Excel 2010 password protected files do not work for a different user.

I setup a new domain user on a Windows 7 Pro 64bit workstation, Office 2010.  User is a local administrator.  When he tries to open Excel files that have been password protected within Excel, the password will not work.  Log in as the old user and it works.  I also copied the .xls file to my PC and it will not take the password.

I know I could probably unprotect them as the old user, then protect them again as the new user.  But he has lots of password protected files, so that would be time consuming.  I've also never seen this behavior before where somehow a file protected within Excel is also somehow tied to that user.

Any ideas?

Brian Cox
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Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger)PresidentCommented:
Do you get an error message, and so what is it?

It is possible that the older user performed some tricks in a macro or signed the file with a digital certificate, in which case you might have to export/import the certificate for the new user.

You can check for a signature by opening the file in the old user account, go into the VBA editor (Alt-F11), and check for a Digital Signature in the Tools menu. If the top portion of the dialog has a certificate name, then tell me and I will tell you how to export the certificate so that it can be used by the new user.
pcservneAuthor Commented:
I don't think the user is nearly that sophisticated. And if that was the case, wouldn't they NOT open on 2 other different computers?
Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger)PresidentCommented:
We did not have that last bit of information. You told us that you copied it to your computer and it did not work either?

By default, if the file was created in Office 2003 or more, it would be even more problematic on the other computers, because the signature that is created by the tool provided with Office is good only on the computer on which it was created. But if the signature was created before 2003, or was created by another tool than the Celfcert application that comes with Office, the signature might have been exported to the other computerw where it works. Signatures can be tricky to work with when you do not haveall the details.

You did not answer my question. Error message? And if so, what is the message?
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pcservneAuthor Commented:
Sorry, I changed the part about working on 2 different computers in a comment, but must have not saved it.  Its very strange.  Everything points to the files were created just using the standard password protect option in Office XP (2002) and we're now using Office 2010.  It just will not work under the new user's login.  Works on my domain PC and my personal laptop.  Copying the files to different locations on his C: drive and a network drive made no difference either.  The only error message for that user is that the password is incorrect.

Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger)PresidentCommented:
Does this user use the same keyboard layout as the other ones? Here in Quebec, there are 3 different keyboards in regular use. They do not make much difference when you type standard letters and numbers, but when you get to special characters and accented characters, the 3 keyboards give different results for the same physical key. With the dots that hide a password while you are typing it, it can make the difference between something that works and something that does not when the password includes special characters.

You might try typing the password in Notepad to see if you get what you expect. And if so, try to Copy and paste it into the password dialog in Excel.
pcservneAuthor Commented:
Yes they do.  I already thought of that.  I also typed the password into notepad to make sure it appeared correct, then copied and pasted it into the Excel password prompt box.  

At least it's not a life or death problem, but this one sure has me baffled.  I've wondered if it has anything to do with the fact I copied the old user's profile to the new user.  Can't think of why that'd cause this problem, but I can't think of anything that would be the cause either.


Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger)PresidentCommented:
Have you tried changing the password on a computer where it works, and then send it to the computer/user that does not?

What if you completely remove the password?

What if you save as .xlsx?

Just throwing rocks in the water hoping to hit a fish here. I am as baffled as you are. But if one of these works, a good search might explain what was the problem.
pcservneAuthor Commented:
I can try those tomorrow.  I did save it as a .xlsx and that didn't make a difference.  I assume your other two suggestions will work, but the old user has 107 such Office files, so I was hoping to not have to do them manually one at a time.  I've already Googled the heck out of it and I don't think including the answer to those possibilities will bring anything new up - but I can try.  Whatever it is, it must be a very rare situation.

Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger)PresidentCommented:
If all the 107 Office files have the same password and you can put them in the same directory, it should not be hard to write a macro that loops through all the .xls files in the directory and unprotect them. I did something like that somewhere in the 90's.
pcservneAuthor Commented:
Never did find a solution. Also found out the files would open with the password on some other computers but not all and no pattern to it. Finally opened a support call with Microsoft and after a week and 5 engineers, no solution either. At least they waved the cost. Ended up unprotecting all the MS Office files manually and storing them in a secured encrypted share on one of their servers.

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pcservneAuthor Commented:
No solution found.
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