Am I right in thinking that this 'freeze' is occurring when you are trying to open an existing document, and you have the 'Open' dialog box showing?
If this is the case, then I think that your problem is not with Word, but with the Open dialog box which is part of Windows.
It sounds as though the Open dialog box is trying to find a file or folder and it can't find it. It then appears to freeze until the connection time-out expires.
A couple of questions:
Are you on a network.
Have you previously opened or saved any files to a network location perhaps a server, or do you have any documents saved over the internet