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Microsoft KB Archive/173821

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Knowledge Base

Article ID: 173821

Article Last Modified on 10/21/2000


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q173821


When you save changes to a shared workbook in Microsoft Excel 97, changes made to the same workbook by other users may be permanently lost.


This problem may occur when two or more people make changes to a shared workbook that is stored on a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server.


To prevent this problem, store shared workbooks on a network server that you access through either a network drive letter (such as E:) or through a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) connection (such as \\myserver\share).


This behavior is by design of FTP servers and Microsoft Excel 97. Because of the design of FTP servers, shared workbooks cannot be used correctly on an FTP server.


In Excel 97, you can share a workbook so that multiple users can simultaneously make changes to it. When you attempt to save the workbook, if other users have made conflicting changes, a dialog box appears which allows you to decide what changes you want to save.

Excel 97 determines whether multiple users have opened a shared workbook by checking whether or not the server or computer that stores the workbook has locked it. If the workbook is locked, Excel 97 checks for conflicts in the shared workbook and allows you to resolve the conflicts before actually saving changes to the shared workbook.

However, when you open a workbook that is stored on an FTP server, the FTP server creates a copy of the workbook, and Excel opens the copy.

Because of this design, when you open a shared workbook that is stored on an FTP server, the FTP server does not lock the workbook. Therefore Excel 97 is unable to determine when multiple users have opened the shared workbook. As a result, changes saved to the workbook by one user are lost when another user saves the same workbook.

Additional query words: XL97

Keywords: kbweb kbprb KB173821