Word doc opens then freezes.

  1936 09:48 17 Feb 2010

I have a very large document in word that worked perfectly for the last few weeks that I have been editing it untill this evening when I attempted to open it again after saving it and saving it to a USB stick.
It got as far as opening the first page and it froze and the only way I could close it was by Ctrl+Alt+Del.
When I attempted to open it again it had Available files running down the left hand side of the screen with "which file do I want to save" at the bottom but what ever I click onto nothing happens.
I then attempted to open another word document and the same stuff came up on the left hand side of the page. I clicked onto the first document I originally attempted to open and it duly did just that. I then attempted to close the left hand column and the whole lot froze again.
Any help will be appreciated.

  MAJ 11:03 17 Feb 2010

In Word (tell us which version of Word, 2000, XP, 2003, etc. you are using), go to Help > Detect and Repair.

  1936 11:26 17 Feb 2010

Sorry, but I am not that clever with computers so I do not know what version Word I have. However, I do have XP.
I tried opening the doc and going into help, detect and repair but all it does is open and then it freezes.

  Diemmess 11:39 17 Feb 2010

Right click on Word shortcut (In Start or on the desktop)
Click on Properties, then click on general.
This will show Microsoft Word ####

Thats the version we want to know.

  1936 11:57 17 Feb 2010

Its 2002. I tried the Help detect and repair on another Word file and it worked but as I said this one is frozen.
I then tried to open it using "Microsoft Works Word Processor" and that worked so I then saved that in Word. The document is not precisely the same with some bits needing moving with the tab key but at least it’s all there.
What is annoying is that I have been religiously saving the document to a USB memory stick but the document must have corrupted, if that’s what it’s done before I saved it there.

  MAJ 11:57 17 Feb 2010

Instead of trying to open the doc., 1936, just open Word, which will open with a blank page, then go to Help > Detect and Repair. Or is Word freezing also when you try to open it?

  1936 12:55 17 Feb 2010

I did that but what next?

  MAJ 13:02 17 Feb 2010

Sorry 1936, we cross-posted last time, I didn't see your reply.

It appears that the file itself is indeed corrupt, it happens from time to time. As long as Word itself is working okay and you can open other files without them freezing, you should be okay. Can you copy and paste the contents of the old file into a new Word doc without the new doc freezing? Maybe salvage the contents via your newly saved Works doc.

  skeletal 13:07 17 Feb 2010

There is also the dodgy business of saving to a USB stick. What you should be doing is working and saving your file to the hard drive on the computer. When you have finished for the day (or whatever) you make your final save to the computer then copy this latest version from your hard drive to the USB stick.

You DON’T work and save to the USB stick.

You should also always “safely remove device” before removing the stick.

You should now have two identical copies of the document.

Next day, make a copy of the document on the hard drive and rename it V2 (or whatever) and then start working on this next version. Do this each day. You will end up with many versions as the document is developed, but if anything like this ever happens again, you will only ever lose, at most, one day’s work.

Sorry for the mini lecture, but part of my job is document development and I make every effort to avoid disaster. Also, sorry if you already do much of this!

Files can, and do, get corrupted, the above method reduces the risk.

Having said all that, if you have been using the USB stick, have you got it plugged in when you are trying to get your files back (even if you are trying to get them back from the hard drive). Word may be expecting it to be there.

The various “repair document” ideas from others may help you (I hope!) but I have had documents that are irreparably corrupted and I have had to go back to earlier versions.


  1936 13:17 17 Feb 2010

I have saved the document that I opened in "Works" to "Word" and although I can see a few problems they appear workable.
Of course I save the document on my hard disc. I use the USB stick as a back up. Obviously the document corrupted before I saved it there because that one is stuffed as well.
I accept that the document is corupted but does anyone have any idea how this happens?
I have read that if a document is very long it can become corrupted. Thsi document is 193,000 words long.
If it is to long then what does one do if one wnats to work with long documents apart from spitting them up. Surerely MS can do better than that or should I be thinking of moving to Apple?
Thanks for your help.

  MAJ 13:23 17 Feb 2010

No it's not too long for Word to work successfully with it, 1936, these unforeseeable things just happen, they happen on Macs as well. You want a reason why they happen? Wish I could give you one, but skeletal has offered a few possibilities.

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