I miss my speadsheets!
January 13, 2007 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Why is Excel not opening?

So my Microsoft Excel is not opening for some strange reason. My computer is an IBM T40, operating on XP. I do not have a virus or similar problem. When I try to open excel, it first says “Please wait while Windows configures Microsoft Office XP Professional with FrontPage” then it asks me to load the “Microsoft Office with FrontPage disk” which I do not have since a friend loaded it on for me (and it was probably ripped) several years ago. I would contact him, but he is over-seas. Everything has worked fine for the past 3 years. Excel stopped working for me about a month ago. Where do I go from here?
posted by thetenthstory to Technology (7 answers total)
Response by poster: Also, I miss my spreadsheets...
posted by thetenthstory at 2:50 PM on January 13, 2007

Excel wants some part of the installation files for something, maybe some filter, maybe to check validity, something.

If you hit cancel does it specify a file it wants? (xxxx.msi perhaps)

If you can get the file name it wants you might be able to find it in an open directory on google, download the file, point excel at it.
posted by mattdini at 2:52 PM on January 13, 2007

If you need your spreadsheets right now, you can upload them to google spreadsheets..

posted by mattdini at 2:53 PM on January 13, 2007

Best answer: OpenOffice. Install it and it will handle your spreadsheets. Plus it will be legal, unlike your copy of Excel.
posted by yclipse at 3:13 PM on January 13, 2007

Seconding OpenOffice. It's free and legal.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:22 PM on January 13, 2007

I don't have a solution, but more or less the same thing happened to me at the same time. I have a legal copy of Office XP, I just can't find it :-)

I would guess this was the result of a Microsoft Update. If you can run System Restore, that might fix it. Otherwise, I agree with the other posters - OpenOffice should work unless you're doing something really fancy. It's bloatware, so that makes it a suitable replacement for Office.
posted by lukemeister at 4:56 PM on January 13, 2007

Best answer: I agree with lukemeister that a Microsoft update is probably at the root of your difficulty. They're putting a tighter and tighter squeeze on unlicensed copies of their stuff.

But please don't try to fix an obscure problem like this with System Restore. Trust me. Just don't go there.

“Please wait while Windows configures Microsoft Office XP Professional with FrontPage” is the message Office issues when it's creating its initial per-user registry settings. It will typically do this once, the first time it's used with a new user account. Sometimes doing this will make it forget that it was supposed to be opening a document.

If it's doing this for you every single time, and the process is failing because Office wants something off its installer disc and can't find it, and you don't own an Office licence, OpenOffice really is your best bet.

You might try creating a new user account, logging in with that, starting Excel (without loading a document) and seeing if it gets past the "Please wait" business without needing the installation media.

Something else you might try is applying the current Office service packs available from Microsoft's site. There are variants that don't need the original Office installation media, but they are huge (about as big as the entirety of OpenOffice).
posted by flabdablet at 11:39 PM on January 13, 2007

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