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Word 2007:  Catastrophic failure opening documents with links to Excel

Posted on 2012-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-06-07
We have three major documents that include exhibits provided via links to Excel workbooks/worksheets.  The documents were working fine last year.

We have a new file server and with re-mapped network drives pointing to the folder with the documents and the folder with the workbooks.  Word is configured with Trusted Locations to these folders and subfolders.

When we attempt to open these files, Word stops responding.  Shutting down Word produces an error message indicating a Catastrophic Failure with a problem on line 2 and a varying column location - depending on the file we try to open.

I have run Word diagnostics and it fixed on problem.  Running it again, it fixed one problem again.  Not sure what that means.

I have run Word in safe mode with the same failure issue.

Any ideas?
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Question by:cmmcginn
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Expert Comment

by:hnasr
ID: 37752769
To rule out the possible corrupted word document.
Using a copy of the existing word document, remove links to excel docs but one and check.
Try linking  that one excel documentt to a new word document and check.
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Author Comment

by:cmmcginn
ID: 37753578
Well, we have three documents for the same client, each with links to Excel exhibits.  All three have this problem.  Documents without links are fine.  A true file corruption is unlikely.

We cannot open any of the documents containing links, so I cannot remove any links.

All of this was working fine in August, 2011.  Nothing has been done with these files since then, so I conclude that an Office update or an OS update may have something to do with it.

I'm about to escalate this to Microsoft Tech Support.

Thank you for your help.
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Accepted Solution

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dlmille earned 2000 total points
ID: 37755360
A related article with utility that assists in planting excel data/charts/images into Word templates you may find useful for future use.  It is a way to avoid link problems and bloated Word documents from embedding excel objects.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/Office_Suites/MS_Office/Excel/A_8933-How-to-quickly-and-accurately-populate-Word-documents-with-Excel-data-charts-and-images-including-Automated-Bookmark-generation.html

If you think its helpful, a YES vote is appreciated!

Dave
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Author Closing Comment

by:cmmcginn
ID: 38060505
The actual solution was to open each corrupted file in Windows 7 Wordpad (which can open Word documents), save them in RTF format, then open the RTF files in Word and reformat them - fixing all the lost formatting

I paid for a Microsft support call and this was their solution. They don't have utilities they can use to fix corrupted documents or try to figure out what happened to them.

How these files became corrupted was never determined.
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