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  1. #1
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    Excel - Illegal Operation message (Win 98 SE - Office 2000)

    I have a user who has developed a fatal problem with Excel 2000. She came in on a Monday morning to find that Excel will no longer open. She receives the "This program has performed an illegal operation..." message on top of the Excel splash screen, and Excel shuts down. The "Details" button is as helpful as ever, indicating an invalid page fault in module EXCEL.EXE. The rest of Office still functions and seems to be fine.

    One clue - double-clicking an Excel file produces the "illegal operation" message, *but* then a second message: "Cannot find the file {filename} (or one of its components). Make sure the path and filename are correct and that all required libraries are available." (Possibly a missing or corrupt DLL?)

    She says nothing was added or removed over the weekend. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling Excel. I've also tried reinstalling Windows 98 over the existing. I'm not looking forward to a complete reinstall. Anyone have a clue?

    Keith

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    Re: Excel - Illegal Operation message (Win 98 SE - Office 2000)

    Here is my boilerplate answer (solves this kind of trouble in about 90% of all cases)

    I would start with the xlb file as described below.

    Try opening Excel without any addins or hidden workbooks:

    Start, Run,
    "C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOfficeExcel.exe" /Automation

    Quotes mandatory, Note you may have to change the path.

    If your error disappears, there is either an add-in or a (hidden) workbook that is loaded upon XL's start, which bothers you.

    - Try locating the XLSTART directory, move everything from there.
    - In XL: Tools, Addins, note the ones checked and uncheck them one at the time, each time restarting XL
    - In XL, Tools, options, general. Check if a path is entered after "Alternate startup file location". Clear it.

    Another option is to open XL in Safe mode:

    "C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOfficeExcel.exe" /Safe

    Also, you might try:

    "C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOfficeExcel.exe" /Regserver

    Yet another possible problem is a corruption of your toolbar customisation file. Locate all files with extension .xlb and rename the extension(s) to something like .old
    Now try and start XL again.

    Also, NAV has shown to cause "Excel caused an invalid page
    fault in module VBE6.DLL".
    You might try disabling the Office plug in of NAV.

    This is what MS has to say about startup problems:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...b;en-us;Q280504

    And this about startup switches:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...B;en-us;q211481
    Jan Karel Pieterse
    Microsoft Excel MVP, WMVP
    www.jkp-ads.com
    Professional Office Developers Association

  3. #3
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    Re: Excel - Illegal Operation message (Win 98 SE - Office 2000)

    Jan -
    Thanks for the fast and incredibly comprehensive response. Amazingly enough - the very FIRST suggestion worked. I fired up Excel with the /Automation flag and it came right up. Strangely, I had nothing else to remove/adjust. *It just works again.* ????? Possibly some sort of Microsoft hairball caught in its throat?
    Anyway, thanks again. I'll be filing your complete response for future reference.
    Keith

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    Re: Excel - Illegal Operation message (Win 98 SE - Office 2000)

    > Possibly some sort of Microsoft hairball caught in its throat?

    <img src=/S/rofl.gif border=0 alt=rofl width=15 height=15> Thank you, "Microsoft hairball" has just gone into my lexicon!
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
    UTC -7ąDS

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    Re: Excel - Illegal Operation message (Win 98 SE - Office 2000)

    I assume you found the file that causes this then? It might be worth knowing which it was.
    Jan Karel Pieterse
    Microsoft Excel MVP, WMVP
    www.jkp-ads.com
    Professional Office Developers Association

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    Re: Excel - Illegal Operation message (Win 98 SE - Office 2000)

    No, I found nothing. I assumed that I had some detective work to do, but after I ran Excel ONCE with the /Automation flag, it all just started working again. I could no longer duplicate the original problem.

    I do have a file in the XLStart directory. I had removed it as part of my original attempt at solving the problem, but when that had no effect, I put it back. It needs to be there, anyway. There are a few macros associated with the file, but they're working too. A gremlin, I guess.

    At this point, everything seems to be working fine. Life is good.

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