Here's a resource post on recovery of corrupted files. I've checked out all
the links referred to. Additional comments and suggested additions are
welcome. Some of the most frantic and desperate posts come for this and they
are frequently in tears of happiness when they get a solution.
These points cover corrupted files. Don't confuse these with problems with
slow opening, processing or closing of Excel or with Excel crashing out with
a particular file. They are usually different issues. Here we cover a case
where Excel is normally singing sweetly but with one file we get all sorts
of rude messages and just can't open it.
1. a. You can try opening with Excel 2002 (XP) which has a good record for
opening files that earlier versions regard as corrupted.
This has a very high success rate.
1.b. If a �normal� open doesn�t do the trick use:
File > Open
Select the File
Click the drop down arrow on the Open button
Select Open and Repair
Some have reported success with that Open and Repair facility that wasn�t
achieved with a �normal� open.
2. You can try a do it yourself recovery of the data but not the formulas by
opening a new workbook and trying to access cell by cell using
='C:\My Documents\Excel\[Lost File Name.xls]Sheet'1!A1
Careful with the punctuation. Copy down and across.
Off to Sheet2....(Swear on Excel Bible 2002 that you'll back up in future).
At least this method, if successful will get your data back.
3. Then there's some commercial software. I got these from:
Click on Business and then Spreadsheets.
a. Excelfix.exe is from
Free trial $89 to buy (1.91MB)
Description: ExcelFix recovers cell data from corrupted Microsoft Excel
files, including versions 95, 97, and 2000. It extracts texts, numbers, and
formulas from the damaged file. Files with damaged OLE containers are
recovered. This updated version of the demo will now show a larger number of
cells: 600 cells per file or 150 cells per sheet. There is now an option
that allows saving the recovered file in several CSV text files. And you can
diagnose files in OLE mode where the OLE structure is partially damaged.
b. ExcelRecovery 3.0.02 from:
Free trial $149 to buy (799K)
Description: ExcelRecovery fixes corrupted Microsoft Excel spreadsheet
files. It supports all modern file versions, including Excel XP, Excel 2000,
Excel 97, Excel 95, and Excel 5.0. It recovers cell data, text and numbers
as well as formulas; restores formatting; restores structure of multisheet
files; and the new ExcelRecovery is capable of recovering corrupted files
with password protection (if the password is known) and restoring worksheet
c. Excel Viewer for Excel 97/2000 from:
Description Reported to allow recovery of data from corrupted files.
Microsoft Excel 97/2000 Viewer is a standalone program that is available
from Microsoft, free of charge. You can use Microsoft Excel 97/2000 Viewer
to view, copy, zoom, and print Microsoft Excel 97 and Microsoft Excel 2000
files (Microsoft Excel versions 2.0 and greater for Windows and Microsoft
Excel versions 2.2a and greater for the Macintosh are also supported).
Microsoft Excel viewer also includes an AutoFilter feature that is similar
to the AutoFilter feature in Microsoft Excel.
4. The following allow you to send Excel Files that they recover for you (at
a cost). Diagnostic is free. No recovery - no fee. Otherwise it's going to
cost you $50 - $800 for not backing up (and you're going have to find a way
to disguise that so your boss doen't know!)
5. Microsoft has a summary of methods to recover files in three very similar
Knowledge Base Articles:
Excel 98 and earlier: Microsoft Knowledge Base 142177
XL: Summary of Methods to Recover Data from Corrupted Files
Excel 2000: Microsoft Knowledge Base 179871
XL2000: Methods for Recovering Data from Damaged Workbooks
Excel 2002: Microsoft Knowledge Base 291057:
XL2002: Methods for Recovering Data from Damaged Workbooks
Here's a summary of their methods:
a. 147216 XL: Linking to Data in a Damaged File (5.0 and Later)
b. 45557 Handling Corrupted Excel Files by Saving in the SYLK Format
c. Use the Revert To Saved Document Command to Recover Data
d. 137016 XL: Macro to Extract Data from a Chart
e. Use the Microsoft Excel 97 File Recovery Macro to Recover Information
(Excel 97 only) (This involves download of recover.exe from Microsoft
Download Centre. There's a copy in the form of Cleaner.xla on the Office
Resource Kit compact disc but you need the "Office 97 Resource Kit" book.
f. If you have the Microsoft Excel converter installed, you may be able to
open your Microsoft Excel workbook in Microsoft Word.
g. You can also open your Microsoft Excel workbook in WordPad. If the file
does open, you may be able to recover Visual Basic code in your modules and
class modules. Search for the words "Sub" or "Function" to find your code.
h. Open the File in Microsoft Excel Viewer (See above)
i. Set the Recalculation Option to Manual Before Opening the File
6. There's a free workbook re-builder available from:
7. Tom Ogilvy has posted the following links to "Yours, in desparation".
I've checked these out and amended for the new knowledge base numbering
system. There were more but one is gone and others link to
the first one (referred to above).
XL: Summary of Methods to Recover Data from Corrupted Files
XL: Linking to Data in a Damaged File (5.0 and Later)
Files Corrupted on Save: How to Troubleshoot Source of Problem
But an ounce of prevention is worth 0.453592309748811 kg of cure!
8. How to back-up, what to back-up etc is covered at:
9. There's always using AutoSave:
In Excel 2002 it's settings are in:
Tools > Options > Save
Check that you want it and adjust time to taste
Before Excel 2002 you need to have the AutoSave Add-In Installed and
Tools > Add-Ins
check "Auto-Save Add-in"
Thereafter the settings appear under the Tools Menu
If Auto Save Addin has not been used before, you may need the Office or
Excel Installation CD. I can't recall if with pre Office 2000 this was in
the standard install or whether it is in Custom. If the latter, you'll need
to re-run the install and select it.
10. For those who want a much better auto save utility:
Jan Karel Pieterse MVP has just released Version 3.0 of his AutoSafe Utility
and that's much better than the Excel on board one. Available from:
Or find it in the CompuServe Office forum:
11. Finally, there's the principle causes of corruption which are working
from files on Floppy discs. Solution to this cause is easy: "Don't work from
Copy from floppy to hard drive,
Load from hard drive,
Work on file,
Save to hard drive,
Copy from hard drive to floppy.
Microsoft barely acknowledge this in a hard to locate tip:
Bookmark it! You'll never find it again without Google. Thanks to Debra
Dalgleish who found it again recently. I suspect that this is the most
common cause of corruption.
To those who've needed to read this, Good luck in recovering your file.
Please report back to the Newsgroup with the details of your successes and
failures. It will help others with similar problems in the future.
Norman Harker MVP (Excel)
Excel and Word Function Lists (Classifications, Syntax and Arguments)
available free to good homes.
"philthedil >" <<email@example.com> wrote in message
> when i try to open a excel 2000 worksheet it says that the file is
> corrupt .Is there anyway i can still open it .
> Message posted from http://www.ExcelForum.com/