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Microsoft KB Archive/172638

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Knowledge Base

Article ID: 172638

Article Last Modified on 10/22/2000


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q172638


When you attempt to open a workbook in Microsoft Excel 97, you may receive the following error message:

This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.
If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.

If you click Details, you receive the following error message

EXCEL caused an invalid page fault in module EXCEL.EXE at <address>.

where <address> is one of the following addresses:



This problem may occur if any cells in worksheets in the workbook contain more than 2,000 characters.


If this problem occurs, you cannot open the workbook. However, it may be possible to recover the data in the workbook. For additional information about how to do this, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

142117 Excel: Summary of Methods to Recover Data from Corrupted Files

147216 XL: Linking to Data in a Damaged File (5.0 and Later)

If you can recover data from the damaged workbook and place the data in a new workbook, perform either of the following tasks:

  • For any cells in the new workbook that contain more than 2,000 characters, clear the cells. To do this, select the cells and either press DELETE or point to Clear on the Edit menu, and then click Contents. -or-

  • For any cells in the new workbook that contain more than 2,000 characters, split the contents of the cells into two or more cells, so that each of the cells contains less than 2,000 characters.

After you clear or split all of the cells that contain more than 2,000 characters, save the new workbook. When you close the new workbook, you can reopen it.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article. This problem no longer occurs in Microsoft Excel 2000.


Additional query words: XL97 ipf gpg

Keywords: kberrmsg kbprb KB172638