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Office (Excel 2010) Inconsistent Settings via GPO for Excel 97-2003 Files RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,

    I have a weird scenario at a customer's infrastructure. Typical AD deployment with 2x DCs, Exchange, SQL, FileServers, and RDP servers - all running Windows 2008 R2 SP1. Post migration from their old system to the new architecture, we encountered problems whereby users are having issues opening .XLS (Excel 97-2003) file format within the RDP sessions. The XLS files are stored on a network drive, and is mapped via GPO and Folder Redirections. 

    When a user logs in (initial login and creation of profile), the problem doesnt seem to be existent. Upon log off and subsequent login of the same user (this time its faster because profile is already created, etc) , the problem arises. When user opens an EXCEL 97-2003 XLS file on the network, it gives an error stating "Unable to access file / corrupted / file path too long, 3-5 different messages". Opening XLSX files on the same  network drive poses no errors. After doing further digging, I found that the problem is fixed by launching and closing IE. User does not need to do anything at all , but just by launching and closing IE, they are now able to access the XLS file that were previously inaccessible.

    I went ahead to create Intranet Zones, Site Assignments, and put all *.domain.com, http://*.domain.com, https://*.domain.com and file://*.domain.com so that these are recognized as Intranet sites. When I log off and log back in, I checked IE and these settings seem to be there. Since I launched IE prior to accessing the XLS files, it causes no further problem. If I log off and log back in again (this time without launching IE), then those XLS files will be inaccessible with the errors mentioned above.

    I am trying to see whether there is a way to hardcode any registry within the machine so it never happens, and users dont have to launch IE to resolve the problem. I've looked at the deployment, and it is the same setup we used for other customers, except the fact this particular customer has a lot of legacy MSOffice files (97-2003). 

    I appreciate if anyone can shed some light on how to debug / proceed from here. Thanks in advance.

    Thursday, November 21, 2013 8:12 PM

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