Microsoft KB Archive/171640

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Knowledge Base

XL97: Illegal Operation Occurs While Recalculating Workbook

Article ID: 171640

Article Last Modified on 10/22/2000


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q171640


When you recalculate the formulas in a workbook, the status bar displays "Calculating 0%," and Microsoft Excel 97 appears to stop responding (hang). If you force the workbook to be recalculated by pressing F9 or CTRL+ALT+F9, the following error message appears:

Microsoft Excel cannot calculate a formula. There is a circular reference in an open workbook, but the references that cause it cannot be listed for you. Try editing the last formula you entered or removing it with the undo command (Edit menu).

When you click OK and attempt to recalculate the workbook, you 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 an error message similar to the following:

EXCEL caused an invalid page fault in module EXCEL.EXE at 0137:301ebf39.


This problem occurs when you do the following:

  • You open a workbook created in Microsoft Excel version 5.0 or 7.0. -and-

  • The workbook contains user-defined (custom) functions. -and-

  • You force the workbook to be recalculated by pressing the keys CTRL+ALT+F9.


To correct this problem, install Microsoft Excel 97 Service Release 1 (SR-1).


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Microsoft Excel 97 for Windows. This problem was corrected in Microsoft Excel SR-1.

For additional information about SR-1, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

172475 OFF97: How to Obtain and Install MS Office 97 SR-1

Additional query words: XL97 gpf ipf udf sr1

Keywords: kberrmsg kbbug kbfix KB171640