Excel file in use error, but the file is not in use!

Posted on 2003-03-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-04
I am trying to run an excel spreadsheet, but each time i open it, it says it is being modified by another user, would i like to open it as read only, or be notified when it is available.

the problem is that it is not in use by anyone else. any thoughts?
Question by:astrohelp
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8220106
Hello Astrohelp,

-when Excel has a file open it places a *.tmp in Windows\Temp folder
-when the file or Excel is closed, the *.tmp file should be deleted
-if not deleted, you will get the message you see about being open already by yourself
-this will generally happen only after a crash of Excel, which leaves the *.tmp file

-you could cleanup all files in the temp directory
-and try again


Author Comment

ID: 8220149
Thanks.  We'll try that but we have over 100 computers in the business!  It's a file on a server that many people share.  BUT, it says it's being modified by MIS (which is us!) and we haven't touched it!
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8220165
ok if you go to the server and look at file locked at the moment is it there in the list?
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Author Comment

ID: 8220218
the server is a Solaris UNIX server.  We are help desk employees and don't know UNIX.  But if you have an idea, maybe we can tell our manager and he can unlock it.

A different IT person is in charge of this and he's off with family business today.  He had said something about an utility (?) one time when I had asked him about it.

Thanks for any help!  We really appreciate it!  

LVL 44

Accepted Solution

bruintje earned 500 total points
ID: 8220485
got no UNIX knowledge either but on NT we had this problem with locked files (not excel) and they where in use by a certain person and solve it by removeing the lock on the server itself

here are some sources that may be useful

XL2000: Temporary File Created When You Save a Document

XL: Summary of Methods to Recover Data from Corrupted Files

XL: Delete Permissions Required to Save File on Network Server

XL2000: Cannot Rename to '<File name>' Saving to Network Drive

XL: Cannot Rename to '<File name>' Saving to Network Drive

XL: How to Prevent File Corruption

XL2000: "Filename is not valid." Error Saving or Opening File

XL2000: Error Message "This file is not in a recognizable format."

XL2000: "This file is locked." Error Saving or Closing Shared File

XL2000: "Your Changes Could Not Be Saved..." Error Saving Workbook

XL2000: Error Message "Cannot access read-only document <filename>."

XL2000: Error Message "The cube file <file name>.cub cannot be opened for writing."
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 8224549
Have you rebooted since the problem first occurred?

Sometimes when Excel "crashes" it does not exit cleanly but continues to run hidden in the background.  In this case it can continue to hold files open.  

You can search for "Excel" in the "Processes" tab of the Task Manager (<Cntl>-<alt>-<del> and select the "Task Manager" button) to see if this is the case.  If "Excel" is present (and no other instance of Excel is running) you can clean this up by selecting Excel and clicking on the "End Process" button.  Of course, rebooting will also cure this condition.


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