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excel losing data?

Posted on 2011-09-27
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We have a client that requested a restore from a backup (shadow copy) of an excel file that appeared to have lost data. It's a shipping record sheet that is always kept up to date. So it should have data on today's date.

I restored to requested date and several other dates. Each file that is restored has lost exactly a months worth of data. So if I restore to 9/23, the last data entry was 8/23, or restore to 9/19 last data entry was 8/19. They were positive that at least on 9/9 data was 100% current. Restored to 9/9 and behold, data only shows 8/9.

Has anyone ever encountered this?


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Question by:deanavey
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LVL 85

Expert Comment

by:Rory Archibald
ID: 36710580
Are the date values manually entered, or are they formulas?
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36710590
It looks like its just manually entered.
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LVL 85

Expert Comment

by:Rory Archibald
ID: 36710607
Is it a Shared Workbook?
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:Patrick Matthews
ID: 36710622
1) Is this workbook using the Share Workbook "feature", or has it ever used it in the past?

2) Is there any VBA code operating on this workbook?
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36710653
It is on the file share yes so technically everyone has access. They claim only 1 user ever access that file though. And now that I've RDP into her PC, it looks like shes the only user that uses excel 2003 instead of 2010 like the others. I don't know if this makes a difference.
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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:Patrick Matthews
Patrick Matthews earned 125 total points
ID: 36710679
>>It is on the file share yes so technically everyone has access.

Not quite what I meant.  Excel has a Share Workbook feature that enables >1 people to edit a file at the same time, but no one I know recommends it, because it leaves workbooks dangerously unstable.

>>They claim only 1 user ever access that file though.

Let's hope so :)

>>And now that I've RDP into her PC, it looks like shes the only user that uses excel 2003 instead of 2010 like the others.
>>I don't know if this makes a difference.

It shouldn't...
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36710705
1) Is this workbook using the Share Workbook "feature", or has it ever used it in the past?

yes I just checked and it is

2) Is there any VBA code operating on this workbook?

Absolutely none. All data is entered manually with the exception of simple math formulas like =SUM
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36710727
Just found this: under "who has this workbook open now"

User 1 - 9/27/11 (so today's date, which I do have the document open at the moment)
and user 2 - 4/15/2011 9:03am

user 2 doesn't have the workbook open and especially not from April!

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LVL 92

Accepted Solution

by:
Patrick Matthews earned 125 total points
ID: 36710737
My standard screed about "Share Workbook":

---------
The consensus opinion of Experts here is that using 'share workbook' should be assiduously avoided.  This is a poorly implemented feature in Excel that leaves workbooks highly vulnerable to corruption.  If true multi-user capability truly is needed, then the best practice is to use a database platform such as Access, SQL Server, MySQL, etc.

Just about the only use for shared workbooks endorsed by the Experts here is to enable 'track changes', and even then, the workbook should still not be used by multiple users at the same time.

It is only a small exagerration to say that there are only two kinds of shared workbooks: those that have become corrupted, and those that soon will be :)
---------

In all seriousness, using that feature is asking for trouble, and I think your users have found it.

Patrick
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Author Closing Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36710788
Ok, thanks for your help! We'll consider this a loss and lesson learned!
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