Quirky PC problem - wisdom welcome

Here’s a strange PC problem.

Start situation: PIII 700mhz 128mb SDRAM running Win 98 SE. Fine, no problems, very good and reliable machine. Mainly use Word, Corel, Pagemaker, PhotoShop LE, IE5.

A friend lends me a disk of Quark Express 4.1 for Windows so I can assess if I want to buy it.

I’m in the UK and it’s a US version, so I have some minor glitches installing (e.g. have to change keyboard settings from UK to US) but I get it up and running.

Later, I open Word and try to open a short letter document. System locks. Give it the 3 finger salute. Msg ‘The system is dangerously low on resources, do you want to shut down Word?’. I opt for Yes. System hangs, and the screen refresh is obviously screwed. No option but to re-boot.

Repeat, same result.

I find that in Word, any Open or Save command prodcues same msg, and same irretrievable lock. Nothing wrong or corrupt with any of these documents - can open them with any other
application. All other applications (Corel, PhotoShop, Pagemaker etc.) seem to function fine.

I uninstall Quark using the Add/Remove programs utility.

I delete Word likewise, and re-install Word from the legitimate Msfot Works CD that came with the system.

All seems fine for a while - I can open and save a few times with Word. Then the old problem returns. Any save or open command triggers the ‘low on resources’ msg as before, even if it’s the only app running. I have never seen this message before, even with 3 or 4 memory-intensive apps running.

So it seems that something occurred during the Quark install that interfered with Word’s ability to access RAM to save or open docs. And even a clean re-install of Word only fixes this temporarily.

More info: The PC vendor seem a decent outfit with good tech
support. However, they do NOT provide a CD of the operating system (some weird licensing thing with Msoft). So I can’t re-install Windows as such. I DO have the option to
‘restore’ the entire PC to as-delivered status, so I would then have to re-install my apps and data. This is done using a special system disk which I created (as instructed) upon first taking delivery of the machine. This wouldn’t be such a terrible thing to have to do, but I’d rather not have to.

Other possibly relevant data: I can’t now find any way to persuade the keyboard that it is a UK one and not a US one.

Any ideas? Any good information leading to a solution can be paid for with access to my body, whatever.

It’s the registry. The install of Quark must have buggered it up–get a registry cleaner utility and let it remove the unneeded files.
Failing that, increase the amount of memory that Word is allowed to use.
Failing that, flip the power switch on and off several times until you see smoke and claim it was an Act of God.
This is an absolute bugger of a problem, though. IF it don’t get better soon, restore the system.

I had some weird problems with Word freezing up on me after I installed a ton of new fonts. I have 96M of RAM and if I shift from one font to another to another in the same document, i get the message you describe.

Weird, but those fonts seem to be a big drain on your resources.

One thing I do is just start in Dos with the bootdisk. Then use: scanreg /restore & restore a previous registry. Only takes a couple minutes.