All I can suggest:
1. Delete normal.dot
2. Repair Office from the Office CD (run setup, choose repair)
3. Uninstall and reinstall Office completely.
4. Run the Office Removal Wizard (download the Office 2003 resource kit from office.microsoft.com to get it), the reinstall Office.

And even #4 isn't guaranteed to work. Then - if you can't find any other solution - the choice is between continued annoyance or a clean reinstall of XP and everything. Not a difficult choice for me.

I assume Office is written, at least in part, in Visual Basic, so you can't get rid of it.

Hope this helps.


Kees