Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X

Posted: 04-11-2005, 07:29 PM
Greetings!

One of my colleagues has a problem I'm trying to troubleshoot for her.
On her machine running OS X 10.3.8, both Word 2004 and Word X quit on
launch every time. We have nuked the entire Microsoft preferences
folder, as well as the Normal Template in her Users Data folder, but the
result is the same. This happens when launching with a document.

My guess is it might be a corrupt font, but we haven't had time due to
other work to try to troubleshoot the large font folder. I'm hoping
someone can suggest another alternative which might work without the
effort of sorting fonts one at a time.

One other possible clue: the splash screen on W2004 seems to be missing
a font, as there is only partial display of the user's name and serial
number. Launch stops at the point where the serial number is displayed
(only the tops of the letters show). This suggests to me that maybe some
font is missing, which is used for the splash screen, and this is
causing the crash. Does this ring any bells with anyone?

I have tried searching the help files, the Microsoft Office 2004 support
database, and two "Taking Control" e-books from the Tidbits folks,
without success.

Thanks in advance!

George

Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X


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Responses to "Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X"

matt neuburg
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Re: Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X
Posted: 04-11-2005, 08:18 PM
George Nospam <gfowler@nospam.net> wrote:
> Greetings!
>
> One of my colleagues has a problem I'm trying to troubleshoot for her.
> On her machine running OS X 10.3.8, both Word 2004 and Word X quit on
> launch every time. We have nuked the entire Microsoft preferences
> folder, as well as the Normal Template in her Users Data folder, but the
> result is the same. This happens when launching with a document.
>
> My guess is it might be a corrupt font, but we haven't had time due to
> other work to try to troubleshoot the large font folder. I'm hoping
> someone can suggest another alternative which might work without the
> effort of sorting fonts one at a time.
Make a new User at system level, log in as that user, and start up Word.
If that works, migrate into that user and don't even try to figure out
what was wrong with the old user. If it doesn't, reinstall the system.
m.

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Jochem Huhmann
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Re: Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X
Posted: 04-11-2005, 08:55 PM
matt@tidbits.com (matt neuburg) writes:
>> My guess is it might be a corrupt font, but we haven't had time due to
>> other work to try to troubleshoot the large font folder. I'm hoping
>> someone can suggest another alternative which might work without the
>> effort of sorting fonts one at a time.
>
> Make a new User at system level, log in as that user, and start up Word.
> If that works, migrate into that user and don't even try to figure out
> what was wrong with the old user. If it doesn't, reinstall the system.
This is cowardish ;-) If the new account works, move away all
suspicious configuration in the old account, check the app, move back
the configs/fonts/whatever one by one and look out what happens. Once
you start to create new accounts and reinstall and reinstall for every
problem you soon will be doing nothing else. The only way to build up a
system you can trust is tracking down problems. It pays to do so, sooner
or later.


Jochem

--
"A designer knows he has arrived at perfection not when there is no
longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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George Nospam
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Re: Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X
Posted: 04-11-2005, 10:45 PM
In article <1guuvg4.5xxuir58d15iN%matt@tidbits.com>,
matt@tidbits.com (matt neuburg) wrote:
> Make a new User at system level, log in as that user, and start up Word.
> If that works, migrate into that user and don't even try to figure out
> what was wrong with the old user. If it doesn't, reinstall the system.
Matt has a lot of authority for me (he's the author of the two Taking
Control of Word 2004 e-books that I consulted on this). It is
nonetheless distressing ("cowardly" in Jochem's terms) if this is the
*best* (most effective, most economical in time and frustration) method.
And, believe it or not, my colleague with this problem is running on a
virtually new, clean installation of 10.3.8, with little extra installed.

It doesn't help that she is a long-time Windows user, and she feels a
little extra frustration and resentment due to being forced to use a
foreign OS, and it giving rise to unfamiliar problems of this type.

George
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matt neuburg
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Re: Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X
Posted: 04-12-2005, 01:29 AM
George Nospam <gfowler@nospam.net> wrote:
> In article <1guuvg4.5xxuir58d15iN%matt@tidbits.com>,
> matt@tidbits.com (matt neuburg) wrote:
>
> > Make a new User at system level, log in as that user, and start up Word.
> > If that works, migrate into that user and don't even try to figure out
> > what was wrong with the old user. If it doesn't, reinstall the system.
>
> Matt has a lot of authority for me (he's the author of the two Taking
> Control of Word 2004 e-books that I consulted on this). It is
> nonetheless distressing ("cowardly" in Jochem's terms) if this is the
> *best* (most effective, most economical in time and frustration) method.
Well, I don't want to misuse my authority. But when I've advised this in
the past it has worked.

Look at it this way, though: it only takes ten seconds to try it (make a
new User, log in as that user, start up Word). If that works, you know
for a fact that the problem is the old user. You don't know *what* about
that old user is a problem, but you know where the problem is. And if
that doesn't fix it, you know equally that the problem is outside the
zone of the individual user. That's gotta be useful information. m.

--
matt neuburg, phd = matt@tidbits.com, http://www.tidbits.com/matt/
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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...methingsbymatt
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George Nospam
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Re: Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X
Posted: 04-14-2005, 04:21 AM
In article <1guv9tf.19gktrp16hh1k2N%matt@tidbits.com>,
matt@tidbits.com (matt neuburg) wrote:
> > > Make a new User at system level, log in as that user, and start up Word.
> > > If that works, migrate into that user and don't even try to figure out
> > > what was wrong with the old user. If it doesn't, reinstall the system.
>
> Look at it this way, though: it only takes ten seconds to try it (make a
> new User, log in as that user, start up Word). If that works, you know
> for a fact that the problem is the old user. You don't know *what* about
> that old user is a problem, but you know where the problem is. And if
> that doesn't fix it, you know equally that the problem is outside the
> zone of the individual user. That's gotta be useful information. m.
Alas, creating a new user did nothing to resolve the recurring quit on
launch behavior. I'm going to try to solve it as a font problem next,
though that looks like a slow and cumbersome endeavor.

George
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Daiya Mitchell
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Re: Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X
Posted: 04-14-2005, 05:35 AM
> Alas, creating a new user did nothing to resolve the recurring quit on
> launch behavior. I'm going to try to solve it as a font problem next,
> though that looks like a slow and cumbersome endeavor.
>
Suggestions re speeding it up at the bottom here:
http://www.mcgimpsey.com/macoffice/o...eshooting.html

When Matt said reinstall, did he mean OS or Office?

I thought the TakeControl books listed certain fonts required by Word?
(e.g., some of Help depends on Wingdings) Perhaps try checking those first,
since you have font issues in the splash screen itself? But I imagine you
would need to replace them with clean copies from somewhere, as I shouldn't
think Office wouldn't work any better with them completely gone than it
would with them corrupt.

I'm not sure what the chances are that a corrupt font would be fixed by
remove and reinstall of only *Office*, but if you decide to go that route,
best practice here:
http://word.mvps.org/MacWordNew/RemoveReinstall.htm
(hit refresh a few times in Safari, or use a different browser)

--
Daiya Mitchell, MVP Mac/Word
Word FAQ: http://www.word.mvps.org/
MacWord Tips: <http://www.word.mvps.org/MacWordNew/>
What's an MVP? A volunteer! Read the FAQ: http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/

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matt neuburg
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Re: Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X
Posted: 04-14-2005, 02:41 PM
George Nospam <gfowler@nospam.net> wrote:
> In article <1guv9tf.19gktrp16hh1k2N%matt@tidbits.com>,
> matt@tidbits.com (matt neuburg) wrote:
>
> > > > Make a new User at system level, log in as that user, and start up Word.
> > > > If that works, migrate into that user and don't even try to figure out
> > > > what was wrong with the old user. If it doesn't, reinstall the system.
> >
> > Look at it this way, though: it only takes ten seconds to try it (make a
> > new User, log in as that user, start up Word). If that works, you know
> > for a fact that the problem is the old user. You don't know *what* about
> > that old user is a problem, but you know where the problem is. And if
> > that doesn't fix it, you know equally that the problem is outside the
> > zone of the individual user. That's gotta be useful information. m.
>
> Alas, creating a new user did nothing to resolve the recurring quit on
> launch behavior. I'm going to try to solve it as a font problem next,
> though that looks like a slow and cumbersome endeavor.
I don't see why it should be slow and cumbersome, since Font Book lets
you disable fonts quickly. Moreover, we now believe the problem is at
system level, not user level, which reduces the number of places to look
for a bad font.

If you think it's a font problem, have you used Font Finagler to clean
out the font caches?

What does the crash log tell you?

Have you considered doing a clean system install? m.


--
matt neuburg, phd = matt@tidbits.com, http://www.tidbits.com/matt/
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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...methingsbymatt
Read TidBITS! It's free and smart. http://www.tidbits.com
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George Nospam
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Re: Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X
Posted: 04-15-2005, 12:48 AM
In article <1guzzms.gvq29y19j2nagN%matt@tidbits.com>,
matt@tidbits.com (matt neuburg) wrote:
> I don't see why it should be slow and cumbersome, since Font Book lets
> you disable fonts quickly. Moreover, we now believe the problem is at
> system level, not user level, which reduces the number of places to look
> for a bad font.
It turned out that my colleague had installed over 900 unnecessary fonts
in ~/Library/Fonts. She was trying to pick several candidates for a
project, installed a huge set to review in Font Book, and didn't
uninstall them. When I saw that, I figured that had to be the problem.
But... this wasn't Library/Fonts, so the new user account should have
solved this particular problem, and it didn't. And removing all but the
bare essential fonts from Library/Fonts didn't help.
> If you think it's a font problem, have you used Font Finagler to clean
> out the font caches?
I used a different utility, an acronym starting with Y, which had an
evaluation mode that allowed it full features for 5 launches. Didn't
help to clear the font caches.
> What does the crash log tell you?
Didn't look, I'm afraid
> Have you considered doing a clean system install? m.
I did a full erase and install with my colleague out of the office
today. This solved the problem, although at the cost of several hours of
work.

Thanks to all for help and suggestions!

George
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matt neuburg
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Re: Help! persistent quit on launch Word 2004 and Word X
Posted: 04-15-2005, 04:23 AM
George Nospam <gfowler@nospam.net> wrote:
> > Have you considered doing a clean system install? m.
>
> I did a full erase and install with my colleague out of the office
> today. This solved the problem, although at the cost of several hours of
> work.
It isn't very aesthetically or scientifically satisfying, I know, but
sometimes one simply must accept that the user has hosed the system and
start over. It just isn't worth spending the time to try to track down
the problem. That is why re-installing the system was one of my original
suggestions. Glad that this worked - m.


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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...methingsbymatt
Read TidBITS! It's free and smart. http://www.tidbits.com
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