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Problem with Excel saying files are corrupt

Posted on 2011-03-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have had a few different users let me know that they are unable to open some Excel files because Excel says they are corrupt. The common configuration of the users that I have seen having this problem is Windows 7 Pro/Enterprise 32 bit and Microsoft Office 2007 with all available updates. I have taken these same "corrupt" files and attempted to open them on a Windows 7 machine running Office 2010 and run into the exact same problem. However, Windows XP machines running Office 2007 do not appear to have the problem. The problem happens even if you save the emailed file directly on the computer first and then open or if you open the file directly in Microsoft Outlook. The exact sequence of messages after you open the file are the following:

"Excel found unreadable content in 'nameofexcelfile.xls'. Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook? If you trust the source of this workbook, click Yes."

after you click yes:

"Unable to read file."

after you click ok:

The workbook cannot be opened or repaired by Microsoft Excel because it is corrupt.

and all you can do is click ok.

Any help I could get in resolving this would be greatly appreciated. I will post additional relevant info as I come across it.
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Question by:Rob Sanders
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Expert Comment

by:ragnarok89
ID: 35073649
I have seen this when users open an existing file, which is corrupt to begin wth, make changes, and save it as a new file.

If your users are using an existing source file, check it.
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Author Comment

by:Rob Sanders
ID: 35073718
The files having the issue come from different sources. What should I check for?
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Expert Comment

by:chcw
ID: 35076396
Can you post the corrupt Excel file?
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Author Comment

by:Rob Sanders
ID: 35076967
Unfortunately it has confidential info in it. I will see if I can make a dummy corrupt file that I can post for you to look at.
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Expert Comment

by:chcw
ID: 35089086
If not the original corrupt PST file, but a dummy one, then I cannot analyze and see if the original one can be recovered or not.
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Author Comment

by:Rob Sanders
ID: 35089097
I'm not concerned about recovering any data as I am able to open the file properly on the Windows XP workstations, just not the Windows 7 ones.
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Author Comment

by:Rob Sanders
ID: 35096775
An interesting facet of this that I have come across, is that if I open up the Excel file on one of the Windows XP machines where it works and just resave it and then open it again on one of the problem machines, it starts working without a problem.
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Author Comment

by:Rob Sanders
ID: 35096876
I also found a couple of other EE questions that seemed to deal with this issue but neither one would fix my problem:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/Office_Suites/MS_Office/Excel/Q_26717337.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+30+7+corrupt+excel+window

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Author Comment

by:Rob Sanders
ID: 35096879
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Author Comment

by:Rob Sanders
ID: 35096904
Here is another thread that deals with this issue as well. I will keep posting them as I find them:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/Office_Suites/MS_Office/Excel/Q_24911213.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+30+7+corrupt+excel+window

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Accepted Solution

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Rob Sanders earned 2000 total points
ID: 35318405
As a workaround for this problem I loaded Openoffice on the computers having this problem. I would open the Excel file in Openoffice then save it again and the problem would go away when I would go back to Excel. I think it would be worthwhile for people looking through Experts Exchange to know of this workaround.
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