Having just spent the best part of a day wrestling with a corrupt copy of Microsoft Word Propellerhead thought you might be interested in some pearls of wisdom gleaned from the experience. The original fault was never found but it finally disappeared after the third reinstall and a System Restore.
However the one thing he wished he’d done was to make regular backups of the ‘normal.dot’ document template file. This contains Word preferences, macros, AutoText entries and so on. In fact there was a backup but it was well over a year old and lacked the many changes that had been made in the intervening period.
In XP you will find your normal.dot file in C:Documents and Settings<yourname>Application DataMicrosoftTemplates. Copy it now, whilst Word is working properly, keep it in a safe place and resolve to update your backup every few weeks or months, depending how much you use and tinker with Word settings.
Tip number 2, when Word goes bad it does so spectacularly and rather than waste hours trying to fix it just make sure your document backups are safe, then uninstall.
Before you reinstall rename your existing normal.dot file to ‘normal.old’. When you reinstall Word a new normal.dot will be created and you can tell straight away if the problem lies with Word, or normal.dot. There’s a full archive of tips and tweaks, plus all of the very best freeware tools and utilities at PCTopTips