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Cannot open Excel or Word Files

by sand$ / March 11, 2007 5:18 AM PDT

I am running Windows XP Home Edition and Microsoft Office 2003. Suddenly I am no longer able to open any of the files I have created with Excel or Word. It is basically the same with both Excel and Word. Here's what happens: I can open Excel, create a new file, and save that file, but if I try to open the file that I just created everything just hangs up. I do see a message near the bottom of the Excel window saying that it is scanning the file for viruses...but the scan never ends. If I manually terminate Excel, then open Excel again and try to open the file, I get a message saying that the file has been damaged and asking me if I want to continue trying to open the file. When I answer yes to the question, it once again displays the message about scanning the file for viruses and again it hangs up. I have gone to the place where you can re-enable disabled files, re-enabled the files, and tried again to open them with the same result.

I have also run a "Reinstall/Repair" option from the original Office CD, but that didn't change anything either.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Cannot open Exceo or Word Files
by sand$ / March 11, 2007 5:23 AM PDT

I should add that I am running Norton System Tools and I have disabled Norton Anti-virus and tried to open Excel and Word files with the same result, i.e. it hangs when it says it is scanning the file for viruses. What software is actually doing the scanning when you try to open an Excel or Word file? Is it Norton, or is that something built into Office?

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Re: can't open Word documents
by Kees Bakker / March 11, 2007 5:52 AM PDT


I'm sorry, but it's truly the Norton software that does the scanning. Did you really and explicitely disable it's Office plugin? That's recommended nearly everywhere I look, like in

A nice cause (My Documents folder inside My Documents folder) is documented in including a solution, albeit with another antivirus. Worth a check.

If none of these work, I'd totally uninstall Norton and see if that makes a difference. Then reinstall it. If it comes back, either contact Symantec or switch (temporarily or permanently) to another antivirus to see if that has the same problem. Trying AVG Free or just as free Avast! is free (and keeping it in stead of Norton is free also, although you might find reasons to prefer a payed program like Trend or Panda or Kaspersky or Norman or NOD32, to name a few good ones).

In the future: when asking about a problem, better state it clearly and completely, including the full and exact text. That's necessary to search for a solution using google. In your case, this seems to be "requesting virus scan" and not "scanning the file for viruses".

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Re: can't open Word Documents
by sand$ / March 11, 2007 6:26 AM PDT

Kees...Thank you so much for your reply. The first link in your reply was what did the trick, i.e. the need to disable Norton from scanning office files.

I'm sorry that I was not as exact as I normally am when I try to describe a problem. I was actually trying to help someone else and I did not accurately recall the message that was coming up on her computer when it hung up in Excel while I was at her house trying to help.

I just called her with the info you led me to, and over the phone we figured out where she need to go in order to disable that part of NAV. She is quite happy, and so am I.

Thank you again...Sand$

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Now let her contact Symantec ...
by Kees Bakker / March 11, 2007 6:57 AM PDT

to ask what the possible causes of this behavior can be and what to do about it. After all, she doesn't pay for a security program to disable the parts that don't work, does she? She pays for the full working suite and for customer support.

Thanks for letting us know.


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