Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Accessing a Problem Shared Workbook.

Accessing a Problem Shared Workbook

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 4, 2014)

Kim has an Excel workbook that she later set up as a shared workbook. The workbook worked just fine for a while, then all of a sudden users get the error message "Excel.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows" when they try to open the workbook. Kim is wondering how she can get the workbook open.

Unfortunately, Kim, it sounds like the workbook has become corrupted in some way. This doesn't always happen with shared workbooks, but there have been reports that corruption is more likely in such workbooks than in non-shared workbooks.

When a workbook is corrupted, your options are very limited. In a perfect world, you could simply ignore the corrupted one and use your backup copy of the workbook, instead. If you don't have a backup (meaning, you don't live in a perfect world), then you may need to resort to more drastic measures. The following link, at the Microsoft Knowledge Base, can help you if you are using Excel 97:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/142117

If you are using Excel 2000, use this page instead:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/179871

For users of Excel 2002 and Excel 2003, use this page:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/820741

There are also general ideas you can glean from several other Web sites, such as these:

http://www.jkp-ads.com/Articles/CorruptFiles.asp
http://www.fdrlab.com/tips/excel.html

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3154) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Accessing a Problem Shared Workbook.

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. ...

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