Why does Excel keep crashing?

65 pts.
Tags:
excel
excel 97
Excel error messages
Windows XP
I have a relatively small file used for work. It contains 20 worksheets (most have very little information, or none at all, which all work fine except for one of them. It WAS working fine, but now every time I try to add or delete a row (which I have to do often) Excel 'encounters an error and needs to close' when I try to save. I have tried copy/pasting the worksheet to a new workbook under a new name, I have tried deleting large chunks of it. I am no where near the information limit in terms of rows and columns. This document stops at Column I and Row 4500. There are no Vlookup links to other pages or other workbooks. It is very simple, and the only 'special features' or functions I am using are the SUM function and freeze panes on the first two rows. Please help. I need to be able to work on this file AND save it. Also, I am using Excel 97.

Software/Hardware used:
Excel 97, Windows XP (32 bit)

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

I would recommend copying the worksheet tabs to a new workbook. Save it under a different name and see if the problem continues. If it does, then try to do one tab at a time and isolate which sheet is causing the problem.

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Your MS Office application particularly MS Excel has probably encountered corrupted files or data. This corruption could have many reasons and the best thing you can do is to reinstall your copy of MS Office software and try using MS Excel again and see if it would work.

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  • FrankTheTank
    Try starting Excel in safe mode and see if you can access the database then by going to start typing the path to excel.exe and add a /s at the end kind of like this: "c:program filesmicrosoft officeofficeexcel.exe" /s And then try and resave it if that does not work close the work book out open excel select open find the file single click on it go to the drop down arrow and select repair.
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  • FrankTheTank
    Should be slashes in that C: area this thing deleted them out
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  • ATCPurdue
    I am on a network server and am not allowed access to Excel.exe itself. I did try to open via the run command and add the /s, but it kept telling me I was unauthorized. As for the other solution, I opened a New Office Document to get excel to open up, then closed out the document it created. Then I went to Open, found the file I wanted, but could not find a drop down list for repair. Anything else? And thank you for the quick response.
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  • ATCPurdue
    @ Labnuke99: Thank you, but I have tried copy/pasting in small chunks and large chunks. The problem continues. I do know which worksheet tab it is, though. I just need a way to debug it. If it helps, the only formula I use on that sheet is the Auto SUM button on the toolbar (meaning I don't actually type it out.) A current formula is =SUM(A29:A35) Then if I insert three rows at A31, it normally updates the sum and range to include the new rows. However, it broke all of a sudden. Is it possible that too many inserts into the SUM range will break it? That seems to be the only thing that doesn't work. I can enter data normally and it will save just fine. The problem only arises when I insert (or delete) a row or column. Thanks -ATCPurdue
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  • SbElectric
    Your Excel related problem intrigued me – I tried many different ways but can not break the system. The Auto Sum works very nicely and this option has been from many earlier versions of Excel. You can add many rows (or delete many rows) after defining the Formula. Of course the system will automatically adjust the new rows. For example: Your data in cols C29 thru C35. On C40 you have =SUM(C29:C35). Now you may insert 3 rows after Row 31 – the system will automatically adjust the sum to be C29:C38 & your Sum will be on Row C43. I have deleted many rows but always get correct answer. If you think Auto sum is causing the error then try at D40: =C29+C30+C31+C32+ …. You should get the correct answer on D40 also. Of course I am experimenting this on Excel 2008 on Mac computer (this is just like Excel 2007). Even leaving some blank (null value) on some column will not cause problem. The system may warn you with some warning symbol (depending on your setting preferences). If this does not work – I recommend to start afresh. There may be some unprintable character lurking in the cells. Please do inform us how you got the problem solved – I always like to hear the final solution to enhance my knowledge and understanding. PS – the only other chance (?) – if your system is treating absolute row reference instead of dynamic or relative. So when you delete rows - it can not locate it. Just a thought.
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  • Subhendu Sen
    It may be OS problem or Virus problems ! Check with good Anti-Virus.....
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  • ATCPurdue
    @ Rechil: This computer is completely clean. Our network IT administrators see to that. Thank you, though. The only problems this computer has is low memory. Still, all other Excel files work just fine. I just broke this one massive worksheet somehow.
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  • ATCPurdue
    @ sbelectric: Thank you for your input. I suppose starting over would be the best route, but I want to avoid this problem again. The one worksheet that has the problem contains multiple SUM formulae, and several of them overlap with each other. At last count, there were a total of 422 SUM formulae involved on this one worksheet. As for the absolute cell values, how would I find that out? I have gone through most of the formula cells and they appear to be correct... although I haven't looked at them after adding/deleting rows before trying to save. Thank you again for your help, and I will keep you posted on what happens.
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  • FrankTheTank
    Might be something you have to talk to the IT department about starting Excel in safe mode and seeing if you can save the data and links. And i didn't notice you were using excel 97 that tip was for 2007 sorry lol. The Repair option I think was added in 2003.
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  • ATCPurdue
    I found a solution, sort of. I was able to put the file onto a flash drive and load it into a computer with Microsoft Excel 2007. I resaved it as a 2007 document, then transferred it back to the original computer. It works just fine now. I still do not know what caused the initial problem.
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  • Subhendu Sen
    Is it possible to install again only EXCEL package and uninstall the already installed EXCEL package ! If this possible, u have only to install the very common and necessary components or go for typical installation. Not to install extra components or Add-ins. Try to remove Add-Ins also....
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  • FrankTheTank
    Good you got it figured out must of just not saved correctly for some reason.
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  • Chippy088
    Interesting. You say you are now running a Excel 2007 document file on a Excel 97 machine?
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  • ATCPurdue
    @Chippy088 Yes, I convinced our IT department to get me the free conversion addon from Microsoft that allows 97 to read the newer .xlsx files. I can't save them in that format, but I can at least read them now. I think it actually applies to all Office programs, so Word can read .docx now and PowerPoint 97 can read .pptx.
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  • DoneThat
    Glad you fixed the problem. I've had that exact problem in Excel 2003. For anyone desperate out there, here are 2 other ways that have worked for me in the past... 1) Open a new workbook, use format painter to copy all column formatss from the bad sheet to a new sheet, then copy all/paste Formula & Values (NOT Formats) to the new sheet. Not sure why this worked but copying the entire sheet to a new workbook did not. 2) Using Open Office, open the file and save in native format, CLOSE Open Office, reopen the program and the file and save in Excel format. Neither one is bulletproof every time and choice #2 required work when reopened in Excel but was better than recreating from scratch. Gary
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