Microsoft KB Archive/93125

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Excel DAM: "File Read Error" When Logging onto Remote Database

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, versions 3.0, 4.0


When attempting to log in to a remote database using the Data Access Macro (DAM), Microsoft Excel may return the message "File Read Error." This problem is can be caused by a corrupted DAL Preferences file.

If the remote database can be accessed using a utility such as the DAL Tester, then the problem is very likely caused by a missing carriage return at the end of the DAL Preferences file. To verify and correct the problem:

  1. Open the DAL Preferences file in a text editor. Double-clicking the file should open it directly into the TeachText application.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the document.
  3. Place the insertion point after the last visible character in the file.
  4. Type a carriage return (press the RETURN key).
  5. Save the file.
  6. Open Microsoft Excel and launch the Data Access Macro.
  7. From the Data Menu, choose Set Database, and select the External Database option in the following dialog box.
  8. Choose the New button in the Set External Database dialog box.

At this point, the host database should be accessible.


If the DAL Tester utility also returns a "File Read" error after you type the host name at the "Hostname?" prompt, the DAL Preferences file is probably corrupt. At this point, a new DAL Preferences file should be installed from the Macintosh System disks into the hard disk's Preferences Folder.

NOTE: If you are using System 7.1 or later, the DAL software is not automatically installed with the operating system; contact Apple for further assistance.

The host and/or network may require special settings in the DAL Preferences file. Consult with your network and/or database administrator for further assistance.

Additional query words: 4.00 novell db2 db/2 rdb oracle ingres

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Last Reviewed: July 23, 1999
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