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Excel Lock File

Posted on 2002-05-29
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Does anyone know how Excel locks a file?  For example, if I have a document open in Excel, and then I open it in another instance I cannot make changes because the first instance of Excel has "locked" it.

The reason I ask is that I have a problem with Excel crashing.  Because it does not unlock the file, in order to reopen and edit my file I have to reboot my machine.  If I could just delete the lock file then I think I could just start back up at my last save?

Thanks,

Uziel
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Question by:Uziel
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14 Comments
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:bruintje
ID: 7041765
Hi Uziel,

difficult do you know why it's crashing? a pattern?

-you can try to clean up the windows/temp dir after a crash

:O)Bruintje

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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Uziel
ID: 7041780
No, it crashes at irregular times.  The latest series is from copying by dragging a sum cell.  That should not happen...

I cleaned the temp file, and hopefully that will work.

Do you understand what I am asking for?  If I knew what file tracked what Excel files are locked, like an Access lock file, then I could just delete it and re-open my file.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:bruintje
ID: 7041822
yeah i got that, only excel makes it's temp files in the temp directory and by cleaning that one up, i looked once in a while for users to see what those files where named because they had crashes too. but it's a bit difficult you've to look for files named *.xls in the temp dirctory and i'm not even sure they're called .xls or something else
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Richie_Simonetti
ID: 7042275
Which version of Excel are you using?, which SP?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Uziel
ID: 7042360
Excel 2000 9.0.4402 SR-1

Does that help?
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Richie_Simonetti
ID: 7042395
No.
did you try reinstalling SP?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Uziel
ID: 7059594
I reinstalled everything.  I cleaned the tmp files.  Nothing really helps...
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:bruintje
ID: 7059649
i'm rereading the Q here

For example, if I have a document open in Excel, and then
I open it in another instance I cannot make changes because the first instance of Excel has "locked" it

do you want to open it two times at the same time?

:O)Bruintje
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Uziel
ID: 7059753
No.  I want to know if there is a way to "Unlock" a file after I crash.  When I open the file, it becomes locked.  If I crash it stays locked and the only way to unlock it that I know of is to reboot.

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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Richie_Simonetti
ID: 7059846
It appears like Excel creates a tmp file in c:\%windir%\temp with name: ~DF*.tmp that cannot be read it or edited.
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LVL 44

Accepted Solution

by:
bruintje earned 50 total points
ID: 7059868
you can also try to Close Excel using Ctrl+Alt+Delete

it seems that when crashing, Excel remains semi-open and it is this semi-open file that prevents you opening normally
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Uziel
ID: 7059883
Bingo!  That was it.  As soon as I closed the "shadow" excel with the task manager the file became unlocked.

Thanks!
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:bruintje
ID: 7059890
wow glad that did it, funny how we sometimes overlook the most obvious ones to try
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Richie_Simonetti
ID: 7063833
Gee, i was thinking that you need a code solution not a "hard-coded" one! :))
Bruintje, i agree with your last comment also.
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