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Excel files reverting to previous versions

Excel files reverting to previous versions

Excel files reverting to previous versions

(OP)
We are having a very strange problem that I cannot replicate. A few users say that they will work on an Excel file, do work, save it, and when they re-open it, none of their work is saved. It doesn't matter if the file was saved to the desktop or a shared drive. Or cells are going blank or shifting up when they reopen. It is only with Excel files, and it is only a few users. I have tried running Virus Scans, used McAfee's Stinger to check for anything new, ran AdAware and Spybot. Went so far as to replace one user's machine, and she is starting to have the problem again. I am at wits end. The users can never replicate the problem with me sitting there, nor can I replicate the problem on my machine.  Web searches have turned up nothing. Nobody else has ever heard of this problem. Thanks for any ideas. I will gladly share more info if anybody needs it. I am about to loose what hair I have left.

Thanks for any advice,  

Tom Backus
Network Administrator
Hitchcock Industries
Bloomington, Minnesota.
backust@hitchcockusa.com

RE: Excel files reverting to previous versions

Which version/s of Excel are you using?  Are all the users running the same version of Windows and Excel, with the same service pack levels?

Also, check the default file save format, just in case it's set to something odd.  In Excel 2000, this is found on the Tools ... Options menu, on the [Transition] tab.

Finally, what happens if a user who doesn't normally see this problem, opens a file created by someone who does have it (and vice versa).

I hope these thoughts will turn up a clue for you.

Bob Stubbs

RE: Excel files reverting to previous versions

(OP)
Bob:

Thanks.  It is a mix of Excel 2000 / 2003.  Defaults are set to Microsoft Excel Workbook. Most users are on Windows XP, the one with Office 2000 is on 98.  All Office service packs have been installed.

I have not seen this problem, and opened the files they are having problems with, and it has caused no problems on my machine.

I know the 98 machines is a couple of windows updates behind, but the one with the most problems is a new machine with all updates.

Thanks,

Tom

Tom Backus
Network Administrator
Hitchcock Industries
Bloomington, Minnesota.
backust@hitchcockusa.com

RE: Excel files reverting to previous versions

OK - here's another 'shot in the dark' - I agree with you that you have a really strange problem here!

Is there any pattern to the 'damaged' files in terms of:

-- The 'Always create backup' option being switched on (File ... Save As ... Tools ... General Options ... check 'Always create backup')

-- The Default and Alternate file locations set via 'Tools ... Options ... [General] tab

-- Any template file which the users use to create new workbooks?

Also, what happens if you try 'swapping users and machines' to eliminate Windows user profile issues etc, e.g.:

-- User 'A' who has the problem, logs into the machine of user 'B' who doesn't have the problem, and vice versa.

-- User 'A' who has the problem, works on the machine of user 'B' who doesn't have the problem, but the machine remains logged in as user 'B', and vice versa.

Finally, could there be a problem with folder rights for the users with problems, e.g. they have 'create' rights to the folder in which they save a file, but not 'edit' rights?

I'm trying to think of Excel settings and options which might create this type of problem, and also to suggest the type of (often obscure!) network and user checks which I used to do when supporting Office 97 on a network a few years ago.

Once again, I hope there's something helpful in these notes.

Bob Stubbs

RE: Excel files reverting to previous versions

(OP)
Bob:

Again, some wonderful ideas.  I know that "User A" - the one with the new machine - has had problems on several machines, where other people have not had the problem.  She has used several machines around here.  

Her always create backup is turned off.  I know the default file location on all machines is "my documents" since it is just a standard MS install.

Her new machine, which she is having the problem with now, is logged in as a completly new user, one created just becuase of this problem.  It has full rights to the files on the server. Both her accounts are members of the ADMINISTRATORS group. (Not exactly my idea, but that of my supervisor.)

The template is the standard BLANK WORKBOOK template.

To be honest, the is no pattern, other then user.  The first pattern I thought I saw was memory sticks, but then she stopped using them. Then I thought the files originated from one of our vendors, but that didn't pan out. I thought maybe they were all created from CSV files to begin with, but told that is not the case.  The only common demoninator I can find is that the people with the problem are stressed to the max becuase of our new ERP systme go-live. And I am tending to lean to U.S.E.R. problems, since this can not be replicated at any given moment, it just kind of pops up, especially when they are rushed or under tension.  Problem is my supervisor, who's only qualification for being such is his name is on the building, is convinced otherwise.  :)  So goes the life of a net admin.

Thanks for all your help, I have been checking each one you send against their machines, and I am not rulling out other problems or issues, just reached the end of my list.

Tom Backus
Network Administrator
Hitchcock Industries
Bloomington, Minnesota.
backust@hitchcockusa.com

RE: Excel files reverting to previous versions

Here is one further idea ... I remember spending time teaching  people to do a proper 'File ... Save' before closing Word, Excel etc ... and seeing problems where the user's normal habit was to:

-- Click the [X] in the top right corner to close e.g. Excel
-- Wait for the 'Do you want to save changes ....' prompt
-- Click the [Yes] button

I have always said that this is a bad habit ... if the user is in a hurry (it was your mention of stress which reminded me of this!) it's easy to click the wrong button etc and hence close Excel without saving changes.  Maybe your users are doing this?

Also, do your users have the 'Autosave' add-in installed, and set to save every ten minutes or so?  I have never understood why this is so easy to set up in Word, and yet so fiddly in Excel, which probably puts people off using it!

Other than this, I have run out of ideas for the moment, so all I can do is wish you good luck with your problem ... as I said before, I have 'been there' when supporting a network in the past.  If I think of any other possibilities, I'll post them into this thread for you.

Bob Stubbs

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