Error Editing/Saving File When Can't Access File on Disk


In Microsoft Excel, if you remove a floppy disk or disconnect from a network drive that contains a workbook file that you are editing, an error message appears when you continue editing the workbook. The error message that you receive depends on the data that is contained in the workbook you are editing and the types of changes you make to the workbook. The following is a summary of these error messages and when you receive them.

Linked or Embedded Object

If the workbook contains a linked or embedded object, when you edit the object or create another object, you receive the following error messages:

  • Editing or inserting an embedded or linked object
    Cannot start source application
  • Pasting a new linked or embedded object
    Cannot paste data

Visual Basic Module

If the workbook contains a Visual Basic module, and you try to run a procedure contained in the module, or to insert a new module in the workbook, you receive the following error message:
Unable to read from the disk

Pivot Tables

If the workbook contains a pivot table, and you attempt to edit the pivot table, the following error message appears:
Unable to obtain PivotTable data from disk
Note that you can create a new pivot table in the workbook under the above conditions without receiving an error message, even if the workbook already contains a pivot table.

Saving File

When you save a workbook file to another location, such as your hard disk drive, the following error message appears if the workbook file contains a pivot table, linked or embedded object, or a Visual Basic module, and you do not have access to the disk that contains the workbook file:
Document not saved
Note that when you save a workbook that contains a Visual Basic module, you may also receive the following error message:
Unable to write to the disk


In Microsoft Excel version 5.0, workbook files are not stored entirely in memory. Some elements of the workbook are stored on the disk your file is stored on. This is a change from the way the earlier versions of Microsoft Excel stored files.

When you create a pivot table, an OLE object, or a Visual Basic module in a workbook, you must have continuous access to the drive that contains the workbook, because these items are stored on the drive.


To avoid running into problems when you are working on files off of a floppy or a network drive, do not remove the floppy or disconnect from the network drive until you have closed the file you are working on.

To avoid receiving an error message in any of the above situations, you must insert the floppy disk, or connect to the network drive that contains the workbook file. You can then edit and create OLE objects, pivot tables and Visual Basic modules, and you can also save the workbook file.

More Information

When you open a new workbook file in Microsoft Excel, two temporary files are created in your TEMP directory. The location of your TEMP directory is determined by the SET TEMP statement in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. The two temporary files have names similar to the following:


These files created because Microsoft Excel version 5.0 uses the Docfile format in object linking and embedding (OLE) version 2.0.

When you open an existing workbook, a temporary file is created either in your TEMP directory or in the directory that contains the file.

Artikelnummer: 114440 – Letzte Überarbeitung: 26.10.2013 – Revision: 1