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Word 2003 - Continual freezes in editing Large Documents

hello -

this is my first computer forum question & i feel i should apologize upfront for my technological illiteracy (i know relative basics, but not much beyond) . . . However, i will try to detail as best i can and would be grateful for any advice in layman's terms!

my problem is in using Microsoft Office Word 2003 (with Windows XP) to edit two documents ? for nearly every function i attempt to perform it freezes for 5-10 seconds.
the main functions i am attempting to perform involve copying individual text boxes (with highlighted text) from Document 1 (1 page full of text boxes), pasting in the margins of Document 2 (34 pages of text), and then also highlighting text in Document 2 using keyboard shortcuts (created as macros).
The copying, pasting, keyboard shortcuts, and even switching b/w documents almost always causes a freeze/stutter (sometimes pointer turns hourglass) of 5 ? 10 seconds.
i need to do this with many documents = more than 500 pages of text, so speed is of the essence and these freezes are quickly adding up.

i?m using a Compaq Presario V5000 -- in attempts to help i?ve restored original settings with recovery disks with no improvement ? and just upgraded to 2GB of RAM and still no improvement (despite my CPU usage now mostly showing 0%) -- although in doing the latter, i also noticed some dust internally, but wasn't sure how to go about removing/cleaning it.
i'm not that knowledgeable & not sure what else i can do, so i thought i?d see if anyone might have suggestions here. the two documents are large (63KB & 1.75MB) and may only grow ? am i perhaps just asking too much of Word? Me & my stress levels would extend many, many thanks for any advice!!

p.s. don't know that this provides any additional insight, but the internal "whirring" of the laptop increases/gets louder during the freezes (though i do have it on a notebook stand, angled up which i'd thought would provide enough ventilation?)

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Comments
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Re: Word slow

For diagnostics, try:
1. Create a NEW windows account.
2. See if Word works better with NEW documents in that NEW account.
3. See if Word works better with these OLD documents in that NEW account.

Tell what you find.

Kees

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Hopefully solved!

Kees,

Thank you, thank you!
I believe your advice led to the problem.
As you suggested, i created new windows accounts and found that while new documents worked fine, the old still did not. I also discovered this to be the case with my own, original account -- In further testing the two documents i've been working with, separately, found that only one of them (a transcribed interview) presented the freezing problem.

The problematic interview/document was one i'd had to convert from PDF and downloaded a free program to convert it Sad
I am now assuming this is the culprit as all of my other interviews/documents (which were already in Word & needed no conversion) seem to work fine.
It is a great relief to know i can proceed with the rest without the delay -- i extend a million thanks your way (you've pulled this grad student from a temporary thesis-hell)!

However, i am now left with other questions if you might have the opportunity to give your opinion:
i'm wondering what exactly is wrong with the file - whether i can use it at all?
whether i can determine if just the file is corrupt or if i need be concerned about having downloaded a greater threat?
whether i need take action to deal with potential threats to my computer or flashdrive where the file has been stored? whether i should assume it's safe to use either?
(or should i perhaps be posting these in another forum?)

Sorry for the lengthy list, but Thanks again!

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I spoke too soon . . .

just wanted to tack on an update --

i decided to play it safe by restoring to factory settings with disk
during this process, i kept getting an error message to clean the disk.
when this didn't work after several attempts, i tried restoring using the F11 key
however, when i do this, i get the error message "can't open x:\PRELOAD\Windows.w32"
and after i click okay and it attempts to start, i get a black screen saying "NTLDR is missing" "press ctrl+alt+del to restart" - but restarting just goes to the same screen . . .
have i screwed something up inadvertently, or perhaps that download really did do a number on my computer? (definitely learned my lesson with free software!)

many thanks once again if any thoughts

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Moved to new forum

i'm assuming this'd be most appropriate for the XP forum, so i've moved it there.

thanks!

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Re: file

I think it's just something strange in the file from that conversion program. Nothing serious with your system. So that makes it unnecessary to do anything drastic like restoring it to factory conditions.

See if you can copy/paste pieces of that offending document to a new document. Start with one page and see if it's OK. Then the next page. Then 2 pages. It could well be that you can copy all pages and get a very fine new document. But just as it could be that it's one thing on one page that's causing the trouble. Then just start typing in stead of copy/paste.

Best of luck of with your thesis!

Kees

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Thanks!

Kees,

cutting & pasting really messes with the margins & text formats . . . i'll figure out something though - at this point i am just grateful that the problem seems contained within just this document!

since i unfortunately had gone ahead & already attempted a restore - i'm off to trying to solve problem #2 that's been the unfortunate consequence of that effort --
but many, many thanks for leading me to the solution for the first!

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