How do I get my Excel access back? I keep getting messages it's not available.

I made a spreadsheet a few weeks ago and I want to look at it. Now, however, I keep getting messages that I have to “insert the Microsoft Office Premium 2000 disc,” etc. I don’t have that disc. How do I get rid of these messages (which I’ve had before but was able to click through them) and open the document that I made? grrrr

If the Excel application is gone, you will need to reload it. You don’t need to use your MS Office CD, you can download it directly from their website. However you will have to have the key that shows you purchased it.

To ask a possibly stupid question, do you actually have Excel 2000 installed?

Edit: And does the “etc” in your post indicate that it shows other error message as well? If so what are they?

By far the easiest solution is just to insert your Excel 2000 CD, assuming that is actually the version of Excel you’re using.

The problem is that I don’t have the disc. However, I’ve used Excel many times before, and when I look in the Add/Remove part of the Control Panel, it shows that I do, in fact, have Microsoft Office 2000 Premium installed - all 191 Mb of it. I just used Excel a couple weeks ago to make a spreadsheet. I’ve had this computer for probably 8 years, maybe more, and I have never had this trouble with it. I have tried going into the control panel to get to a “repair” point, but eventually, that asks me for the disc. Is there a fix for this? I see by poking around that a lot of people have run into this. But I’ve yet to find someone who has a solution that works. Maybe the Dopers, erudite above all others, can help?

What has happened is that some intervening update has changed a file (probably a DLL version update) that is now causing a failure. The launch mechanism of Excel is an Advertisement, which uses the MSI installer. If there is a failure during the Advertised launch, the MSI self-repair mechanism kicks in, and to complete this, the CD is required with the MSI and CAB source files.

Unfortunately, there is very little you can do without the Office 2000 CD. You may not be able to sort it even with the CD - Office 2000 is pretty old, and has not been supported since 2009.

As a temporary measure to access your spreadsheet, try the free application suite LibreOffice (portable no-install version available here) - it can generally read Office documents (particularly older ones). Otherwise, you probably need to upgrade to a later version of MSOffice.


No offense, but the last time I used Excel 2000 was… 2003. I’m not really qualified to support it anymore. (It’s been out of Microsoft support since 2009.)

What we used to do for programs that frequently asked for CDs to be inserted is copied the contents of the CD to somewhere on the C: drive, so when the program asked for the CD we could just point it to that path without having to carry the physical CD around. Of course, if you haven’t already copied the contents of the CD, that option isn’t open to you.

Your best option is to dig out or borrow the CD, or to find another program capable of opening the Excel file. LibreOffice, mentioned above, is a decent free option.

I wonder what the legality is of just downloading the disk using bittorrent. You are still using your legitimate license key. (If you’ve lost it, you can even just get it out of the program itself.)

BTW, I don’t blame you for not upgrading. Why pay for the same software over again in 2002 or 2003? And why pay for a fancy new user interface when you already know how to work the one you have?

Exactly so! I appreciate this note. There is a - I don’t know how to say it - sort of an arrogant and supercilious attitude that people take toward (usually) Microsoft and its products, and the people who use them. If you haven’t upgraded to the newest version, you’re assumed to be some sort of cretin. They sniff that the older version is now,what, four years old already! I understand that people have their reasons for their product loyalty, but the animosity toward people who keep a product for a while (usually because it’s perfectly useable and works fine) is perplexing. I figure a lot of these folks are younger and have just grown up with the idea that you trade out one thing for another as soon as there’s a “new and improved” version. Those of us who are older remember the planned obsolesense of cars and other products, and we’re not about to go out and buy a new one, just because the company, itself, touts it as an improvement.

I agree with CC and BigT up to a point - there is no need to upgrade software that performs adequately for a user while it meets their needs.

However, we are not talking about 4 year old software - Office 2000 is 11 years old and has not been supported for 2-3 years. The hardware and software environment it is in now is significantly different from those days. It may be still be perfectly adequate, but when it stops working or has an issue, then the age becomes a factor. It may be possible to nurse it back to health, but the system could be compromised in ways that cause other issues and more risks of failure. At that point, it may be better to look to an upgrade or an alternative product.

This is not arrogance or superciliousness - it is pragmatism. I have said such things to customers -

I can maintain that old DOS machine running your production facility, but it will cost you X hours a month and if the disk/motherboard/memory fails, I can no longer replace it with a DOS compatible system and you will be forced to update in a hurry whatever the cost. Or while it is still working, you can figure out how to update the system and software to something that we can support/replace at short notice if it goes down. You will save money in the long run.

Sometimes they make the right choice, and sometimes they don’t.


+this . doesnt sound like you use excel very much so just dl open office/libre office (its free) and use that. Its spreadsheet is very close to excel so it wont take you long to pick it up.
I use it all the time since I didnt want to spring for MS Office on my laptops, my files go from one to the other with no trouble. For that matter I use Ubuntu with open office on my travel latop (its older and i dont care is it get lost or stolen)

Ah… The SDMB stikes another blow for ignorance. Thanks for the suggestion of LibreOffice. I did download it and used it to work on the spreadsheet I had made in Excel. It doesn’t do some of the things I’d like it to do, but it allowed me to make some of the changes I needed. Furthermore, I think I can use it from now on for some of my simpler tasks. QED