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How do I open a password protected *.wk4 file without having Lotus 123 available?

Posted on 2009-04-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi.  I wonder if someone can help.  This MUST be possible!  A colleague of mine has an old *.wk4 file which is password protected.  We know what the password is but don't have an old copy of Lotus 123 available to open it with and do a "Save As" *.xls.  And I am not sure which version of Lotus 123 was used to create and save it originally, but safe to say it was a few years ago!

I have tried a few convertor tools but nothing seems to work.  If the file wasn't password protected I think I'd be able to open it up in Excel 2003 (not 2007 though).

Any ideas?  I can't find a tool that will disable the password either.

Thanks.
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Question by:LadyStardust
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Accepted Solution

by:
patrickab earned 500 total points
ID: 24116480
LadyStardust,
You could try opening the file with Open Office from:
http://download.openoffice.org/
It's free and will most likely do what you want.
Alternatively if the file contents are not confidential, you could upload it here and I could attempt to open it with my very old edition of Lotus123. If I can open it, I should be able to save it as an .xls file.
I also already have OpenOffice so that's also an option for me.
Patrick
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Author Comment

by:LadyStardust
ID: 24116614
Hello there,

Thanks for your suggestions.  I have tried Lotus 1-2-3 Password and this seems to only be able to recover a password (which I already know).  I can't see a way (with the trial version anyway running on Windows XP) of removing it completely.  If you can advise on that, I'd appreciate it.

Oh, and I did forget to mention that I have tried installing OpenOffice.org today (on my Mac) and opening it in either Calc or anything else but it won't work.

I would attach the file but it's my colleague's private information so I'm afraid I can't do that.  It's a shame as I'm sure we'd be able to resolve the issue by using the old edition of Lotus 123, Patrick.  Thanks for the offer.

This is so frustrating!  I am used to finding solutions to most conversion problems - usually through browsing ExpertsExchange actually!

Regards.

LS
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 24116973
LS,
If you are prepared to trust me (I've been positively vetted in the UK for handling data for London's police authority - the MET). If you put your email address in your profile then I will contact you directly. In your Experts Exchange profile use a format like this:
lucinda dot smith at aol dot com
You can always remove it after I have made contact.
I won't be offended if you decide not take up my offer but it's there should you want to. However please note that if the file contains details of passwords to bank accounts and so on, please do not take me up on the offer.
Patrick
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 24117062
LS,
A not-too-expensive solution is to buy Lotus SmartSuite on Ebay - have a look at:
http://shop.ebay.co.uk/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m38.l1311&_nkw=lotus+smartsuite&_sacat=See-All-Categories
Patrick
0
 

Author Comment

by:LadyStardust
ID: 24117536
Hi Patrick,

That really is very kind of you but as it's not my file I simply can't share it.  If it was my data then I'd jump at the chance.  This person is occasionally in the press and it's financial info so I really can't.

Thanks again.  I might suggest the Lotus SmartSuite eBay option actually - but don't want to clutter up my hard disk with it.

Arrrgggh!

;-)
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 24117665
LS,
>...but don't want to clutter up my hard disk with it.
These days hard disks are so large you won't even notice it, anyway you can always delete it when the job is completed. I'd go for the Lotus SmartSuite from an Ebay seller option and put it down to expenses - after all it's not porn !
Patrick

0
 

Author Comment

by:LadyStardust
ID: 24119951
Thanks for your thoughts.  I'll think about it.  Wish there was a simpler, proven answer!

Have a good weekend.

LS
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 24120239
LS,
>Wish there was a simpler, proven answer!
There is - use Lotus123 to open it ! If the file owner is in the press every now and again, the chances are that s/he is not penniless so a mere USD30 or so is nothing more than a few drinks or the fraction of the cost of a round of golf. Just spend the money and do the job - I think you're fretting about it too much! If needs be re-sell the sofware after you've used it.
Patrick
0
 

Author Comment

by:LadyStardust
ID: 24121506
Hi Patrick,

Do you know which version of Smartsuite will successfully open a password protected *.wk4 file?  Smartsuite 97, Millennium edition, 9.8 or this version

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Lotus-SmartSuite_W0QQitemZ300304871404QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Computing_Software_Software_SR?hash=item300304871404&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1690%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

which will only work on PCs with Windows 98 or earlier?  I think it may actually be the last one (as in our workplace we were using Windows 3.1 and 98 when Lotus 1-2-3 was around - yes, I've been there a long time!).  If that's the case then I'm really stuck as I don't know anyone who has Windows 98 anymore.

Thanks.

LS

 
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 24121541
LS,
In that Ebay item they list the OS that it will work with - see screenshot below.
By the way they are asking far too much for a very old piece of software - personally I wouldn't buy that item.
If you are these days using a reasonable OS like Win XP or a more recent OS then I would buy the most recent edition of Lotus Smartsuite I could afford - and not the Ebay item for which you have given a link. A newer edition will open all older Lotus123 files.
Patrick

OS-Ebay.bmp
0
 
LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 24121565
LS,
Have a look at the options you have in Ebay.com - see this link:
http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_npmv=3&_trksid=p3910.m38.l1311&_nkw=lotus+smartsuite&_sacat=See-All-Categories
They're much better value for money and more recent software.
Patrick
0
 

Author Comment

by:LadyStardust
ID: 24122748
Okay, thanks for your help Patrick, much appreciated.

LS
0
 

Author Comment

by:LadyStardust
ID: 24152658
Hello there,

I thought you might like to know that this is now resolved.  I was able to get hold of a laptop at work and load on some old versions of Lotus that our IT Dept still had on a server.  Version 3.1 didn't work but Lotus Smartsuite 97 (the Lotus 1-2-3 component of that) did.  I was able to open the file, enter the password when prompted and then Save As and choose *.XLW as the format (Excel workbook) without the password.

This then opened up in Excel 2007 and I was able to save as to the latest Excel format (*.xlsx).

So, thanks everyone for your advice.  It seems that sometimes no conversion tool will work, you just have to go back to the original software and save things differently at that point.

Best regards,

Lady Stardust
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:LadyStardust
ID: 31568924
The answer was to open it up in an older version of Lotus 123 (in this case it was Smartsuite 97), save it as an XLW (as it had multiple sheets) and then open this up in a new version of Excel and save as *.xls.
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 24153470
Lady Stardust,
As you have been given a good answer, perhaps you can let me know why you have awarded a B grade.
Thanks
Patrick
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