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Corrupt excel .XLS file (OLE header corruption?)

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New Member
I have several old excel files that got corrupted when a server had a power surge. I attach one here. They were being used on a Windows 7 client and I have tried to fix with disk utility, many excel file repair packages on mac and pc and online, tried also opening in alternate software like open office and JMP to no avail. Is there any hope for this data?



Excel Ninja
Hi ,

There is hope only if the file can be opened and edited using a binary file editor :


It can only be done by you , since you will be able to recognize the data within the file ; if the header can be repaired , then some amount of data may be retrieved , though I am not sure whether in the case of multiple worksheets , whether all the tabs can be restored.

I would not hold out any hopes of retrieving data from any such file ; the .xlsx format is more amenable to retrieval , since there are multiple files to hold different sections of the workbook.

The only way to handle such situations is to keep backups each time you save a file.



New Member
When an Excel file is corrupted, then you can try several methods to recover it:

1. First of all, you can try to repair the file manually in Excel, as follows:

(1) On the File menu, click Open.
(2) In the Open dialog box, select the file you want to open, and click the arrow next to the Open button.
(3) Click Open and Repair, and then choose which method you want to use to recover your workbook.

You may find more information about this at:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/repairing-corrupted-files-in-excel-HA001034656.aspx (for Excel 2003)http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/repairing-a-corrupted-workbook-HA010097017.aspx?CTT=1 (for Excel 2007)http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/repairing-a-corrupted-workbook-HA010342840.aspx?CTT=1 (for Excel 2010)http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/repair-a-corrupted-workbook-HA102749554.aspx?CTT=1(for Excel 2013)

2. If method 1 fails, there are still several methods to recover your Excel file manually with Excel, including writing a small VBA macro, as below

3. For xlsx files, they are actually a group of files compressed in Zip file format. Therefore, sometimes, if the corruption is only caused by the Zip file, then you can use Zip repair tools such as WinRAR to repair the file, as follows:

3.1 Assuming the corrupt Excel file is a.xlsx, then you need to rename it to a.zip
3.2 Start WinRAR, go to "Tools > Repair Archive" to repair a.zip and generated a fixed file a_fixed.zip.
3.3 Rename a_fixed.zip back to a_fixed.xlsx
3.4 Using Excel to open a_fixed.xlsx.

There may still be some warnings when opening the fixed file in Excel, just let ignore it and Excel will try to open and repair the fixed file. If the file can be opened successfully, then you can just save the contents into another error-free file.

4. If all above methods do not work, then you may try third-party tools such as Excel Recovery Toolbox athttp://www.oemailrecovery.com/excel_recovery.html
It provides a free demo version so that you can try to see if the data you want can be recovered or not.

Good luck!


Excel Ninja
Thank you all for your advice! The issue has been resolved.
Others may have this same problem some time, members have helped you, can you help others by saying what you did and how you resolved your problem.

james dean

New Member
There are numerous third party Excel Recovery software's are available. Here I also like to introduce another proficient third party software known as Kernel for Excel. The tool supports recovery from both XLS and XLSX file formats of MS Excel.
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