Excel found unreadable content RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi folks,

    I am working at a customer site and just encountered a strange error between Excel 2007 (SP2) and Analysis Services (SSAS 2008 R2). The datawarehouse and OLAP-database are both in SQL Server. The users are connecting to Analysis Services via Excel 2007 Pivot table. As soon as a user refreshes a pivot table, trying to open other excel files result in the error message "Excel found unreadable content". Restoring the second extracts all formatting from the file. The work around at the moment: the user closes Excel completely, then reopens the second Excel file without pivot table and all is fine. Once the pivot table is opened and refreshed, it starts again.

    I have done quite a lot of research on this, unfortunately without success: 1) I have no KPIs in the cube, which eliminates (, 2) Although I believe the error is somewhere in the pivot cache, since the error only comes up after a refresh, I saved the excel file as .zip and went through the pivotCacheDefinition1.xml, but saw no problems with missing captions or the like.

    If someone has a tip, I would be more than grateful.


    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 10:40 AM

All replies

  • Hello ilounge,

    I am facing excactly the same problem. Did you found any solution so far?


    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 2:12 PM
  • Hi Andy1205,

    very sorry for the late reply. I am no longer at the customer site. We were not able to completely isolate the problem. When tested however in a different environment, this problem did not appear. Hence, it is my guess at the moment, that the corporate setup at that customer site was causing the problems.



    Sunday, February 20, 2011 10:35 AM
  • I know it's a long time since this was reported, but it is still happening so I think it's still worth supplying some further evidence\workrounds that may help someone determine a permanent solution.

    I have many Excel 2007 workbooks populated by retrieving data directly from the database and then saved as .xlsx files.

    Transferring some of the analytic work to a new department internally a new user had a fresh install of Excel 2007 performed.

    Irrespective of the size of some of the xlsx files and irrespective of whether he closed/re-opened excel or shutdown/restarted his machine the message about "Excel found unreadable content" reared its ugly head on every file he tried to download from and then open , or open directly from the server.

    I was able to open the file from the server on my machine and saved alternative copies of the files he wanted to open as binary files (.xlsb). Without fail he was able to open every one, read the data from cache into memory when manipulating the pivot tables and save it locally if he so desired. The xlsb files were larger than the xlsx files so memory utilisation was definitely not an issue.

    We are going to try and do a re-install of Excel 2007 tomorrow as it appears as if there is a problem internally in the application itself such as it can't process all xlsx files correctly. My saving the files as xlsb was inspired by reading someone else's post suggesting saving them as .xlsm files as he had had success with that.

    Each of the files in question were originally saved through a VBA script and on a different machine and under a different user than me. That I could open them on my machine and the new user couldn't on his also points to an environmental issue on his machine with his version of Excel.



    Tuesday, February 10, 2015 3:40 PM