Operator Error in Excel versus Corrupt Files

Many things can go wrong in Excel that require a specialized program to restore Excel to working conditions, but not all error notifications indicate that a file has become corrupt. One of the most common problems in the workplace is fixing what isn’t broken while ignoring what is. There are some key error codes that will indicate that Excel repair is not needed, but more operator training is required

Operator Error CodesFrustrated buy doing Excel repair

There are three main operator error in Excel messages that indicate the operator is not performing an action correctly, but the file is most likely fine. Two of them are obvious, but the third often sends people running to recover Excel when the problem is still with the operator and not the integrity of the file. If the error code reads ‘Can’t find project or library,’ the file is not corrupt but the directions or link to the proper location is wrong. Double check the location of the file and the information in the macro to execute its inclusion to recall it.

If the error code reads ‘Error in formula’ then the formula has been entered incorrectly. There is no other reason that this error message will appear as Excel can only execute a formula as written and if it is not using the correct syntax it cannot perform the formula. Check how the formula is entered and check the syntax used to correct this.

The last error message is the one that causes the most difficulties because it is written in a more technical language – ‘MATLAB matrix cells contain zeros (0).’ Since most operators will be unfamiliar with the term MATLAB, the assumption is something disastrous has gone wrong with the file. What it means is there are zeroes in the cells included in the formula area. This is a matter of improper selection criteria or data entry error.

Corrupt File Indicators requiring Excel Repair

There are two errors that can occur that indicate the problem has to do with something other than the operator and you may need to run an Excel recovery program. The first involves either no error message at all or the message ‘Microsoft Excel.exe has generated errors and Windows will close the program.’ If you try to load a file and the program immediately crashes, but doesn’t do this with another file then there is a high likelihood the file is corrupt.

The other has a direct error message that appears in one of two ways, ‘Microsoft Excel unable to read file,’ or ‘This file is not in a recognizable format.’ Any of these instances call for the use of a data recovery program. Make sure that you have one already on hand that is appropriate for your version of Excel to lessen the loss of work time.


DataNumen, Inc., is the world leader in data recovery technologies. For more information on Excel repair, or other data repair products, visit DataNumen.

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