Recently, my Word 2007 program started experiencing some weird behavior. When I had a document open and would go to close Word, I’d be greeted by this:
Also, since I’m running Windows 7, when I tried to Right-click the Word icon that I pinned to my taskbar and open a recently opened document, Word would open, but not the document. I would have to explicitly open the document from within the application.
Initial reports I read pointed to a recently installed patch, but instead of going through my “Programs and Features” uninstalling patches one-by-one, I found an even easier solution on Ed Bott’s blog.
NOTE: The following instructions deal with editing the Windows Registry, which is not for the incautious or faint of heart. It would be a good idea to back up your Registry and/or create a restore point before trying this.
If I haven’t scared you off, open Regedit, navigate to HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftOffice12Word and delete the “Data” Key. (I did export the “Data” key first, just to be on the safe side.) After deleting the key, Word appeared to open and close properly. I right-clicked the Word icon on my taskbar, chose a document to open and it opened right up. So far, so good.
I then merged the backed-up reg key back into the registry and tried opening that same recently-used document from the task bar – Word opened, no document. Then upon closing Word, it crashed again.
From the information in Ed’s blog entry, the cause appears to be related to having Word running at the time a particular “Important” update is applied to the system. Removing this reg key fixed it right up! I saved at least 30 minutes by avoiding having to uninstall and reinstall Office.