Excel 2003 and file locking issues on save - Any ideas?

By server ·
Overview: Excel (from Office 2003) is having issues maintaining file locks when saving documents to a windows 2003 server share while someone else opens.

If the user (who has the file locked) isn't currently saving, then the other person trying to open the same file gets the standard excel message that a "User has the file locked" (this is correct)

But if someone is opening the file while someone else has it locked and is saving at the same time its being opened, then they can loose the file lock and then have to save changes in an alternate file.

How to replicate (to force the issue)

1) User A Opens file "X" for Read/write in excel
2) User A, continually clicks on the save icon in excel
3) User B attempts to continually open file "X", until they get write access (if receive file lock message, then close and try again)
4) User A has now lost lock on file, and Excel will eventually report a save failure, requiring user to save to an alternate location

I've done some digging, and thinking it might be related to preemptive locking on the Windows 2003 server (Before, there was a windows 2000 pro machine acting as the source server for file "X", and this issue wasn't present as far as I can tell)

Anyone else experienced this? Any luck on a solution



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All Answers

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Perhaps one of the settings in this KB article

by seanferd In reply to Excel 2003 and file locki ...

could use an adjustment.

Perhaps see this also for any hints it might offer:

The basic mechanism I imagine to be involved here is lazy writing to disk. There may be some difference as to how this occurs in 2k3 vs. 2k.

This also had some info in it, although it is addressing a specific third-party product.

It may make a difference whether DFS is in use.

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Was thinking the same and had made similar changes

by server In reply to Perhaps one of the settin ...

Hi Seanferd

Was thinking the same thing, and had put in the changes outlined in the documents you referenced


I've only made the changes on the 2003 server (and not the XP Pro workstations); so I'm going to try making corresponding workstation change today (on 2 test machines)


Maybe both settings need to be used in conjunction?

I'll post my results later on today

Thank you for your reply


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Excel lock issue still there after oplock tweaks (on server and workstation

by server In reply to Was thinking the same and ...

Hi Seanferd


The above reg tweak was applied to 2 workstations, which were then rebooted

Same issue is still present with respect to Excel (One user can take the locked excel from another user, when that user saves)

I'm going to look into monitoring the actual connection, and also will look into testing without Anti Virus (AVG) installed (there was mention about outdated Kernel mode drivers causing locking issues relating to a sorta similar issue)


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Same issues

by DjGuardian In reply to Excel 2003 and file locki ...

I saw something on deleting the temp files associated with excel. However, there was always 1 in use that wouldn't let me delete it, even after reboot. If the temp file was a source of the problem, it was problem the one that was locked up.

We're using XP with 2003 primarily.

Ultimately, the easy fix for my team was for me to just save as a new file, delete the old file and rename the new one to match what the old one was. It was quite a simple solution, but I'm sure this problem will still arise in the future. The same user who was registered as having locked the file has regular issues of varrying kinds, many related to excel.

We are sharing the workbook.

btw... we are using a completely different anti-virus here. I doubt that has much of anything to do with it. I have seen other people across the net with this issue and the most common relating factor is that the workbook is shared.

If it's of any benefit, we did not have any problem with multiple users saving or one logging off as the other was saving as only the one user associated with the lock was the only one using the workbook.

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Reponse To Answer

by PurpleSkys In reply to Same issues

Try re-posting in the Q&A
section.The 'Discussion' forum is for matters of general discussion, not specific problems in search of a solution. The 'Water Cooler' is for non-technical discussions. You can submit a question to 'Q&A' here:;content

There are TR members who specifically seek out problems in need of a solution. Although there is some overlap between the forums, you'll find more of those members in 'Q&A' than in 'Discussions' or 'Water Cooler'.

Be sure to use the voting buttons to provide your feedback. Voting a '+' does not necessarily mean that a given response contained the complete solution to your problem, but that it served to guide you toward it. This is intended to serve as an aid to those who may in the future have a problem similar to yours. If they have a ready source of reference available, perhaps won't need to repeat questions previously asked and answered. If a post did contain the solution to your problem, you can also close the question by marking the helpful post as "The Answer". .

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