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Excel files hang when opened on a network share

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3,677 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi.  As of yesterday Excel files on a network share wont open, other documents, such as Word, open fine.  
If the Excel file is copied from the Network location and pasted onto the desktop it opens normally.  Any ideas on why this might happen?
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independent Technology Professional
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Commented:
First thing that popped into my head was antivirus. Try disabling it temporarily.
Just to narrow the scope, does this happen for all users on all computers? If not, you need to narrow down if the problem is a user or a system.
What exactly happens when you try to open an Excel file from the network? If there is an error message, please post.

Author

Commented:
It is happening to both users who have full rights to the share.  They were able to open and work on the Excel files from the location a couple of days ago.  The file eventually opens after about 20 minutes.  No error message.
Justin OwensITIL Problem Manager

Commented:
Does it happen only when "double clicking" the icon on the share?  If Excel is opened to a blank document, and then File ... Open (or Office Button ... Open, depending on version), does the delay exist there, too?  If the file(s) are on a different network share on a different server, does the delay still happen?

DrUltima
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independent Technology Professional
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Commented:
Can anyone else access these files with no problems? Also can they create a new file and save it there and open it okay, or does it cause delays.

I'd still try disbaling their anti-virus and retest. Its usually quick and easy to check.

Author

Commented:
Disabling the antivirus didnt resolve the issue...  One of the users was able to create an Excel file locally, copy it, paste it on the network share and was able to open it fine.
Justin OwensITIL Problem Manager

Commented:
MYCU,

Would you mind terrible addressing the questions asked in post http:#a35477714 ?

Respectfully,

DrUltima

Author

Commented:
Does it happen only when "double clicking" the icon on the share?  If Excel is opened to a blank document, and then File ... Open (or Office Button ... Open, depending on version), does the delay exist there, too?  If the file(s) are on a different network share on a different server, does the delay still happen?

Not at all,
 It happens (the delay exists) whether the file is double click or access directly from  Excel opened to a blank document, and then File ... Open.

I dont have a different server to test it on, but when the file is copied from the network share to a pc the file opens normally.

I noticed that the time delay it takes to open the file is correlated to its size.  e.g. a 72 kb opens almost immediately whereas a 3640 kb spreadsheet takes about 3 minutes.

Justin OwensITIL Problem Manager

Commented:
Since you don't have another server to copy this to, is it safe to assume that your server is not only a file server but also a DC, DNS, DHCP, etc.?  If so, what other Roles and Services does it host?  Each of these play into the network responsiveness and will give us clues where to look.

DrUltima
Justin OwensITIL Problem Manager

Commented:
Additionally, what is the OS of the server and client(s) and the version of Excel?

DrUltima

Author

Commented:
Correct, the server is temporarily acting as a File server and a DC.  The OS of the server is Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2.  The clients OS is Windows XP Pro.  Excel is 2003.
Justin OwensITIL Problem Manager

Commented:
Since the problem first occurred 4/25/2011 ("as of yesterday"), I am going to ask if anything changed then (adding a new role, for example)?  Also, any reboots since the problem first manifested?

Author

Commented:
No changes except work done on Excel spreadsheets. The department clients machines have been rebooted since, so has the server.
Justin OwensITIL Problem Manager

Commented:
Have you used network monitoring to see how many open, concurrent threads you have on that server?  Windows 2003 is limited to just under 4000 threads (not users or computers) at a time by default.  Because the server is also a DC, etc., it could be that the larger files cause too many threads to be opened.

Have you done any tweaking of this server to try to address this?

DrUltima

Author

Commented:
Not yet, but that sounds like a reasonable cause and effect for the issue.  I'll look into it.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independent Technology Professional
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
At least if two users have the same problem from two different systems, we know it isn't specifically PC related.

A lot has happened on this thread, so I might have missed it, but also try disabling antivirus on the workstation (and server, if you have it). It also might pay to have a look at the network load in task manager, and even the switch, just to see if anything is busier than normal.
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Author

Commented:
Uninstalled the interferring patch.
We are experiencing the exact same symptoms, would you mind identifying the patch you uninstalled?
Nevermind, found that it was the Microsoft Office File Validation Update. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2501584. Thanks for pointing in the right direction.
I had the same problem this afternoon. To fix I had to uninstall the Microsoft Office File Validator Add-in that had automatically installed via update. Everything is back to normal now.
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