any advice on a Word 97 file that keeps freezing my system?

Subject: any advice on a Word 97 file that keeps freezing my system?
From: Richard Yanowitz <ryanowitz -at- bigfoot -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L, a list for all technical communication issues" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 15:01:19 -0400

(I've sent this inquiry to a Word listserv, too.)

Crucial Word 97 file that represents roughly a month's work frequently
crashes, at least forcing me to quit Word and reboot it, but with some
frequency freezing the computer altogether and requiring total reboot (and
scandisk/Norton Disk Doctor to clean up problems).

Any advice?

Size: 2-4 meg (250-350 pages), depending on whether I'm working with the
whole thing or a subset.

Some graphics (~10) embedded, but not a lot.

Lots of formatting variety: frequent gray (10% intensity) table headings, 3
of bullets throughout, 3 levels of headers, mix of arial and times roman
fonts and sizes (8-14pt, but mostly 10pt), a couple of places where text is

Everything is done in tables, some with grouped rows of several cells
mingling with 2-cell rows. Formatting varies in different cells. Lots of
playing with different kinds of borders (mainly 3 variants).

The file crashes on both my 3+ years old Gateway desktop with 64meg RAM and
200MHz speed and my several-months old Dell laptop with 96 meg and 300MHz
Pentium II. So memory is apparently not the problem, nor the particular

TOC of about 8 pages.

Straightforward headers and footers--so far only a few different ones, but
I would expect ultimately to have a different header for each of maybe 50

At one point I went through and took the file apart in about 40 chunks. I
saved a chunk. Then copied the next chunk and saved the combination under
a new name. And so on, so that I have about 40 iterations of the original
file in various stages.

At a couple of points when I did this, the original file had major
problems, so I thought the difficulty was near those points. But with a
new file that uses only material preceding the first of those points, I'm
having similar trouble.

A Norton virus scan on both machines found no viruses.

You're welcome to answer off-list and, of course, to ask for more information.

Thanks for any help.

Richard Yanowitz, NYC
mailto:ryanowitz -at- bigfoot -dot- com

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