Crashing when Searching

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 6, 2016)

1

Pavlos reports a problem he is encountering when searching for files using Excel. In the Open dialog box of Excel you can use the search tool to find workbooks on disk. In Pavlos' case, the tool locates the desired workbooks correctly, but then always gives an error message that it has "performed an illegal operation and will shut down." This happens not only in Excel, but in Word, as well.

It's time to put on your troubleshooting hat and do some detective work. The first thing to figure out exactly when the error is occurring. If it occurs when the file is being searched for (before you try to open the file), then there is a chance the problem is with Windows, not Excel or Word. To determine if this is the case, use the Windows Search feature to locate some *.xls files. If you get the same error during the search, the problem is with Windows, and you should run the normal disk maintenance programs such as Scandisk and Defrag; this may clear up the problem.

If the error occurs when you try to open the files in Excel, then try creating a new simple workbook with only one cell filled in. Save it and try to find it. If it opens successfully, then the other files are corrupted and you should try to salvage data from that workbook into a new workbook.

If the new workbook does not open correctly, then there is a problem with your Office installation. Consider reinserting the Office installation CD and choosing the Fix or Repair Office option. Also make sure that you have the most recent service packs installed for your version of Excel.

If the problem persists, then you may need to uninstall Office completely and reinstall it.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2415) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Transposing Two Characters

If you have two characters in the wrong order, you might be interested in a shortcut you can use to switch their order. There ...

Discover More

Problems with TOC Styles

If you generate a table of contents for your document, there may be some unexpected surprises in the way the TOC appears. ...

Discover More

End-of-Month Calculations

Don't want to use the EOMONTH function to figure out the end of a given month? Here are some other ideas for discovering the ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Aligning Cells when Importing from CSV

When you import information from a CSV text file, Excel formats the data according to its default settings. Wouldn't it be ...

Discover More

Cannot Double-Click to Open a Workbook

When you double-click on a workbook in Windows, the Excel program should be started and the workbook loaded. When this ...

Discover More

Merging Many Workbooks

If you need to combine the contents of a bunch of workbooks into a single workbook, the process can get tedious. Here's a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 8?

2013-03-23 07:23:31

crackers

Comment re: Excel crashing...
For the past several months (if not years) Excel 2010, Excel 2007 and Excel 2003 (fewer times) have been crashing at various times within "normal operations".
Worst case: near the end of a relatively long VBA session.
I can find no consistency in the crash except for the message "Excel has stopped working accompanied with restart, wait for Excel to try to fix, etc". I have automatic saving going on, but it's been of little value.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.