I’m continually receiving the following error message when initiating Word: "Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience." I've been receiving the message for about a week. I have found a fix/workaround that eventually works for the current session. I rename the normal.dot file in Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates. I restart Word, with considerable difficulty, three or four or five times and finally the program says it's restoring the files and loading a new normal.dot. This only works for the current session. If I restart Word specifically, or restart the computer, I have to go through the entire process again. I cannot restore system files through scanreg/restore to a date before the error started happening. The function does not offer an early-enough date. I cannot make it through a 98 re-set-up because of an error message. I cannot reinstall word from my Office XP CD because I get an "illegal operation" message. The best solution, or the only truly relevant one, I've been able to discover on any other site is renaming the normal.dot.
This question was answered on March 2, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
I have research this problem with Microsoft on their website The following link explains the problem you are facing and what you can do to fix this http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;296493
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Posted by Student of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 2, 2004