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Shared Excel spreadsheet crashes for one user

Posted on 2011-02-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I'm struggling with a user profile at one of our clients. This particular user opens a spreadsheet that is shared on the network. It is configured as a shared workbook to enable multi-user access.

Test done so far...

Updated all service packs on user's PC - No change.
Logged in as administrator - works ok
Logged in as a different user - works ok
Tested assigning user admin rights on machine - still crashes
Tested creating user new local profile by renaming the local C drive folder for this user - still crashes
Logged onto a different PC as the user - crashes here, too.
Explicitly gave user full rights to the network file - still crashes.

Backed up user's exchange mailbox, documents, favourites and deleted user from Active Directory. Re-created user with same name (obviously creating a different SID) and imported mailbox, documents & favourites - Still crashes!

Created a test user account in AD and logged in on user's workstation as this test user. Imported user's documents. Doesn't crash under this login.


Where do I go from here? ... it looks as if the fault is related to the user's actual real-world name, not the user's profile data.

I'm guessing she won't want to change her name so does anyone have any ideas?
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Question by:edz_pgt
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by:edz_pgt
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Found something interesting.....

If another user opens the document and switches off the Workbook Sharing feature (and therefore clearing the change history log), then the faulty user can open the document. However, once the sharing is re-enabled, the fault returns for this user even though the file size is smaller which indicates that the change log has been erased.

What could possibly be the problem with this spreadsheet and this user's name?
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rspahitz earned 500 total points
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I've seen odd things with shared workbooks, but not this.  from the descriptions, it would lead me to believe that it is a Windows permissions issue.  How hard would it be to recreate this user, by maybe re-imaging (or backing up the user settings) then deleting and re-creating?

Another possibility is to recreate the workbook to see if somehow something related to the user is embedded in it.  Oh, do other shared workbooks (like maybe a blank test one) also crash?

Or maybe it's something with network permissions?  I've noticed some issues with Windows 7 not playing nicely with Windows 2008 server and WinXP systems.  And on my home Win7 system I can't even access MyDocuments from certain applications! UGH! (But I can access the Documents directory that My Documents points to!!!)
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Hi - thanks for the reply.

Firstly, I've already tried deleting the user and recreating her. Strangely this didn't have any effect.

I could try copying and pasting the spreadsheet contents to a new workbook although it would mean losing the change history log. I might back it up and try it as a test though.

Testing sharing with a blank file would be a good idea. I don't know if any other files are shared.

I don't think it's a permissions thing. I've tried playing with them already and this user is no differently set up than the test user I created. The test user works perfectly.
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Oh, ans it's a WinXP and SBS2003 environment, so no problems likely from Win7, Vista or Server 2008 platforms.
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Empty workbook set to shared mode works fine.

I'm going to look at recreating the spreadsheet by copying and pasting the contents out to a new workbook now.
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Copied all sheets from existing workbook to a new workbook.
Enabled sharing.

WORKS FINE! :)

Thanks for your help!
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by:rspahitz
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cool!  glad you were able to work that out...it's amazing how often stupid problems seem to get embedded into files and cause these types of side-effects.
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