Help! MS Word forgot all my macros!

Several days ago, my pc got infected with some sort of malware. I think I cleaned most of it up, but I’m having some residual problems, mostly in MS Word, and I hope someone can help me out. I don’t know which of the symptoms are most significant, so I will tell you all of them. They are surely related, as they all started at the same time.

I’m using Microsoft Work 2002, on a Windows XP Home SP3 machine, with all of the Windows Updates installed.

My biggest problem is that I cannot get to any of my macros or customized toolbars. A big clue would seem to be my inability to access or save the NORMAL.DOT file.

When I open Word, and go to Tools/Options/FileLocations, and I look at the folder named in “User Templates”, that folder does contain all of the templates I’ve created over the years, and it also contains a NORMAL.DOT file. When I open that NORMAL.DOT file with Notepad, I see a lot a special characters, but I can also see the code from the macros that I wrote, so I know that they aren’t irretrievably lost - the problem seems to be that word is not opening or reading the NORMAL.DOT.

Here’s another clue: When I go to File/New/Template, none of my custom templates appears. Maybe the problem isn’t in the Normal file, but in the Template folder.

But I cannot save new macros either. If I take MS Word the way it is now, and write a new macro, I can use it on several documents, provided I don’t close Word. If I do close Word, it neglects to ask me if I want to save the new macros, and simply forgets them, and they are gone when I reopen Word later.

Any and all suggestions. But please, intelligent suggestions only. Getting a new version of Word or switching to OpenOffice are not going to help retrieve the macros that I have stuck in this unreadable NORMAL.DOT file. Or will they? Does anyone make a utility which reads file, and presents the contents to me so that I can at least copy and paste them?

Thanks in advance!

I did a quick read of this and do not know exactly what your problem is, other than there seems to be a disconnect from what Word says it’s using as your template folder and what it actually is using as your template folder.

The best utility to read a NORMAL.DOT file is Word :slight_smile: You didn’t say you tried that. Just open it in Word and hit ALT-F11 and you should be able to see your macros. As a safeguard you can then Export each of the macro modules to a .bas file, which can then be reimported to another NORMAL.DOT file (or any Word file at all, for that matter).

Given your situation, if you can still open your NORMAL.DOT file and it is not corrupted, I would at least copy your NORMAL.DOT file to save it, and reinstall Word, then restore your NORMAL.DOT file. However, if the malware affected your NORMAL.DOT file that might not be such a hot idea.

Yes, I’ve restarted Word quite a few times, including restarts of the pc in between. I wasn’t aware of ALT-F11; I’ll give that a try (later, I’m still at work).

Reinstalling… That would at least allow me to save new macros I put in… Why didn’t that occur to me?

I’ll give it a try this evening! (If I can find the CD!) Thanks!

ALT-F11 doesn’t help. I guess it only shows whichever macros appear in Tools/Macros, which is none.

Sigh… Maybe the reinstall will help. I’ll let you know later.

Another thing to try would be to close Word, rename to something like, and reopen Word. Word should generate a fresh new, and you could try recording/saving macros in there. You might also then be able to poke around in and retrieve your macros.

Occasionally (but not often enough), I go into the VB editor (Alt + F11) and copy my macros to a text file.

You could also try using the Organizer (I’m not familiar with Word 2002, but in 2003 it is under Tools > Templates and Add-Ins) to copy your macros elsewhere.

ETA: This is why I keep almost no important macros in I keep a separate template in my startup folder, and that’s where I keep the custom macros and toolbars I use regularly. is just too prone to corruption.

I tried that too. But when NORMAL.DOT is gone, it does NOT create a new one. Oh well, here I go with the reinstall. But first I’ll make copies of everything…

AAARGHH! I uninstalled Office, and then reinstalled it. And everything is exactly as an hour ago.

There is SOMETHING that prevents me from accessing NORMAL if it exists, or from creating and accessing if it is missing. I wish I knew what it is.

File permissions?

Also, after a malware infection, you may want to do a repair installation of Windows XP if you still are having problems. It’s generally a last ditch resort, though.

Thanks for the link. I totally forgot all that stuff. I was simply going into the Properties and clearing out the “Read Only” box, which didn’t work. I’ll try it your way!

Something’s wrong. When I right-click on a folder, the Properties does not have a “Security” tab like that KB article says to use. Maybe it is because I’m using XP Home? But that article seems written for both Home and Pro, so I don’t know…

Tried going to the Registry, and renamed HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Word to be …\OldWord. Opened Word again, and it looked brand new.

But it still won’t recreate a missing NORMAL.DOT, or save macros.