Microsoft Excel Documents open very slowly from the network or don’t open at all

A few users reported very slow opening of Excel documents from network shares. The bigger the document, the slower it opened. Sometimes Excel would just crash.

I found some posts that suggested to uninstall security patches, but I’m not very keen on that. I actually immediately suspected the new Office File Validation Add-In because we had some problems with it before. It appeared indeed related to the OFV Add-In.

It seems Microsoft issued a fix and several work arounds for exactly this problem in KB2570623. A patch was released on sept. 13th through KB2553065. We are currently testing the patch.

I’ll list the work arounds here for archive purposes. My preferred method, might the patch not fix the problem, seems to be Method 4:

Workarounds
Method 1:
To be able to have both the protection of the OFV, and typical performance over the network when opening files, upgrade to either Microsoft Excel 2007 or Microsoft Excel 2010.

Method 2:
Copy the file to the local workstation. Open and save it in Excel from the local hard drive. Copy the file back to the network location.

Note: If multiple users are accessing the same file, you must be cautious to collaborate with the other users before you copy the file back to the share so that you do not overwrite the changes that were made by another user. The Shared Workbook feature cannot be used with this workaround.

Method 3:
To use Excel 2003 and avoid the network performance issue, you can disable the Microsoft Office File Validation Add-in for Excel by removing the Excel portion of the OFV. This removes the additional protection of the OFV for Excel while still protecting the other Office applications.

Fix it for me
Microsoft Fix it 50748

Method 4:
To use Excel 2003 and avoid the network performance issue, you can disable the Microsoft Office File Validation Add-In for Excel by using a registry setting. This removes the additional protection of the OFV for Excel while still protecting the other Office applications.

More information about this setting is available here:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg985445%28office.12%29.aspx

Fix it for me
Microsoft Fix it 50741

Let me fix it myself
You can use the EnableOnLoad registry entry to configure how you want Excel to handle opening workbooks for the OFV. By default, the EnableOnLoad entry is not present in the Windows registry. To add the EnableOnLoad entry to the Windows registry, follow these steps:

Exit Excel.
Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
Locate and then click to select the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\
After you select the key that is specified in step 3, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click Key.
Type Excel, and then press ENTER.
Select Excel, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click Key.
Type Security, and then press ENTER.
Select Security, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click Key.
Type FileValidation, and then press ENTER.
Select FileValidation, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value.
Type EnableOnLoad, and then press ENTER.
Note: The default value is 0 which disables the validation.
On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.

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About Yuri de Jager
Technology Addict

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