Update for Excel 2010 (KB4461627) crashed with .xlsb file


Microsoft automatically updated Windows 7 PC with the update above on 5 January 2019  and the user can no longer open any .xlsb Excel file as MS Excel 2010 just hangs after opening the file on this Monday.

Uninstall the above update immediately solves the problem. Microsoft has pulled out the update on Microsoft Update Catalog on 5 January 2019 on the same day the update get installed.

How to prevent similar problem from happening again?

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Jackie ManIT Manager Asked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I do not know for sure. I do not use XLSB files myself. I have that update on my Windows 7, Office 2010 Virtual Machine and it seems to be fine.

Without the update, can you open the XLSB file, and save as an XLS file. Then close out, reinstall the update, restart the computer, open the XLS file and now save as XLSB.   What happens?
Andrew LeniartIT Consultant & Freelance JournalistCommented:
How to prevent similar problem from happening again?

The next time the update is offered by Windows update, untick it, right click and select Hide Update. It should no longer be offered.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
Daniel PineaultPresident / Owner CARDA Consultants Inc.Commented:
There is little you can do beside deactivating automatic updates and manually implementing updates after having waiting a sufficiently long enough period to ensure the update is problem free.  This of course adds significantly more manual work on you (researching individual updates to ensure no issues have been flagged, manually applying updates), but with the drastic increase in bugs coming out of Redmond in the past 2-3 years since Win10 and Office365 started pushing out continuous update, this is actually becoming a necessity rather than just an option!
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Or, perhaps, not use the binary format in this environment
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Hello Jackie,

I tried what I suggested.  I have a Windows 7 Pro 64-bit machine with Office Professional 2010 32-bit installed. This is a virtual machine and Windows / Office is fully up to date including KB4461627.

I opened an XLS file, saved it as XLSB, restarted Excel and the XLSB file opened just fine.

I noted on saving as XLSB a message that said some functions (some sort of print function) could not be saved in the XLSB format. But it all worked.

So you can:

1. Save as XLS, reinstall the update, and then save and use XLSB.
2. Leave the update hidden and carry on.

I think what happened is the XLSB had some (prior) function that conflicted with the update.
Jackie ManIT Manager Author Commented:
Hello John,

Thanks for your troubleshooting.

The problem is that the user has few hundred files in .XLSB extension and I cannot do what you have tried.
Updates can cause problems - this will not change.
Just make sure you know how to mass-uninstall these if you ever need to.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
User has few hundred files in .XLSB

So then you should hide the update as suggested earlier.
Jackie ManIT Manager Author Commented:
There is no need to hide the update as MS has already pulled out the buggy update from the MS Update Catalog.

My question is on how to prevent the problem from happening.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You would need to watch future updates and determine:

1. If a new update fixes the issue.
2. Hide the update if it does not.

At this point, the user with all the XLSB files needs to be vigilant and inform you what happens with a new update.

Chances are it will be Patch Tuesday, so either tomorrow or a month from now.
Daniel PineaultPresident / Owner CARDA Consultants Inc.Commented:
There is no way to avoid such issue from reoccurring beside manually controlling the update process after validating the update(s) yourself.  Bugs are a reality with any update, and actually becoming more and more of an occurrence.  Pretty much every update in the past 2-3 years have solved issues, introduced feature while at the same time breaking something.

You can switch update channels to semi-annual so you aren't impacted the minute new updates are release and give Microsoft a chance to pulled flawed updates, but even that won't necessarily protect you as even with the semi-annual channel bugs are still being released (even with a 6 month buffer).

But basically those are your 2 only options.

What I've actually done is get PCs to a stable build where everything appears to work properly and then stop all updates.  It is not ideal, but at least the computers work and don't suddenly break.  From time to time (maybe 2 times a year) I will do some updating tests, read online, and then push out a build update to what I consider to be a stable build at that point in time.
If it was easy to prevent, Microsoft's testing algorithms would have caught the error - but they haven't.
Ask a professional software tester and he'll tell you that it is impossible to test all possible use cases and constellations. Nothing you can do but prepare for a fast rollback.
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