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Excel Locks Up

Posted on 2009-03-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Excel usually works fine for me. But it locks up sometimes. I can usually work with other windows applications after it happens.

This tends to offur while working with large spreadsheets and/or after rapid keystrokes.  Sometimes it seems that i might be typing too fast.....

Task manager indicates that up 50% of CPU while in hold pattern.. Have 3 gm ram, fast machine etc.. Its not the hardware..

Are there any tricks to help excel snap out of it?  Sometimes it happens without intervention.  I  typically try (1) escape key;  (2) break key; (3) working with other applications for a while... Sometimes they work.   Other times the only remedy is to force shutdown using task manager.  That usually results in lost work.    

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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Question by:BW999
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10 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:gonzal13
ID: 24014615
Did you try to remove the program through the control panel and re-install it?
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:WizardWill
ID: 24014636
What version of office are you using also have you got the latest service pack
0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:warturtle
ID: 24014735
Check for unneeded programs in the startup and get rid of them. Secondly, check to make sure that you don't have any viruses that are running in the background and consuming memory. You can download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware from http://www.malwarebytes.org/ and do a scan with that after updating it.

Hope it helps.
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LVL 81

Accepted Solution

by:
byundt earned 300 total points
ID: 24014754
Excel 2003 is not able to use more than 1 GB of RAM. This issue, its consequences and workarounds are discussed by Charles Williams at http://www.decisionmodels.com/memlimitsc.htm


One other thing you might try is to rename your toolbar file. Renaming it forces Excel to create a new one the next time it launches, thereby resetting your *.xlb toolbar file to factory specifications. You do this while Excel is not running, such as by renaming your *.xlb toolbar file to *.old. This file, which always exists but may be hidden, is frequently corrupted. If you have tried reinstalling Office or repairing an existing installation, any toolbar corruption problems remain because the installer won't reset the toolbar file.

After renaming the toolbar file, Excel notices during launching that it doesn't have one and creates a new copy to factory specs. Mine (for Excel 2003) is called Excel11.xlb and is located in the XLSTART folder. Your name and location may be different, so please search for it (and there may even be more than one on the computer).

The XLSTART folder is most often located in two places:
C:\Documents and Settings\your Windows log-in name\Application Data\Microsoft\EXCEL\XLSTART
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 11\XLSTART              This path is for Excel 2003. Earlier versions have a different number after Office
IMPORTANT: The Application Settings folder is hidden by default--so you won't be able to see it unless you choose the option to "Show hidden files and folders" in Windows Explorer's Tools...Folder Options...View menu item

Brad
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Author Comment

by:BW999
ID: 24015196
The excel installation is up to date.  Run deep virus scans showing no problems.  
The decision support site has some interesting ideas that I'll check out.

Will reset the toolbar.  I've been customizing it lately and perhaps it got corrupted...

The lockup occurs infrequently and more or less randomly (different computers and/or spreadsheets..)   This may be just part of your normal background noise in windows etc...  

I was mostly looking for tips on whether there are any special keys that I could press to unlock it.  or any software utilities that could help to revive it after it is locked.

One  is locked up right now and I dont want to loose it!.




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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:warturtle
warturtle earned 200 total points
ID: 24016940
There is something else as well that I am thinking about - are you working on documents on remote servers that might have been shared with other users?? If yes, please try downloading a local copy and making changes to it. MS Office would normally put locks on the files, as far as I understand.
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Author Comment

by:BW999
ID: 24028650
That's a good point.  I sometimes have word or excel documents open that are stored on another computer in our home network.   The problem has occurred in those instances, but other times as well.

My latest idea is that it has something to do with my mouse (or use of it).  Sometimes it runs a bit wild with I'm smoking through spreadsheet.  Sometimes I'll hit combinations of buttons, wheel, and/or keystrokes that cause excel to zoom in/out quickly or do something else strange.  That definitely is a risky situation for lock-up.

I also noticed that the problem generally does not happen when I am using the toggle button on my thinkpad instead of external mouse.  That definitely slows me down.

Look into upgrading the mouse, mouse driver, and/or mouse windows settings.  Any suggestions?

It's locked up again!

Thanks,

BIll
0
 

Author Comment

by:BW999
ID: 24028675
P.S.

I noticed that outlook has trouble accessing my address book when excel is locked up in the background.

Also saw somewhere that activating outlook's journal feature (tracks open excel files) can cause problems with excel performance.  I'll try turning that off too..

Bill
0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:warturtle
ID: 24028865
Do you have any addins installed into your office? like Xobni?? or any others?? If you do, try disabling them for a start.
0
 

Author Comment

by:BW999
ID: 24067870
I have a few addins (PuPV6, Microcharts, FastExcel, others).  I 'll try tinkering with those.
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