Excel 2003 cannot save single file

gdctech used Ask the Experts™
I have a customer who cannot save a file in Excel 2003
She was recently upgraded to Windows 7 and, ever since then, every time she tried to save ONE particular file, she gets Microsoft Excel has stopped working and we have to force it to close.
The file is on a network drive, a department shared folder
Her colleagues can save and modify the file without any issues (however they do not have Win7 yet)
She can open and modify other Excel files on that folder without any issues
The file does the same thing under my profile using administrative rights
I tried running a repair on Excel and it didn't work
Uninstalled and reinstalled Excel still nothing
She has admin rights to that folder so that should not be the issue

Anyone has any ideas?
Appreciate the help.
Thank you
Seemed like a compatibility
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With Windows explorer under your or her profile, copy that file and paste it using the right mouse click options to do so.  Do you get any errors, or does that work fine?

If you can make a successful copy, then delete the original file.

If you can do that, then rename the file, itself, back to the original.

Were you able to do all those operations?

Have to tried opening Excel in safe mode and verify if the same issue occurs. Safe mode test whether an add-in is causing the problem:

Start Excel in safe mode"

1.  windows key + r (this will bring up the "run" dialog box.
2.  In Windows 7, type excel.exe /s and press Enter.
3.  Check the title; it should read Book1 - Microcoft Excel (Safe Mode).  
4. Click File, and then select Open.
5. Locate the Excel workbook to test and open it.

Open the Excel workbook and test.  If the error no longer occurs, you may have too many add-in programs or a specific add-in may cause this error.  You can follow the steps in this Microsoft online article to unload add-in programs:


I hope this helps


Thank you Dave,
We were able to copy and paste and save on her C drive with no issues
Deleted the original file
But when we renamed the file and placed it back on the network drive it gave her the same error.

Thanks for the help,
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Top Expert 2012

Ok - that was an awkward but hopefully effective approach at demonstrating permissions should be working.  The next step would be to check to see if add-ins are causing the problem.  See comfortjeanius' post (above) - start safe mode or disable all add-ins and exit/restart Excel and try it again.



I opened Excel in safe mode and tried to open the file in safe mode and it still gave the same error.
I also tried to remove the Office File Validation Add-In for Office 2003 and change the registry key for that but it still did not work.
She keeps trying to save that file and the file freezes.

Anymore ideas?

Try checking whether you exceed certain Excel 2003 limits, such as runnning too many calculations in the workbook. Some of these limits are as follows:

    The maximum worksheet size limit is 65,536 rows by 256 columns.
    The total number of characters that a cell can contain is 32,767 characters.
    The maximum selected range in a calculation is 2,048.
    The maximum nested level of functions in a calculation is 7.

For a full list of Excel 2003 specifications and limitations, read the information in this Office Online article:
Try using msconfig to do a clean boot.  This will check to see if there is some software on their computer causing the problem... ie virus scanner or some obscure windows servce.  

It might be helpful to find out what makes this file different from all the other excel files she can open and close without problems.  

Have you tried copying it to their desktop and opening it there?  

How about security settings within Excel?



We checked the security settings but nothing seems to stand out.
We saved the file on her desktop and she still had issues saving it. The file opens with no issue but it just freezes when saved
The file is within Excel Specifications and limits
I have not tried a msconfig, that will be next
It seems like some kind of OS issue since it was working fine until she was upgraded to Windows 7
Have you updated office completly?  This kinda sounds like this old issue:

We had updated Office and that fix still did not work
I finally had the customer create a brand new file and copy and paste the information
It was a very lenghty process but it is now working...
Thanks everyone for the help and advice


It is more of a workaround than a solution

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