was able to open all but the one at the end of the first line (test doc.etc). They seem to be word documents, Two I had to click run program, but then it came on the screen.

And yet for other people, the documents open perfectly fine, no problem.

One family member, when receiving documents I send them via e-mail, notices that the files don’t have Word icons, but when they try to open the files, they open fine as Word documents. They just look weird in the e-mail itself. This did not change even during the time when it was back working yesterday. Even then, they were still seeing these non descript icons:

Posted Image

This person until this started has never had these non descript icons appear when I would send them Word documents. They always used to look like regular Word documents in the e-mail itself.

I’ve probably done like 20 System Restore operations in the last few days trying to get it back to a working point, and nothing other than that chkdsk repair worked and now it’s back to giving me problems again.

I can’t reinstall office or Word because I don’t have the CD anymore.

I want to be very clear that this problem has only started recently, in about the last month (or perhaps even the last few days). Previously, nobody ever reported a problem opening documents I wrote. I can't figure out what has changed just recently that is making people now have problems with documents I make.

I saw this in the event viewer last night under Load Perf (which was listed in the Source column): "The performance counter name string value in the registry is incorrectly formatted. The bogus string is 2460, the bogus index value is the first DWORD in Data section while the last valid index values are the second and third DWORD in Data section."

and

“Unloading the performance counter strings for service WmiApRpl (WmiApRpl) failed. The Error code is the first DWORD in Data section.”

I don’t know what that means.

Virus scan and Malwarebytes didn’t turn up any evidence of a problem relating to Word.

I have created a WinZip file at http://www.megaupload.com/?d=DB3TDOGW. It has some Microsoft Word documents from my computer. March 10, 2011 was made today and so was Documents to Upload. If anybody is willing, please download this and try yourself and see if the files work. I also included a sample Excel document and pdf document, as some people reported problems opening those when I sent them to them, though they’re no longer reporting problems with Excel or PDF. Maybe if you actually see files themselves from my computer, you can figure out what’s going on. I’m not sure; I’m not an expert at computers.

I compared the source message source (with all the HTML, etc.) of an e-mail where the Word document worked and an e-mail where the Word document didn't work? I looked through all the HTML and everything and it was pretty much all the same. The only thing that was different was that the e-mail where the document did work said

Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="eleven o 9.doc"
Content-Type: application/msword; name="eleven o 9.doc"

and the e-mail where the document didn't work said

Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="hi.doc"
Content-Type: text/plain; name="hi.doc"

So, the difference seems to be that in one e-mail, the file is being interpreted as application/msword, and in the other it is being interpreted as text/plain. So, if anyone knows how to make it so that it is always interpreted as application/msword, that's what I need.

I’ve also noticed that when I get the notepad error, that’s only in Firefox. I can e-mail myself the exact same file from the exact same e-mail account via Internet Explorer and it works.

Everything else on my computer (Windows XP 2002) works fine. I just want it to go back to the way it was working about a month ago.

I’m in Philadelphia, PA, so if anyone who reads this is in that area and wants to take a look at it, let me know.

Thanks you for your most gracious time and assistance. I appreciate it very much.

Edited by Loochery, 11 March 2011 - 01:09 AM.


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#2 tos226

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 07:40 PM

I haven't read nor absorbed your entire message.
There's one thing that comes to mind immediately - your clients may have slightly different Word. If they have 2007, you need to send them the 2007 version or have them open as previous version (if possible).

Long ago there was an office update which added some sort of converter to my Office2003. Perhaps if you save as some other than 2003 .doc it would work. That update permitted me to open a document or two someone sent me.

Edited: what is one supposed to do with that megaupload site? All I see to pay lots of UK currency. I'm willing to try to open your
files in my Office2003 but not under those conditions.

Edited by tos226, 13 March 2011 - 07:51 PM.


#3 Blathnat

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 10:58 PM

I think that you need the Compatibility Pack for 2003, which basically turns it into a 2007 version. It should solve the problems you are having.

https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=941B3470-3AE9-4AEE-8F43-C6BB74CD1466

#4 ThunderZ

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 11:08 PM

I think that you need the Compatibility Pack for 2003, which basically turns it into a 2007 version. It should solve the problems you are having.

https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=941B3470-3AE9-4AEE-8F43-C6BB74CD1466



That should do the trick I believe.

MS changed Word format from .doc to .docx

Not sure which version of Word they did it in though.

#5 Loochery

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 12:36 AM

Edited: what is one supposed to do with that megaupload site? All I see to pay lots of UK currency. I'm willing to try to open your
files in my Office2003 but not under those conditions.


At the bottom right, it says "your download will appear in [such and suhc seconds.]" It counts down from 40 to 0 and once it reaches 0, the download link appears. Click on "Download" and the file starts downloading.

Thank you very much for the replies.

#6 tos226

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 01:41 AM

I think that you need the Compatibility Pack for 2003, which basically turns it into a 2007 version. It should solve the problems you are having.

https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=941B3470-3AE9-4AEE-8F43-C6BB74CD1466

Yes, Yes, that exactly was the update. I just couldn't remember the name. Thanks. And yes, it handles .docx files just fine here.

#7 tos226

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 01:44 AM


Edited: what is one supposed to do with that megaupload site? All I see to pay lots of UK currency. I'm willing to try to open your
files in my Office2003 but not under those conditions.


At the bottom right, it says "your download will appear in [such and suhc seconds.]" It counts down from 40 to 0 and once it reaches 0, the download link appears. Click on "Download" and the file starts downloading.

Thank you very much for the replies.


Hmmm, I just clicked your link, and while before I saw few things on the screen, all there is now is this:

Unfortunately, the link you have clicked is not available.
Reasons for this may include:
- Invalid link
- The file has been deleted because it was violating our Terms of service.

Go figure.

#8 Loochery

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 12:22 PM

Sorry, the link above is wrong. The correct link is:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=DB3TDOGW

Sorry about that. Let me know if you have any further questions about how to get the link to work.

Edited by Loochery, 14 March 2011 - 12:22 PM.


#9 tos226

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 08:24 PM

Nine .doc files opened fine in my Word2003, version 11.0.8323.0.
.xls file opened fine in Excel2003 version 11.0.8323.0..
.PDF file opened fine in Foxit (I don't have Adobe)

As I mentioned before I did install the compatibility pack, so if you, Loochery, and your relatives, do the same, you should be good to go. Now, if the web mails screw up the docs that's a whole other issue I have no qualifcations to answer.


Slightly off topic: For those willing to pitch in and might be concerned about safety:
MegaUpload is HongKong company. IPs were 72.14.204.100, 72.14.204.100 both using http port, no others.

I had to enable javascript in Opera to get some sort of a download button. It finally downloaded "ZIP file (March 10, 2011)"

According to Avira Antivir the .zip file is clean, unzipped directory is clean, and Opera did not flag MegaUpload as a trojan site. So if anyone would like to pitch in, looks like is safe to download and use.
Nothing nefarious in the files, I had no HIPS alerts from SSM.
Eleven files in the .zip, no macros that I can see. Just a bunch of short, plain docs and test files.

#10 tos226

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 08:35 PM

Do your relatives/users open the file directly in email? If so, bad habit in the first place.
Ask them to save the doc then open it in Word. Does it work then?
Have you tried renaming the .doc files to .txt before mailing and ask the users to rename to .doc and open? Does it work then? It really should.

I didn't check all, but few of the .doc file properties indicate the files are saved as MS Word 97-2003.

I think that's as far as I can go with it :)

Edited by tos226, 19 March 2011 - 08:36 PM.





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