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I have an Excel file (file A) with a link to another Excel file (File B). File B is on a SharePoint server that is no longer available and when I open file A it tries to connect to the missing SharePoint server. No error is produced, and Excel then proceeds to display nothing, as if there is no file open. However, file A is open because when I try to close Excel it prompts me to save changes.

Both file A and B are Excel 2003 and I am using Excel 2007.

EDIT: I have now used both Excel 2007 and Excel 2003 to open the file. While 2007 behaves as previously described, 2003 crashes on opening the file, whether macros or links are enabled or disabled.

I should also mention that I tried opening older version of the file, which were clearly fine at some point (since people modified them), and the behavior remains the same. This leads me to conclude that it is strictly related to the link to the unavailable file.


I have two questions:

  1. Why does the file not show up?
  2. How can I disable the data link, which I suspect has something to do with the malfunction (all buttons on the ribbon are disabled, including the links one)?


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Take a look at this Macrosoft article.

To temporarily prevent the recalculation of files last saved in an earlier version of Excel so that you can update or remove external links, set the calculation environment to Manual. To temporarily set the calculation mode to Manual, follow these steps: Close all the workbooks that are open. Create a new workbook. On the Tools menu, click Options. Click the Calculation tab, and then click Manual. Click to clear the Recalculate before save check box, and then click OK. Open your saved workbook.

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Thank you, JonnyBoats. Unfortunately, this has not worked as I was hoping. – alexsome Dec 29 '11 at 7:58
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This is not a solution to the actual problem, rather a description of how I resolved it. I modified the hosts file to point to the missing SharePoint server. This allowed me to open the problematic file and relink to files on the new SharePoint server.

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