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Sometimes I get some errors with Excel files.

When I try to open the file excel says that it found unreadable content. and asks if I want to recover the contents of the file and blah, blah..

so do you know why it happens?
does viruses cause this?
and do you know any solutions to repair?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 9 '11 at 13:10

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Could you elaborate on the "blah, blah.." part of your question. More specifically what was the exact error that you got. –  Joe Feb 9 '11 at 13:05
    
Where are you saving the files? External HDD, internal HDD or USB drive? Does it ever happen with any other filetypes? –  Mokubai Feb 9 '11 at 15:19

5 Answers 5

Yes there is malware that infects Excel files. That said, @Joe's request for more information would get you a better answer.

It is also possible that the file is corrupt. Is it an Excel file at all? I have seen users create files with an extension that is not correct. Just because it is file.xls does not mean it is an Excel file

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yet , it is an excel file that created by Microsoft Excel. –  namco Feb 9 '11 at 13:55

Yes, the recent Epsilon Data breach was caused by a user opening an infected Excel document.

http://blogs.computerworld.com/18093/spear_phishing_the_real_danger_behind_the_epsilon_data_breach

Spear phishing also seems to be at the root of the RSA data breach where it has been reported that an employee opened an Excel spreadsheet attached to the scam email message.

The spreadsheet contained a Flash file that exploited a bug in Flash to install malware and things went downhill from there. These spear phishing messages were sent to "two small groups of RSA employees".

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Have you considered restarting your machine ?

Shutting down you PC and re-booting may do the job.
I think, there won't be any virus thing here.

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Restaring and reinstalling didn't help –  namco Feb 9 '11 at 13:15

The viruses that I am aware of which infect Excel spreadsheets tend to destroy them totally - not leave them in a faulty state.

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I'll answer the "solutions to repair" part of the question - I find that OpenOffice or LibreOffice will open an Excel file that Excel complains about.

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