would be useful to know what version of Word u are using. Are u trying to open a Word document which someone has sent u, or is it one of your own documents? It might also be the case that the document in question is corrupt, which I normally associate with the 'code' which u mention.
It was wee eddie that mentioned the search. I assume he means, go to bottom left on your desktop, Start/Search/Files Folders/All Files & Folders/More Advanced/Microsoft Office Word 97-2003 Template - the latter from the extensive drop down menu. I suspect he means that the Normal.dot might be in there. Give it a try and post back.