Excel & Zip

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manomina

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I had a user that last night received an email that had a zipfile.....and an Excel file in it. He opens the zip, and opens the Excel file and starts working on the spreedsheet.

He says that this was the first time he had ever worked directly out of a zip file. He works for about 30 minutes and he constantly saves his work. He says he tried to put it back into the zip (which he said he didn't take it out ?) and it kept prompting him if he wanted to overwrite....etc. He said yes....and then it was gone. The zip file didn't include the updated version. I did a search for anything done that day and I couldn't find it. I looked at the autosave feature and it was set for 10 minutes.....but he said he automatically saved it. What might have happened to it? I personally know to extract, work on, the put it back.....so could him working on this inside the zip be the problem?

Thanks!
 
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The file he edited is probably floating around in his temp folder since it never left his e-mail. What version of Windows is he using?
 

manomina

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Using XP. If it was floating around in the temp directory, that would have showed up when I did a search for that days files right?
 
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Yes, it should have (unless the temp files got cleared). Although it may have had a funky name such as SRGSG7W6[2].xls rather than the name that it had in the zip file.

See if you find anything in C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temp
 

manomina

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I found it....I was looking in the wrong temp file and I was searching for "modified" date. It would have been created and I found it in the C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temp folder.

Thanks!
 
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Glad you found it. I was able to duplicate the issue, but only with Outlook Express. Outlook would not update the zip file either, but gave a clear warnings that it couldn't. Eudora Pro had no problems at all.

Here's a rather long winded account of my testing:
I just tried this with WinZip 9.0 and Eudora 6.2 by emailing a test file to myself. Double Clicked the file in Eudora, it opened from Eudora's attachment folder, then Double Clicked the file in WinZip, it opened in Excel. Edited, saved. Was prompted by WinZip to update archive, then when closing WinZip was asked if I wanted to delete the temp file (located in C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temp as expected)

Receiving the email in Outlook 2003 was a totally different story. Right click on attachment, chose open instead of save to disk -- it opened in WinZip. Checked properties of the archive from WinZip file menu, and it showed this for the location of the archive:

Archive: C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK1E3\test.zip

Outlook Express:
Archive: C:\Documents and Settings\j%username%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\CHUZC1YN\test.zip

I continued with the test, and Double Clicked the file in WinZip, it opened in Excel (test.zip was created in C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temp). Edited the file, saved it, and the file in the temp folder was updated. Was prompted by WinZip to update archive, but then I get an error:

Error: Could not create output file (C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK1E3\test.zip).

Further dialogs tell me that I can manually update the archive after correcting the error, but doesn't say what the error is (discovered it's because the file is created by outlook as read-only)

But since you didn't say the user had seen this error, they are probably not using Outlook. I tried this with Outlook Express, and got the same results you did. You get prompted to update the archive, but it doesn't get saved into the email message, and there are no errors. OE creates the file here:

Outlook Express:
Archive: C:\Documents and Settings\j%username%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\CHUZC1YN\test.zip

and the file is not read only. This archive does get updated, but OE does not copy it back into the email message. Worse yet, if you re-open the file from OE or Outlook, the updated copy might be overwritten, so any changes they made are gone, even if the file is still in the temp folder.

I did some more digging just to see what was going on and here's what I found:

Windows Explorer and My Computer can't see any folders under Temporary Internet Files, not even the Content.IE5 folder. They aren't just superhidden, they plain can't be displayed because of the UICLSID line in the desktop.ini files inside the folders. And if the line CLSID={FF393560-C2A7-11CF-BFF4-444553540000} is present, search can't search the folder either -- even if you do have the system set to show hidden files, and to NOT hide system files. (I also have the index service is disabled, which forces an actual search of the hard drive. I've found that some files can't be found until after they have been indexed, and since indexing is done in the background when the system is idle it can take hours for a new file to be added to the index if you are using the system).

You can get to these folders via the Start | Run box -- enter this in the Start | Run box:
%userprofile%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5
I can then go up one level, and there is the OLK1E3 folder, with two files inside, test.zip and test (2).zip (working copy?). test.zip is read only, which is why WinZip can't update the file. Removing the read only property allows WinZip to update the archive, but you will get a warning:
This page has an unspecified potential security flaw. Would you like to continue?

The file OE creates is not read only, but obviously doesn't get written back into OE
This is all probably to make it harder to get infected with ad/mal/spy ware and viruses, but a simple warning that you won't be able to save changes if you open the file without saving it to your drive would be nice.

Bottom line is make sure they save the attachment first.
 
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