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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I'm not sure if this is really Excel-specific or a general MS Office issue but this incident occurred with an .xls file so I'm posting here.

    One person is editing a spreadsheet stored on a network server (not using a DMS). At the moment he saves it another user opens the same file. The second user does not get a read-only message or any other indication that the file is in use. He begins editing.

    The first user discovers that he cannot save his work, either as the original file or a new file; not even to a different location. The second user also is unable to save his edits. The original file is corrupted and unusable by anyone from that point onward.

    Questions: Has anyone encountered this scenario? Is there a way to prevent it? Is there a way to warn the second user? Is there a way to recover the original file? Microsoft support has not been helpful so far.

    Thanks.
    Deborah Friedman
    Application Engineer
    "Any solution to the problem, changes the problem"

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    An Excel workbook is locked as in use while someone has it open, and released when the user closes it. So under normal circumstances the problem that you describe shouldn't occur.
    But perhaps there is a very short interval of time during the saving of a workbook that it is unlocked - this can't be more than a fraction of a second. If another user manages to open the workbook during that very short interval, the situation becomes unpredictable.
    If my guess is correct (and I'm by no means certain that it is!), it isn't possible to avoid it - it's a glitch that should happen very rarely. Retrieving a backup copy is the best you can do (perhaps your network makes shadow copies).

  3. #3
    Platinum Lounger
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    I have heard of issues like these on some networks, but it seems very rare. I think either of the users could have "saved" the file by copying all sheets to a fresh workbook and saving that new workbook.
    Jan Karel Pieterse
    Microsoft Excel MVP, WMVP
    www.jkp-ads.com
    Professional Office Developers Association

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Thanks. You've basically confirmed my own assumptions which is what I told the people involved. I think if these files were being managed by our DMS the problem would be averted but they have security concerns and will not use it.
    Deborah Friedman
    Application Engineer
    "Any solution to the problem, changes the problem"

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