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We have a few users who are sharing a rather large excel file (70 megs) via a network drive. If they save the file after each tiny modification, then there are no problems. But if they try to do a bunch (as little as 10), Excel hangs when they try to save it. Plus, the file becomes locked, so the other needs to rename the file and re-save his work. I've tried to search for this issue, but have had little to no luck.

The network drive is on a local network server (Win Server 2k3, gigabit networking) with plenty of free space, so that shouldn't be the issue. I'm kind of at a loss as to where to go from here. Is this a bug with Excel? Is it just something we're going to have to live with? Or is there something else that I/We are overlooking?

Thanks in advance...

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What version of Office\Excel? –  joeqwerty Jul 21 '10 at 15:17
    
Office 2003 (It's in the title) on Win XP Pro... –  ircmaxell Jul 21 '10 at 15:33
    
oops, sorry. missed it in the title. –  joeqwerty Jul 21 '10 at 16:30
    
Could you please give us some more details about the server. (Exact version and more info about the configuration, e.g. AD) –  Raffael Luthiger Jul 24 '10 at 16:12
    
Folder is shared via Server 2000 (I want to upgrade it, but people above me keep telling me no). We're on a full AD setup (with AD servers running on server 2k3)... –  ircmaxell Jul 24 '10 at 23:51

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted
+50

Most of the problems I've seen with shared Excel files have to do with the folder the spreadsheet is in because of temp files, so you can check to make sure all the users using the file have read/write/delete access to the folder (although I'd imagine this is already true because your users can use it normally with 1 change at a time now).

The other thing you can do to try and clean up any issues is reset the sharing. Have everyone close it out, and open it up yourself. In the sharing dialog, it will show you the users who have it open, and you should make sure it only shows yourself. Remove any other users listed as having it open. Then, choose to unshare the file, and save it. Clear out any temp files alongside the spreadsheet, and make sure you (and the other users) can open, save changes, and close the file normally one at a time. If that goes ok, have one person open it and make it shared again. That might clean up whatever issues you were having, but note that this will remove any change history if you keep it.

Another option that you might have is to upgrade Excel. I don't know how possible this is in your situation, but Office 2007 and Office 2010 will handle the large file more efficiently, and this might correct your problem if nothing else works.

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Well, everyone has R/W access. the thing is, it works fine for a week or two, then one day these issues keep cropping up. The next day it'll be fine again. I'd love to upgrade everyone to Office 2k10 (and windows 7), but unfortunately there is really little budget for it at this stage. Unless there's a very good justification that I can make, it's very unlikely to happen... –  ircmaxell Jul 24 '10 at 23:54
    
While this wasn't the exact answer, closing the file, renaming and limiting the history to 1 to 2 days seems to be much better.. I'm going to give it a week or two before I claim to have solved the problem, but it appears to be operating much better now... Thanks... –  ircmaxell Jul 30 '10 at 14:39
    
It hasn't happened in the past few weeks, so I'll chalk it up to working... Thanks again... –  ircmaxell Aug 6 '10 at 18:07
    
Well, it wasn't any of that. It happened again, so I swapped out the network cable and the port it was connected to (basically all the wiring between the computer and the switch, including the switch port) and the problem went way... So it looks like a networking issue even though the switch wasn't reporting any errors... –  ircmaxell Aug 16 '10 at 13:46

We ran into a similar problem. You're not going to believe this. When the Excel sheet locks up you need to reboot the server to clear the locks.
As far as handling the original hang error, I would look to Microsoft.

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Well, we have gotten by with renaming the file, and then save-asing the old version back to the new one. This loses the changes made to the crashed file, but it at least allows them to continue working on it... –  ircmaxell Jul 24 '10 at 3:20

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