Recovering Corrupted Word Documents
If Microsoft Word crashes or freezes when opening a document, or presents an error, one way to open the file is to use OpenOffice. (Internode Mirror)
If the file loads in OpenOffice Writer, it can then be re-saved under a new name which may have the effect of clearing out whatever the corruption is.
If the new file still does not load, try saving the file into a downlevel Word format, such as Word 95/6.0.
If the new file still does not load, save it as a .ODT file.
If the file opens in Word, you should then be able to save it as a .DOC or .DOCX file.