|Couple more suggestion:|
Try starting with the /q switch, that should start Word without the splash screen, see if we can side step the problem or if it gives any more clues as to what's going on.
Also try the /r switch which according to MS:
Starts Word, starts Setup, makes changes in the Windows registry, and then quits. This switch forces a re-register of Word in the Windows registry.
Forcing a re-register to the registry might help.
and if all else fails, do a complete unintall/reinstall, BUT
see here first:
then look here:
Just doing a regular Uninstall sometimes leaves some flots and jetusm around that could cause problems.
You'll have a better chance with the two links above.
And just to be on the safe side, do you have Norton installed on your machine?
It's been known to cause headaches on occasion.