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xls 2003-file not in a recognizable format

Discussion in 'Software' started by angelia, Mar 3, 2011.

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  1. angelia

    angelia Private E-2

    Hi there,
    I have received an xls file created with Excel 2003, that suddenly gives me the error that “This file is not in a recognizable format”. It does open with EXCEL 2003 but in gibberish:
    4H ㌒:d π:D ϊ g‘Ρ2ξ]ΥWl£Uc λv£Τ ¥l §
    RTU?žf tˆήΐ΄1°γ"ΔϋO‡—µUϋ•˜Ή2ΩULΥ²Δε[ΚC―Τ©n΅–©ϋ ’‚IΤΆUι aη –Jέ4θ¶λΒ¥Š‚ή}Δs θώκς ¶οšu&” k τΔύ*ΐƒ.†3ξ¶Γυ ρNΓ•4

    Using Word or Notepad, it is opening in gibberish again.
    I am using only Excel 2003 (no other version) and Windows XP with XP3.
    I have tried to save the file in SILK format, html but still no results.

    Is there any possibility I can recover the initial information contained in the file? or at least part of it.

    Thank you very much in advance
  2. GCWesq

    GCWesq MajorGeek

    Are you certain it was created in Excel 2003 and not a later version, and that it was saved as an xls 2003 file?
    Can you try opening it on another computer (maybe send it to someone else if you don't have another computer you can try)?
  3. angelia

    angelia Private E-2

    Thank you very much for your reply.
    Yes, I am certain that it was created with Excel 2003 and saved in Excel 2003. I do not use another versions of Excel.
    I have tried on another computers, all with Office 2003 and I am getting the same results, opening the file in gibberish. The Microsoft Office Application Recovery does not fix the problem.

    Thank you
  4. GCWesq

    GCWesq MajorGeek

    Your last post makes it sound like you created the file yourself, but in your first post you said you received the file.
    Assuming you created it yourself, do you have a backup of it, and if so, does that open properly?
    Have you tried creating another workbook and see how that works, to see if your Excel is corrupt (you could use the repair tool and see if that works, if so). The corrupt file (which it seems to be) may have been corrupted by your Excel, if that is damaged.
    Also, do you happen to have the Office 2007 or 2010 converter on your computer.
    Is Word working OK?
  5. angelia

    angelia Private E-2

    Hi there again and thank you for your reply. Yes, I did receive the file, it was not created by myself. I have asked the person who sent it to me how the file was created. I received it damaged and unfortunately there is no backup of the file.
    Excel is working OK, I am using it on regular base, and no other problems were encountered. The "Open and repair" option did not help me to recover the data from the file. I am getting only gibberish.

    Yes, I do have the Office 2007 converter but not on the computer where the file was damaged. Yes, Word is working OK.
  6. sach2

    sach2 Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Maybe try an online converter service to see if it can recognize the document. If you get an error from a couple of them then you know something is seriously wrong with the file.
  7. MrBloody369

    MrBloody369 Private E-2

    This worked for me since I have xls files from long ago, when the newer version's don't see it as compatible file then it time to open up a gmail(google) account and upload the file to it and view it though them ^^ Then after it saved then downloaded it as what ever formate you want then it will work on your pc again .. Google rocks when it comes to compatibilities ^__^
  8. shnerdly

    shnerdly MajorGeek

    I would suggest trying OpenOffice. It's pretty good at determining what filters it needs to open most files.
  9. GCWesq

    GCWesq MajorGeek

    Hopefully one of the suggestions provided will work. At any rate, it appears that the problem is either with the computer where the file was generated, or it got corrupted in transit.
    If you have any doubts at all about the version of Excel that created the file, you could (in Windows Explorer) put an 'x' after the '.xls' to give '.xlsx', then try opening it on the computer with the converter on it.
    Have you saved the file? If so, you would have another copy of it in the email in which it was sent (or was it given to you on a flash drive, in which case you would have a copy there).
    The person who sent you the file would also have a copy of it (if it was emailed, there would be a copy in their Sent Items box as well). Can they open it OK? Can they give it to you again?
  10. angelia

    angelia Private E-2

    Hi there and thank you very much for your time and answers.

    Unfortunately, no good luck so far to recover the data from the xls file.

    I am still waiting for the results of the online converter, as suggested by sach2.

    Uploading the file on my gmail account, allows me to view it only in plain html and in gibberish.

    OpenOffice gives me gibberish too.

    Adding an x at the extension of the file, I am able to open the file using the converter but in gibberish again.

    The xls file was created with Excel 2003. The file got damaged during saving and it reached me already damaged. Unfortunately there is no other copy of the file so I can have access to the original content.

    I would appreciate any suggestion

    Thank you
  11. GCWesq

    GCWesq MajorGeek

    Do you need a working worksheet, with formulae, etc, or do you just need the values? A lot of the suggestions below will only give you the values.

    There are some suggestions on how you might recover the file here (some of these won't apply, but you might find something useful):

    More suggestions here (including some of the above) here:

    Have you tried:

    1. Open Excel
    2. On the File menu, click Open.
    3. In the Open dialog box, select the file you want to open, and click the arrow next to the Open button.
    4. Click Open and Repair, and then choose which method you want to use to recover your workbook.
    You may also be able to get the data from the file using a macro, as explained here:

    There's another suggestion here:

    You might also try sending it back to the sender and see if they can open it.

    Try the free Microsoft Excel Viewer:

    Also try this (similar to an earlier suggestion:
    In a new Excel worksheet, you can try linking to the corrupt workbook and pull the data out. You need to save the Excel file somewhere first, if not already done:
    1. Start Excel.
    2. From the File menu, Select Open. Browse to the folder with the corrupt file, then click Cancel.
    3. Select File | New.
    4. In Cell A1, enter =FileName!A1. Where FileName is the name of your corrupt file. If the "Select Sheet" dialog box appears, select the appropriate worksheet and click OK.
    5. Copy Cell A1 to the cells with the data you want to pull from the corrupt workbook.
    Now post back and say the Online Converter worked... :-D
  12. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Super Extraordinaire

    With that information, I think you will continue to see nonsense instead of an actual file.

    Unfortunately, the person who created the file and damaged it when saving it, will have to re-do it to get a readable version.
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