Had something "interesting" happen yesterday. I tried to open a Word document, and after about ten seconds, Word would die. It would usually offer to try to save my work and restart Word, and to send the error to Microsoft. So I thought there was something wrong with the particular document. So I tried opening other documents. Each had the same result. Finally, I tried just opening Word and doing nothing. Same result. So... I did a little searching on Google and basically struck out. I did read that printer drivers can sometimes cause this kind of issue, so I uninstalled PDF reDirect, which I had recently installed. That didn't fix it.
In one of the Google posts, I saw someone talking about the Application log. And as it turns out, there were messages being logged. In the application log, it was the very useful message:
Faulting application winword.exe, version 11.0.8134.0, stamp 461557b7, faulting module mso.dll, version 11.0.8132.0, stamp 45fc0843, debug? 0, fault address 0x000302a1.
I love messages with hexadecimal. There was also a matching message in the System log:
The device, \Device\Harddisk0\D, has a bad block.
At least this one was mostly in English. So I ran chkdsk. And it found an issue. So I ran chkdsk again, this time with /f to fix the errors. And of course, that didn't fix it. Word crashed just the same.
Next step was to try to run the repair through the Add or Remove Programs. This also crashed. Luckily, it gave me a useful error message in the application log:
Windows cannot access the file C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\1033\WWINTL.DLL ...
So I looked through the Office .cab files from the setup to find this DLL. Luckily, this DLL was in the first CAB file I opened, W2561405.CAB (I was hoping since it started with "w" it would be in a "w" .CAB, don't know if I just got lucky or if there is actually a method to the madness.) After I found it, I renamed the existing one on disk, extracted the DLL, and copied it to the Word installation folder.
That seems to have fixed it. At least for now. As I've been typing this blog entry, I've had two Word documents open, and neither one has crashed.
When I experience this kind of thing, it always make me wonder how most people actually manage to use computers. It took hours for me to track down and fix this issue, and I didn't have to call tech support. And I know that any tech support I called would likely have told me to reinstall Word, which would probably have taken even longer than what it took me.
Did I say that I hate computers?