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  1. #1
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    Word cannot read Word DOC files (all versions)

    Last week a friend says her PC was operating very slow at boot-up and often said her pc was out of memory to run applications. I discovered that she had over 8MB in her root directory and only 60M left on a 2GB "C" drive. She had over 800MB free on her "D" drive. Via Windows Explorer I relocated her MSWord "doc" files she created to the D drive which freed up enough space for the virtual memory in Win98 to operate correctly. I also moved a 5MB "system.1st file to a new folder in the C drive to reduce the size of the root directory to ~2.5MB. Upon completion of these activities I rebooted the machine and it now operated correctly. We opened MSWord and open several of the transferred files. It all worked correctly. At 10:20 AM , 5/6/2002, she started up the computer and attempted to open several word files. MSWord opened the files not in DOC format but what looks like source code. There were some un-intelligible characters and some words. I mentioned that date and time because all of the files showed that date in Windows Explorer (instead of the last saved date it already had). All of the page breaks were also there. When I tried to read some of these files on another computer using Word2000, Word brought up a dialog box saying it couldn't read these files and wanted to know what format I wanted to convert from ("unicode" was the selection made by Word). The output is unreadable by this or any version of Word. There are 3400 of these unreadable files. Thought it was a virus but that didn't check out. I'm stumped. I also checked MS knowledge base but couldn't find something similar. Anyone ever see anything like that? If additional info is needed, I will provide. Is it time to call Microsoft?

    Appreciate any input / insight you may have. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Word cannot read Word DOC files (all versions)

    Judging from the fact that the file dates/times had all been changed, it would appear that the files were manipulated somehow at that date/time. A virus certainly could be the culprit, although you have ruled that out (assuming your friend is using virus scan software, are her virus definitions up-to-date?). Also, is the "D" drive a partition of the hard disk, or a separate drive?
    The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the position or opinion of WCNOC.

  3. #3
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    Re: Word cannot read Word DOC files (all versions)

    Both my emergency disk from McAfee and her root a/v program were "older". I told them to get a copy of Norton 2002 on CD. Then run a/v scan again. I will also check Symantec and McAfee web sites for any descriptions of Word/Excel impacting viruses/trojans

  4. #4
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    Re: Word cannot read Word DOC files (all versions)

    That would be helpful, but more to my point...update the virus definitions on whatever virus scan software is being used. Even new virus scan software right out of the box should be updated. New virus definitions files typically come out at least once a week. They are typically downloaded from the virus scan software manufacturer's Web site; this may be free for a few months after the purchase of the software, and otherwise requires subscribing to the service.

    There is also a "Free Online Virus Scan" hyperlink at the top of the Word forum page, which starts the House Call Free Online Virus Scanner. This might be a quicker solution.
    The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the position or opinion of WCNOC.

  5. #5
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    Re: Word cannot read Word DOC files (all versions)

    There were a lot of reports like this on the microsoft.public.word.* newsgroups recently.

    It's suspected that the culprit is the virus/worm Klez.E in many cases, which has a payload that is triggered on the 6th of odd-numbered months (May 6th). It overwrites *.DOCs, Excel files, and some others with an executable.

    Since it also disables virus scanning software, you'll have to do some manual clean-up.

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>Sorry for the bad news, Klaus

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