I have Office Professional Plus 2007 duly licensed. Sorry to have mis-described as 97.
The situation arises in each of the programs. E.g. in Word I go to Word Options, Advanced, Display and find that the setting concerning Recent Documents is blocked with the help comment:
'Your Administrator has disabled this command through group policy'.
The same is true on other Office programs.
When I run Word from the desk-top logo 'as Adminsitrator', it's fine. But I want to run it as myself!
At Windows XP Pro SP3 start-up I am described as an 'administrator'.
I have followed the advice on other forums and entered Windows from the outset as Administrator, via the 'guest' setting, but though this enables me to run Office software as Administrator and change the settings, when I reboot and start in as 'Peter' it has gone again.
Maybe there were updates but I have set them to instal automatically overnight with other Windows updates.
No-one else uses this computer (and it is free of trojan influence!).
There's presumably something I have done unaware or as you say something changed by an update.