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I've run into a strange behavior when I migrated our users from Office 2007 / Vista to Office 2010 / Windows 7 (all 32-bit). They use a web based document management system called NetDocuments which stores all their .doc/.docx files. Generally, when they click on a doc from the browser window it fires up Word and opens the doc. Word has an add-in in it from NetDocs as well so it can upload the changed document directly back to the NetDocs server. I get a phone call when Word crashes, and every single time it has crashed I have witnessed multiple winword.exe processes running in task manager. I used process explorer to see what created the process, and it is all Internet Explorer.

So far I have rolled them back to IE8 and the problem happens less frequently, but it still happens. When I try to duplicate the problem, I can make it happen sometimes if I open multiple documents very quickly. Using lightning fast alt-tab reflexes, I DO see that a 2nd WinWord process is created when a user clicks on a document, then it closes once the document is open. I think what is happening is that the secondary WinWord process that does some sort of NetDocs voodoo is getting stuck open.

This behavior is new to Word 2010 / Windows 7 and google searching isn't coming up with much. I have seen a few posts that this is a known issue in certain circumstances and there is no "fix", but I thought it would good to ask others on this. Maybe there is some sort of reg-hack that will help?

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I'm having a hard time figuring our what your actual question or problem is. Is the problem that Word is crashing? If so, it would help if you described the circumstances under which it crashes and the frequency. – David Schwartz May 24 '12 at 3:38
Word crashes, but that is only a symptom of having multiple WinWord processes running. I'm pretty sure the NetDocs add-in is the issue, so I have tentatively accepted that answer - but I am very open to other solutions that would prevent WinWord processes from getting stuck open. – Bill Sambrone May 24 '12 at 5:08
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I do not believe there is a fix. This issue seems to happen in many cases when the Word COM api is involved.

I have not seen this issue lead to instability. It can make apps that attach to Word funny, in that there are multiple instances, and an instance can get orphaned.

The solution, if there is one, is almost certainly in Netdocs.

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That's what I'm thinking, but I was really hoping there was something else out there. Their tech support stone walls me every time I call with "It's a Microsoft problem". To some extent they're right in that it doesn't happen in Vista / Word 2007. – Bill Sambrone May 24 '12 at 1:28

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