Found the answer in Nov PCAdvisor helpline!
It seems to be a problem if your Office install disc Serial No starts 'GC6J3' and you have down loaded a MS Office patch!
I spent an hour or so completely uninstalling every mention of Office 2000 inc. Registry bits etc. "Backup, backup backup"!!!
I then reinstalled Office and all appears to now be OK.
hope this might help someone else.