Windows XP, Word 2003, patched.
The issue is happening with several Word documents stored on a network drive.
The Word documents are clearly a bit wonky (i.e. one is 675k, but if you copy everything but the last paragraph marker into a new document, the new document is only 30k). But that's only part of the problem.
On one weird machine, and one machine only, it takes ~20 seconds to open these Word documents from the network drive.
Copy the file to C: on that werid machine? Opens immediately.
Go to other machines (that are very similar – same patch level, etc.) and open the same document from the network? Opens immediately.
Delete normal.dot? 20 seconds.
Login with a different user on the weird machine? 20 seconds.
Plug wonky machine into a different network port? 20 seconds.
So the problem appears to be hardware related (i.e. wonky internal NIC) or related to a setting that is not profile specific.
"Scrubbing" all the documents isn't ideal for several reasons.
This is driving me nuts because I swear I ran into this before many years ago and eventually figured it out. But I appear to have lost my notes.