Solved

Excel file "Document not saved"

Posted on 2016-08-06
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Last Modified: 2016-08-15
I have a user on a Windows 7 workstation trying to save an Excel spreadsheet to a network drive (samba). He gets the error message "Document not saved." He can save it to this drive/folder with a different name. He can save this file to his desktop (Redirected folder) or to another network drive. I can open/save the problem file to this drive/folder from other workstations connected to this network drive.

Permissions on the samba drive are the same for the original and newly named file. When, on Windows on the problem workstation I right-click on the file > Properties > Security, I get "The requested security information is either unavailable or can't be displayed." I can show security information if I do so on the renamed file.

Even more interesting, if I remove the original file and renamed the successfully saved file to the original name. I can no longer save it! And, the new file, renamed to the old name, will not now let me see the Security properties, even though I could see the properties when it had the other name. If I then rename it back to e.g. something.xls, I can once again update and save.

I am at a total loss as to what's going on. I can update/save other files in this folder. I can update/save this file from other workstations. I can save this file from this workstation to the same drive/folder with a different name, but I can't save this file to this folder with this particular name!! Help!
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Question by:jmarkfoley
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Expert Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 41746133
it sounds like the given filename contains one or more invalid characters hence it can't be recognised by the W7. do you mind to post the full filename or even the pathname (A-Z and a-z can be censored for privacy concern).

another possible reason is too long pathname. you may verify this by using SUBST command to redirect the full pathname to a short version while keeping the original (problem) filename.
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Author Comment

by:jmarkfoley
ID: 41746256
I wish that was it. Full pathname of "bad" file: "X:\Committee - Investment\2016 Investment Reconciliation.xls". Saving this from Excel gives "Document not Saved"

saving same same spreadsheet from Excel with filename  "X:\Committee - Investment\2016 Investment Reconciliation-booga.xls" works and file editable and saveable thereafter.

Deleting original "2016 Investment Reconciliation.xls" and renaming "2016 Investment Reconciliation-booga.xls" to "2016 Investment Reconciliation.xls" causes it to become un-saveable again.
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by:jmarkfoley
ID: 41746273
Another wrinkle: Deleting "2016 Investment Reconciliation.xls", but before renaming "2016 Investment Reconciliation-booga.xls", both files show on the workstation's Windows Explorer!

Deleting "2016 Investment Reconciliation.xls", leaves "2016 Investment Reconciliation-booga.xls" showing in Windows Explorer.

Renaming 2016 "Investment Reconciliation-booga.xls" to "2016 Investment Reconciliation.xls" causes the latter to disappear from Windows Explorer! Yet, it is visible in Windows Explorer from other workstations.

Renaming "2016 Investment Reconciliation.xls" to "2016 Investment Reconcile.xls" causes it to re-appear with the new name.

I've disconnected the X: network drive and rebooted the workstation, rebooted the samba host, reconnected the X: drive when the workstation came back up. Everything should have been reset.

What is going on? It's as if this specific file name "2016 Investment Reconciliation.xls" simply WILL NOT WORK on this particular workstation.
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Expert Comment

by:Brian B
ID: 41746407
Since it is involving Samba and not just windows, I added a couple of more groups. Hopefully that will get the attention of more experts.

It almost sounds like some sort of problem with the file allocation table. Just not sure why it would only be to problem on this station.

Not much of the solution, but it sound like permanently giving the file a new name may be the workaround.
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by:jmarkfoley
ID: 41749343
Fixed!! There was a shortcut on the user's desktop to this file. The user deleted and re-created the short cut and all is well. He can access the the file with its original "2016 Investment Reconciliation.xls" name.

Now, I specifically DID NOT use the shortcut during my experimentation. I went directly to the folder on the X: drive to open and (attempt to) save the file. Ironically, I did not want to introduce an additional layer of possible problems by using the shortcut.

It seems that if a shortcut exists for a file, attributes of that shortcut are applied to the file whether or not the file is accessed via the shortcut. Does that seem possible?

Before I close this question, I would like someone to comment on this. This seems beyond crazy to me, but then again, this is Windows.
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Expert Comment

by:Brian B
ID: 41752721
Lesson learned about reproducing the problem, I suppose.

The shortcut simply could have been corrupted.

The shortcut and file don't normally have the same properties in Windows. Files normally inherit the properties of the folders where they are contained.
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Author Comment

by:jmarkfoley
ID: 41753964
The shortcut certainly must have been corrupted, which is likely why it started working when he recreated it. The puzzler is why I had problems saving and renaming the file when not using the shortcut ? Problems that went away when the shortcut was recreated.
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Accepted Solution

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Brian B earned 500 total points
ID: 41756386
Without getting into too long of an explanation, basically windows caches certain information about files and their location. So that cached information may have been corrupted by the bad shortcut.

Anyway, as you saw sometimes it is best to just start over again and see if the problem goes away.

Glad you found your solution. Please don't forget to accept the answers that helped so the question can be closed.
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