Excel Spreadsheet corrupted (.xls)

5 pts.
Microsoft Excel
Hello all and thank you in advance for your help. One of my customers has an Excel 2003 document that appears to be corrupt. When I open the excel document I get the following error: "The file you are trying to open, 'database.xls' is in a different format than specified by the file extension. Verify that the file is not corrupt and is from a trusted source before opening the file. Do you want to open the file now?" I click yes and the file does open but it has totally lost its formatting and has strange characters throughout the document - I believe it to be corrupt. Example of contents:
€HƒÄ0_^[ÃÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÌH‰$ UVWHƒìP3íH‹ñHƒËÿH‰¬$€  HÿÃf9,Yu÷HD$xH [üÿÿE3ÉH‰D$@H„$€E3ÀH‰D$8H‰l$0HÇÁ €ÇD$(   Û‰l$x‰l$ ÿ ?úÿÿ‹ø…Àu'H‹Œ$€DH H æûÿÿE3À‰$(H‰t$ ÿ  úÿÿ‹øH‹Œ$€H…Ét ÿ ßùÿÿ…ÿu ‹ÅH‹$pHƒÄP_^]à ‹ÇH‹$pHƒÄP_^]ÃH‹$p ·Ç
I have tried various methods of recovery to no avail:
  • Opening with Excel and selecting 'Open and Repair'
  • Trying to fix with Open Office
  • Trying other file extensions in case its not actually a XLS
  • Trying various "excel recovery trials" - All useless
Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can recover this document? Note: Due to the content I cannot upload it.  This is not a problem with displaying the ExtensionsHardening flag in the registry. Also, the customer does not have a backup. Thank you!

Software/Hardware used:
Excel, Windows

Answer Wiki

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

You could try looking at the solutions listed in an earlier post on this site.

Or try this
https://www.xlsrepairtoolbox.com/ – Excel Repair Toolbox

Discuss This Question: 7  Replies

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  • danieljones

    There is no such option apart from editing the registry for the excel security directory.

    2,840 pointsBadges:
  • clark445kent

    Same query has already been asked here: https://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/itanswers/how-to-repair-corrupt-ms-excel-2003-xls-file/
    I hope it is helpful for you to solve your issue.

    Note: Before asking a new question please check Search option on the website. Similar kinds of queries are already there. 

    Thanks & Regards
    Clark Kent
    8,235 pointsBadges:
  • Subhendu Sen
    You have tried your best, seems that you have to create the file again/ get the file from the source from where you got it earlier.
    142,210 pointsBadges:
  • ToddN2000
    You may be out of luck. You can try to get the file from the source again or possibly a back up. If that is the case you may have to re-create the missing data to bring it up to date.
    136,240 pointsBadges:
  • Subhendu Sen
    The .xlk file is backed up spreadsheet that contains the contents of your file before the last save. Is the file last backed up by any means, you can try to recover the same with this help.
    142,210 pointsBadges:
  • CharlieBrowne
    Have you tried to restore the file from you backup?
    62,385 pointsBadges:
  • Harisheldon
    If you are getting the funky characters in any document, it normally means that it is corrupted beyond repair and you start hoping and praying that there is a copy of the document on another system.
    12,915 pointsBadges:

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