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Strange problem with Excel

  1. Aug 6, 2014 #1
    I have a ligid MS Office 2003 with excel. I have this loaded on my newer computer and had been working until a few days ago. All of a sudden, I cannot change what I typed in the file anymore.

    I restarted the computer, I uninstalled the Office 2003, then reinstalled the whole thing again. It still behave the same.

    I took the same Excel program that has problem and try it in another computer, it works. So the program file is not the problem. In fact, I cannot change any Excel files right now on this computer. What can be wrong?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2014 #2


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  4. Aug 6, 2014 #3


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    Trial version? If the time is up, you wouldn't be able to use it after the trial period. Installing the software on a different computer would start a new trial period on that computer. Uninstalling the software doesn't remove the trial start date.
  5. Aug 6, 2014 #4
    I bought it in 2003, I paid the full price. It is not a trial or a "people's version".
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  6. Aug 7, 2014 #5


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    When you loaded MS Office onto the new computer, did you activate the Windows OS and the MS Office software?

    Did you activate the Office 2003 software after re-installing it?

    Did this other computer have a properly activated copy of MS Office installed?

    If the MS Office is not properly activated, after about 30 days or so, it starts to operate like a trial version. Once the trial period is over, a lot of the editing functions go away until the software is activated.

    This can happen on the same machine sometimes if a new piece of hardware is installed. The software thinks it's operating on a new machine, and it requests a re-activation to keep working.
  7. Aug 7, 2014 #6
    Thanks for the reply.

    I have not install any new hardware since when I got it new. It must be over 2 months since I add anything onto the computer.

    I know every time I install this Office, it always ask to activate online. If not, it'll keep asking.

    BTW, The Office includes Word also, the Word works perfectly, I did verify that before I post here. The only thing strange when I reinstalled today, it did not ask me to activate online. Should I uninstall and redo over again?
  8. Aug 7, 2014 #7


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    You may have inadvertently set the spreadsheet so that it can't be edited somehow, or there may be some corruption in the file.

    Is it one particular spreadsheet you are having trouble with, or are you having the same trouble with all spreadsheets? For instance, if you create a new spreadsheet on a computer where you aren't having these editing lock-out problems, do the editing lock-out problems appear only on your machine?

    You should be able to tell if the software is activated without having to re-install it each day (sort of like "Groundhog Day", eh?)
  9. Aug 7, 2014 #8
    Does it tell you an error when you try and alter cells?
    It is possible that the excell file became "protected" which prevents others from editing your files when you send it to them.

    Another option you could try is to install open office and see if you can edit the file there.
  10. Aug 7, 2014 #9
    Thanks for the reply.

    It would not edit any existing files.

    It would not edit even the newly created file either by the problem desk top or by another computer.

    Something really funny. I can click the cell, then edit the line on the top of the spread sheet!!! I only cannot edit in the box!!!

    What I meant is when you click a cell, the content shows up on the line at the top of the screen. I can edit on that line and it will work!!!!

    But why? this is the same disk that I install in all my computers since 2003 when I bought it. It works on every other computers.
  11. Aug 8, 2014 #10
    I have recently installed Office Student 2003 on a Vista Business PC and had problems with activation. Had to activate it over the phone. Since then, often I have dialogs pop up saying something about "CJRT handler" or the sort... Perhaps 2003 is getting old for the new versions of Windows
  12. Aug 8, 2014 #11
    It is strange, My computer is Win7 Home Premium. I have this same version installed in a laptop witn Win8 and it's perfect, in another Win7 Pro and is perfect. Not to mention on three other XP.

    Also, the program was working in this very computer for over 3 months, it just started a few days ago. I reinstalled the program and it behave the same.
  13. Aug 9, 2014 #12
    Micro$oft do insist that you pay for each copy of their software :
    if you only paid for one copy then you can only have one copy running on one computer ,
    ( unless the EULA says different ).


    If connected to the internet your Windows operating system will inform on you to Micro$oft, who can then disable duplicate "pirated" copies ....


    Open Office is a free open-source equivalent to Microsoft Office Suite ,
    you can have it running on as many computers as you like.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
  14. Aug 9, 2014 #13
    Let's try to divide this into smaller problems and see if we can actually get an answer.

    First, is it a problem with one particular spreadsheet, a few or with every one, created new or copied to it.

    Since you say you have another working version of Excel, open a sheet on the non working computer, verify it doesn't work as described, exit Excel, copy exactly that sheet to your working computer, does it work there?

    If it doesn't then the problem is more likely in the sheet. There are all kinds of things that can be done to a sheet, cells can be locked, whole sheets can be locked, and I think there are even more things that can be done to a sheet if someone is trying to create something that users can look at, but not ruin.

    If it does work then the problem is more likely in the Excel on the computer that doesn't work.

    Next, I am not a lawyer and don't know the precise wording of the current install policy for your exact version of Excel, but I've seen things to the effect that there are hard limits on the number of times you can install one copy of Microsoft Excel/Office, even on the same computer, before it begins to complain or limit functioning or refuse to even work. The reason I mention this is that if there are such hard limits then your "well I'll just install it a few more times and see if it is any different than the last few times" may be using up your quota. I've heard things like the quota is 3 times and that is it, period. Maybe you can apologize and beg and plead and see if Microsoft will override that.

    You may or may not be running into such problems, you may or may not be making a much bigger problem for your self by randomly reinstalling this again and again. But I would be very hesitant to keep trying that, unless you have called Microsoft on the phone and hopefully had someone there who knows what they are doing tell you that it is just fine to keep reinstalling, as many times as you like, no problem.

    Next, there used to be a "Am I Legit" web page at Microsoft for Windows and another one for Office that would check to see that your version was installed, registered, activated, blessed, etc, etc. The Office one appears to be down at the moment, but you might ask Microsoft Support to tell you what web page would let you check and verify that your current version of Excel on the non-working computer is all approved by Microsoft. If so then that should help minimize concerns about whether failing this is part or all of the problem. I'm pretty sure some Microsoft employee, even on the phone, has his whole job being just helping you check to make sure you are legit in your use of Microsoft Office products.

    Now, for everyone else, what are the next two or three things he can do to divide and conquer and solve this? Something that will help narrow down specifically what his current problem really is? Something less than potentially just trading one problem for another by tossing Excel and starting over with a different brand?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
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