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Error in Excel 2003 but not 2010

Posted on 2011-03-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I created a workbook that has a ton of formulas and a few macros in Excel 2003 and tested the workbook with the end user community.  After we released the workbook for production processing people in the field started getting the following error after saving and trying to reopen:

Excel found unredable content in 'filename.xls' Do you want to recover the content of this workbook?

This is happening intermittently and the file open no problem in Excel 2010 without any error's reported.  I have to figure out why this is happening as there are about 100 instances of this workbook in the field right now and this is happening to about 15 of the workbooks.  I did find circular references in one case but not all when I opened in 2010 and eliminating all circular references fized the problem and I was able to open in 2003 again without losing anything.  This was only true in one case though and I can not find circular references in any of the others that had errors.  Has anyone ever seen this happen before and is there a logical solution?
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Question by:R_M_Ron
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Expert Comment

by:jppinto
ID: 35205581
Please check this:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929766

jppinto
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FernandoFernandes earned 500 total points
ID: 35205803
check the names collection through VBA,
Alt F11
Ctrl+G
Type: ?activeworkbook.Names.count
then enter.
if the number is higher than 65472, then u need to clear names until the number is below that. You can only do it with Excel 2007 or 2010, since 2003 will always think the file is unreadable.
More:
excessive number of formats/validations/conditional formatting, also can break the file, but not make it unreadable. The best suggestion is if you could, upload the file, then I can make thorough investigation with it.

if u cant, u could do it yourself starting with check compatibility under File/Info (Office 2010)...

and you should have all your field usin the same version of Excel, it's safer! And the file itself should be the new xml formats instead of the old format as the new format does not have the limitations mentioned in this post.

hope it helped somehow!
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Expert Comment

by:clarkscott
ID: 35205981
I suggest you do all the editing using Excel 2003.  2010 will 'convert' everything upon opening, but 2003 won't convert 2010 stuff (even if the code is the same).   This also pertains to REFERENCE Files.  If you do all your work in 2003, 2010 will (hopefully) automatically assign the 'next version' of the ref. file.  This process does NOT work backwards.  If you write in 2010 (even if in 'converted mode'), the reference files 2010 uses will crash in 2003.

I don't know if this is your solution... but it's good to remember.

Scott C
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Author Comment

by:R_M_Ron
ID: 35212744
Thank you everyone for the leads here.  I am getting back to this tonight and will try all of these solutions (I got bogged down with server admin tasks today so looks like I will be working this late again tonight)
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Author Closing Comment

by:R_M_Ron
ID: 35212880
This ended up being related to Defined Names that were causing problems with data validation ranges.  The defined names were in an older version (that I did not create) and I never removed the references to the names.  Not sure why they were corrupting the file but when I deleted the invalid named ranges in 2010 and saved, I was able to open in 2003 again and could not cause the same problem.  You saved me a TON of headache. THANKS!!!!!
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by:FernandoFernandes
ID: 35212900
:)
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