Lately my copy of FrontPage has started to lock up on me. It freezes solid / locks up /hangs up when I open certain pages. If I hit Ctrl-Alt-Del, it shows me an entry with [Not Responding] against it. However the problem appears quite local to FP, because the program can be killed and restarted, often with no problems. Since Frontpage anyway seems to take around 5 seconds to respond before I can start typing, whenever a document is opened (and I have a fast machine, so I have no idea what it is doing), it took me a while to realise it was not just me!
[You should note that I only use Frontpage as a WYSIWYG editor for existing files - I don't use or want any of the fancy features, and I do not use FrontPage webs. If you do, no doubt some of this may not apply].
A look around the 'net suggested a few remedies, and I have one of my own. I found it a hard slog to locate this information, so I make it available here.
Deinstall and reinstall. This did no good at all. It didn't even clear the registry details.
Erase the Registry entries. Start|Run|Regedit, then find \My Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Frontpage. Just delete the Frontpage entry and all its contents completely. It will do no harm, and just allow Frontpage to restart in factory defaults. This fixes a *lot* of problems.
Erase the FrontPageLangID Registry entry in the same place. This will cure the problem of a spell-checker lockup without disrupting the rest.
Search for any *.web files. These can get corrupt, and since FP opens them on startup, corrupt .web files cause lockups. Use Start|Find|Files or Folders and just delete any you find. (You may wish to keep a copy on a floppy, just in case).
In C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\FrontPage\State, there is often a file called CmdUI.PRF. This can cause lockups. I have no idea what it's legitimate purpose might be, but I've had no problem when I deleted it. Rename it to CmdUI.PRF.old just to be safe.
This was a juicy one. It started when I tried to change the language for spell-checking to Finnish. This caused FP to lock solid and stay that way until I deleted the registry entries (option #2 above).
Now I really do have all the proofing tools. One of my files still caused a lock-up, although not most of them. I found by trial and error that one line in that file was causing the problem:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="de-at">
That is, it did not like a document in Austrian German, which this was, and signalled that fact by locking up. When I commented the line out, with <!meta...>, the file then opened. No doubt I should reinstall the proofing tools - FP does not seem to recognise them if they are already present - but I do think that some sort of error message would have been better. So look out for that one, if all else fails.
Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft's developers to produce an editor that fails gracefully?
Constructive feedback is welcomed to Roger Pearse.
Last updated 30th December, 2000.
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