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excel corrupted and unrepairable -  Are there ANY other options here?  Lost 2 months of work

Posted on 2010-09-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have a rather large excel workbook (3MB) on my server.  A couple users open it via a network shortcut.  This morning one user had it open as usual and the power went out for about 1 hour.... ended up using up the battery backup and killing my server.  Now 2 sheets in the file (about 2 months of work) are completely gone.

When I try to open the file it says "Excel found unreadable content in MY FILE NAME. Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook?  If you trust the source of this workbook, click Yes.

After excel attempts to repair it comes up with "Excel was able to open the file by repairing or removing the unreadable content."  Then lists the following:
Excel completed file level validation and repair. Some parts of this workbook may have been repaired or discarded.
Replaced Part: /xl/worksheets/sheet8.xml part with XML error.  Quote expected. Line 2, column 103564.
Replaced Part: /xl/worksheets/sheet9.xml part with XML error.  Whitespace expected. Line 2, column 2308303.
Removed Records: Formula from /xl/calcChain.xml part (Calculation properties)

Now 2 sheets are completely blank... losing over 2 months of work.  I've tried a few different excel repair tools I found online but non have been successful.  

My question is:  Is there ANYTHING I can do to recover this?  Are there companies out there that would specialize in something like this?  It's 2 months of work so paying someone to help would be well worth it.


PS. The last server backup ran over a month ago.... so recovering the file from backup isn't much of an option.
Question by:MFredin
LVL 33

Accepted Solution

jppinto earned 668 total points
ID: 33756009
If you tryed some tools and they where not much of a help, that makes me think that there is nothing that you can do to recover the lost information I'm afraid. Companies like this one:

normally recover deleted files or damaged disks not information inside files for what I know.


Assisted Solution

jimponder earned 668 total points
ID: 33756958
Is the auto backup feature turned on?  What about the temp files that are stored on the user's temp directory whenever they open one of these types of files?  Do you have Windows Shadow Service turned on?  Undelete?  

Author Comment

ID: 33757353
I don't have any of these features turned on.... I checked in windows/temp directory but nothing.  
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Assisted Solution

twohawks earned 664 total points
ID: 33762707
I am running out the door, so briefly, what I would od...

1) Of course, make sure you have cloned/imaged  the drive first

2) Find utilities for recovering deleted files.  There should be a handful of them that can recover recent previous saves of the file in question.*

*Keep in mind, the more the drive is used right now the less likely it will be that you can recover a previously saved version.

3) If you have copy of the large file at time of crash, a recovery expert may be able to retrieve the tables from it.  The results will be really messy, but there's probably data in there. (Is this a complex spreadsheet with macros and charts, or simple straight rows and columns of records and such?)

I am sorry I do not have time to search my drive and recommend some tools... my development machine is in disaster recovery on the bench right now ;^)

I have successfully recovered seemingly totally fubared excel spreads.  I wouldn't give up too easily ;^)


Expert Comment

ID: 33762740
Oh to hook it up as a slave while performing recovery tasks.

Author Comment

ID: 33969580
Can we split the points between the contributers?

Expert Comment

ID: 33970996
Thanks, MFredin.  I hope things worked out for you.  If they did, it would be helpful to future searchers to know what that was.
Cheers, TwoHawks

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