Thursday, August 25, 2011

Problems with Microsoft Word

Yesterday afternoon I finally finished reading The Children of Men by P. D. James, and decided to use the night to update this blog.

Unfortunately, a terrible thing happened which stopped me from doing so— Microsoft Word 2000 stopped working! Every time I tried to open the program, it would freeze when the program license thing was being displayed. In other words, it would stop responding even before a blank document was opened.

Actually, it would be wrong to say that Microsoft Word had stopped working, for I wasn't even sure if it had ever worked... Yes, that's right— the computer was only a few days old and I have never created a word document on it before. And since I wasn't even sure if it had ever worked, it was hard for me to tackle the problem— I couldn't tell whether it was an installation problem, a compatibility problem (Word 2000 on Windows 7), a licensing problem, or some other type of problem.

So then I spent the next two hours trying to get the program to work. I tried to restart the computer, reinstall Windows Office, copy and paste the program files from another computer, and delete potentially corrupted files. But none of these attempts worked. At last, I began to think of the alternatives— using and using the free Microsoft Starter Office pack.

To be honest, the alternatives weren't that bad. worked quite well and was compatible with Word, and the Starter Word was almost the same as regular Word— it only had some unimportant functions disabled and a semi-annoying ad on the side. But I wasn't satisfied. I couldn't believe that my Word 2000 wouldn't work, for all the other programs (Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) in the package worked perfectly fine.

So I began to search for more solutions on the Internet, some of which required changing the BIOS, downloading obscure programs, and editing the registry. But none of them worked.

Just as I was finally going to give up and settle for the alternatives, I had an idea— why not restore the system? If by chance the program had worked when it was first installed, then surely restoring the system to that time and date would make it work again. So I made the necessary clicks for the system to restore, and waited for the computer to go through the system-restore procedure (which was actually quite time-consuming).

When the computer finally restarted, I anxiously clicked on the icon for Microsoft Word, and...

it worked!!

This was not the end of the story, of course. After making sure that Word would work every time it was opened, I still had re-install many programs that were deleted during the system-restore, and reset many system settings. So when everything was done, another thirty minutes had passed and it was already eleven o'clock... which meant that I spent nearly four hours to fix this problem!!

Another day wasted... *sigh*