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.DOCX cannot be opened

Posted on 2007-10-19
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Last Modified: 2011-09-07
Greetings,
Our facility uses Office 2003 with a couple of 07 installations for testing.  We occasionally receive Word 07 documents in .docx format which we cannot open using either 03 or 07.  Error message is:
"The Office Open XML file *.docx cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents."  Pressing the Details button reveals:
"Microsoft Office cannot open this file because the .zip archive file is an unsupported version."
(The documents have not been sent in zipped format as far as I can tell)
Attempting to have Word 07 repair the document fails.  Trying web-found suggestions regarding selecting the document and choosing Open and Repair or Recover Text From Any File fail also.  

Thanks for any assistance.
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Question by:sfsymphony
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by:samirise
samirise earned 60 total points
ID: 20112605
I had this same problem. In regards to Office 2003, have you tried to install the Word 2007 filter?

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=941B3470-3AE9-4AEE-8F43-C6BB74CD1466&displaylang=en

Barring this, have you tried re-installing office 2007 with all components to hard drive?
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Assisted Solution

by:war1
war1 earned 1440 total points
ID: 20112642
Hello sfsymphony,

Docx file is specifically a Word 2007 format. Word 2003 cannot open it.  Sender needs to save the file in Office 2003 compatibility mode, so the file is saved as a doc file.  Then Word 2003 and 2007 can read the file.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466&displaylang=en

Hope this helps!
war1
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by:samirise
ID: 20112656
war1, I respectfully disagree as it can be opened after you download the filter.  Also, he is saying that his 2007 users also cannot open these files.
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Author Comment

by:sfsymphony
ID: 20112686
Exactly.  I (Desktop Support Tech) cannot open them using my 07 installation.  Also this would become a major concern if management decided to move all installations to 07.

Seems to me I tried the 03 filter before, but am trying it now just in case.
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Author Comment

by:sfsymphony
ID: 20112710
No joy with the 03 filter/converter.  Error message is:
"There was an error opening the file"
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Expert Comment

by:BamBamHR
ID: 20112716
I agree with samirise.

This seems to be a problem beyond just Word version compatibility issues.

I would try to get more info from the people who sent you the documents. If they
cannot re-send, or maybe try a different format, then try a 3rd party DOC repair
software.

I have used DOC Regenerator in the past, and it has fixed documents that could not be
fixed using any other repair options.

http://www.doc-regenerator.com-http.com/

It is FREE to try, so see if it can fix your issue.
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by:war1
ID: 20112833
samirise,

I did say the docx can be open after applying the compatibility converter.  I even provided a link to the converter.

sfsymphony,

Does the problem occur for all docx files, or just the ones from a particular sender? If the latter, have sender save the file as a .doc file and resend it.
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by:samirise
ID: 20112944
Sorry war1, I was confused by your second sentence. I see you pasted the same link I did. Since it didnt work for him its moot since he's still in the same boat. Im still curious to see what happens after a re-install. And to how many users/senders this happens to as you were asking.
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Author Comment

by:sfsymphony
ID: 20112987
Problem has occurred for at least 5 documents from different senders to different recipients.  I have two Office 07 Enterprise installations, one on XP Pro one on Vista Enterprise-both fully patched, and have the same results.  I will try a third installation next week, but I'm not hopeful at this point.
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Accepted Solution

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war1 earned 1440 total points
ID: 20112998
Check if your antivirus is corrupting the docx file.  Temporarily disable one antivirus program and test.
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Author Comment

by:sfsymphony
ID: 20127401
Does indeed have something to do with receiving the docx as an attachment via email, whether it be anti-virus, firewall, attachment blocking or the like.
I brought in an 07 document manually (flash drive) and there are no problems with it.  As soon as I email it to myself, the document cannot be opened with the typical errors noted above.

Any thoughts on how I go about continuing to diagnose?
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Expert Comment

by:samirise
ID: 20127470
Okay I know this is a stretch, but I was having the same problem before and this worked. The OS was Vista, so I dont want to assume that this will work for you, but try deleting the entries in the Secure Temporary File Folder and rebooting/restarting outlook. Here are two links though they are for previous versions.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;817878
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/296115/en-us

Trouble is, I dont know if this fixes it ongoing or if you have to keep doing this which would be very impractical. And I apologize in advance if I am sending you on a wild goose chase !
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Author Comment

by:sfsymphony
ID: 20686751
Sorry for the delay.  We now have a solution.

We are using McAfee Groupshield 6.0 in concert with Exchange.  This program, among other things, blocks attachments with certain extensions (user defined).  We had it set to block XML attachments and, of course, XML is part of Office '07 documents.  For one reason or another, Groupshield did not block the files, but only changed/removed the XML portion and passed the rest on as if it were a regular unblocked document.

Thanks all for helping point us in the right direction.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 20686771
sfsymphony, aah, McAffee was blocking the XML extensions.
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Author Closing Comment

by:sfsymphony
ID: 31408248
Many thanks.  Points for steering in the right direction.
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Expert Comment

by:LuftHansi-DK
ID: 26824728
In my case (a Terminal Server running on Windows Server 2008) the long-sought-after solution was to enable the "Desktop Experience" feature. Hope this saves somebody the hours i spent looking for it.
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by:jrvandy
ID: 32811995
I am having the same problem on a windows server 2000 machine that is running terminal services... I think I have tried every fix on the internet. I tried directly FTP'ing a brand new .docx document to the desktop (that I know is not corrupted) and opening it. There is no filter on the firewall and no antivirus is installed. I of course have installed the compatability pack. I am trying to open a .docx with word 2003 and keep getting "there was an error oprning the file."

Any help would be great
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