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  1. #1
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    Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    Excel sometimes "freezes", especially (= often) if a chart is / has been selected. Also frequent on a sheet with a Pivot table (selected cell does not have to be in the Pivot table).

    First notice a lockup when attempts to change sheet to another sheet don't work (ie. by clicking on a sheet tab). After that, "no" mouse operation in any open document appears to work - even the minimise & close buttons for open documents do not function.

    To recover, I have to minimise then restore the whole of Excel.

    After the restore, everything works fine (till the next lock up - which could be within a few minutes or maybe not for several hours).

    This behaviour has been long standing - fairly certain that I had it with Excel97.

    Anybody know what the problem is, and if there is a fix. Is more a pain in the butt than a serious problem, but it would be nice to be rid of it.

    David

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    Re: Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    Have you tried changing your mouse?
    This is more likely a hardware problem than specifically Excel.
    I had a similar problem a couple of years ago - Excel freezing etc - it was fixed by replacing an external cache memory module.

    zeddy

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    Re: Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    If this is with one specific workbook, then that book probably contains a corruption somewhere.
    Jan Karel Pieterse
    Microsoft Excel MVP, WMVP
    www.jkp-ads.com
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    Re: Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    Not specific to any one workbook.

    Hardware (mouse) could be the problem, except I am fairly certain I had these (intermittent) lockups when still using Excel97. That means on a completely different PC (including mouse), since I upgraded to OfficeXP / WinXP (from 97/ 98SE) at the time I bought my current PC. Except, I just remembered while writing this, that I did get the mouse a few months before the new PC!

    Perhaps I should give the "different mouse" idea a shot. I wonder which of my PC addicted teenagers can be convinced to swap mice with me for a couple of months? Hmm, on second thoughts it might be easier just to go buy a new one now.

    David

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    Re: Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    If this is happening on multiple PCs with different versions of XL, then it is most likely an interaction with some other software you installed on both PCs. Most likely, something that installed an Excel .XLA or .XLT.
    Legare Coleman

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    Re: Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29> DDS

    Also check your video drivers and settings. It seems to me that when you minimize and restore, the video screen image is refreshed and thus Excel lives again.

    This is specially true when you say that its not a single workbook.

    Tell us what you find out.

    Wassim
    <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20> in the <img src=/S/bagged.gif border=0 alt=bagged width=22 height=22>

  7. #7
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    Re: Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    A good point - unfortunately I am not an expert on video settings etc, & am not certain what I should look for. PC is now about 18 months old, so some parts are getting a bit "dated".

    Video card is a GF2 MX400. (Cardex MX400 Twinview VIVIO Golden Sample 32MB)

    Details of drivers etc as per attached

    Many thanks
    David

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    Re: Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29> David

    OK lets see what the video is doing:

    1) Right Mouse Click on an empty part of your desktop.
    2) Choose the Properties from the menu that appreas.
    3) Activate the Settings Tab.
    4) Look at the Colors and Screen Area.

    These two settings affect your video. The less colors and the less resolution the more room the system has for resources, thus you will be using less of that important resource.

    Tweak these settings until Excel is happy.

    Wassim
    <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20> in the <img src=/S/bagged.gif border=0 alt=bagged width=22 height=22>

  9. #9
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    Re: Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    Have just tried a near new MS mouse & had exactly the same problems.

    See my other post today for further details.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    David

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    Re: Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    I cut the colour depth back to 16 bit from 32 bit but it made no difference (nor did changing the mouse - as per other post). Not keen to cut colour depth further, nor to cut resolution (Viewsonic P95f would be wasted). As far as I am aware, Excel is the only program I have this problem with.

    Behaviour is "intermittent". Went a couple of days with few if any problems. But today it has been quite a pain - multiple lock-ups.

    After several dozen lock-ups today, I realised that I was pushing Excel harder than I had been over the last few days. I had 5 workbooks open - three of them around the 7MB mark, but the other two coming in at 27MB & 33MB (have them all open as I am cutting & pasting between them). Plus Outlook and a text editor open. Also at times IE & one or two other programs - none being actively used at the same time as Excel though (& lock-ups were still occurring when these other programs were not open).

    Is this an excessive load to place on Excel? I have quite a number of workbooks of up to 30MB & larger (consequence of quite a bit of data + a few pivot tables). Have been working with workbooks of that size for several years, so it had not occurred to me that the load on Excel may be causing the problems. Also the problem completely disappears (if only briefly , sometimes) if I minimise then restore Excel (which scarely seems likely to affect the load placed on the system).

    I would be interested to hear whether 30MB workbooks are considered unusually large or not. Do others work with workbooks this size or bigger? Would be a pain for to have cut them down further - have already split the original data in 3.


    FWIW I checked the system performance in the system monitor. CPU usage was only running at c. 17% & PageFile usage was about 227MB (cf. 0.5GB physical ram). Both figures were pretty stable - did not appear to change when a lock-up occurred. Minimising & restoring Excel had not apparent effect on either CPU or PF usage.

    Currently PF usage is running at 165MB without Excel open - not all that much less (OL + Text editor + IE open).

    Be interested in any further comments on this.

    David

  11. #11
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    Re: Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29> David

    Hum!!!

    OK let me get back to you over the weekend, I am doing something here, and I need to read your post a bit more carefuly.

    I'll be back over the weekend.

    Wassim
    <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20> in the <img src=/S/bagged.gif border=0 alt=bagged width=22 height=22>

  12. #12
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    Re: Lock ups - have to minimise & restore to recover (2002 / WinXP)

    A further result - since I am now monitoring the situation.

    Today I have taken care to keep the number of workbooks open to a minimum. Despite this, the problems have persisted, even with only two small workbooks open (183kB & 2.3MB respectively). Even went to the extent of rebooting, opening only the two workbooks & leaving Outlook closed. Still problems persist.

    One point I forgot to mention yesterday, was that despite say 5 workbooks open (two around the 30MB mark), Excel remains responsive (other than the lock-ups); ie. no noticeable slowdown - just as responsive as when I have only one small workbook open (other than things like open & save etc, which obviously take extra time with multiple MB's involved. Also sometimes RE-applying an Autofilter can bog down on a big spreadsheet). Which is another reason I have never considered that Excel was struggling.

    Of course I do have the usual things running in background - AVG, WinZip Quick Pick, Quicktime, Creative Taskbar (ex Audigy), Winamp Agent, Network & cable modem NICs, etc. Also - I just noticed InterVideo WinCinema Manager that I do not recall putting there! (though I have played the occasional DVD on the PC). Some of the media stuff I am happy to dump (if I work out how to).

    Otherwise the PC is fairly clean. I do not play games on it (though my children have played one or two on rare occasions - their own PC's are better spec'd for games), or visit dubious sites (if I can avoid them). I checked the PC with Spybot only a few days ago. Only thing that it objects to is a few Creative "NewsUpdate" Registry Keys (presumably ex Audigy) that Spybot considers "Adware/possibly Spyware". I doubt they are causing any problems or pose any threats (Windows Media Player, which I do occasionally use, is probably a bigger "issue"!).

    David

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