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Error message when you try to open .mpp file created in earlier version of Microsoft Project

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This article was previously published under Q274394
SYMPTOMS
When you open a project, you may receive one of the following error messages.

In Microsoft Office Project 2003 and Microsoft Project 2002, you receive the following error message:
Project cannot open the file.
  • Check that the file name and path are correct.
  • Check that the file format is recognized by Microsoft Project.

  • Project files saved in a version earlier than Microsoft Project 98 can't be opened.
    If your file is from an earlier version, open it in that version, click Save as (File menu), and save in MPX format. Open the MPX file in the current version of Project. When you use this method, project data is imported, but formatting is lost.
In Microsoft Project 2000, you receive the following error message:
Microsoft Project cannot open the file.

Try one of the following:
  • Check that the file's name and path are correct.
  • Check that the file is in a format recognized by Microsoft Project, Microsoft Project files (.mpp) from a version earlier than Microsoft Project 98 cannot be opened.
In Microsoft Project 98, you receive the following error message:
An unexpected problem occurred opening the file.

.MPP files older than Microsoft Project version 4.0 cannot be opened.
CAUSE
With Microsoft Project 98 and Microsoft Project 2000, you can open .mpp files only if they are from the same version of Microsoft Project or from the immediately previously released version of Microsoft Project. Microsoft Project 2000, Microsoft Project 2002, and Project 2003 can exchange files without problem. Microsoft Project 2000, Microsoft Project 2002, and Project 2003 can open Microsoft Project 98 files.

For example, you can open .mpp files from Microsoft Project version 4.x in Microsoft Project 98, but you cannot open .mpp files from Microsoft Project 3.x. In Microsoft Project 2000, you can open .mpp files from Microsoft Project 98, but you cannot open .mpp files from Microsoft Project 4.0.
RESOLUTION
To work around this problem, convert .mpp files for use in Microsoft Project 98, Microsoft Project 2000, Microsoft Project 2002, and Microsoft Office Project 2003. To do this, use one of the following methods, as appropriate.

Method 1: Convert .mpp File from Microsoft Project 4.x for use in Microsoft Project 2000

  1. Open the .mpp file in Microsoft Project 98.
  2. On the File menu, click Save As.
  3. In the File name box, type the file name that you want to save.
  4. In the Save as type list, click Project.
  5. Click Save.
You can now open the file in Microsoft Project 2000.

Method 2: Convert an .mpp file to MPX 4.0 format

With this workaround, you can convert an .mpp file from Microsoft Project 3.x for use in Microsoft Project 98, Microsoft Project 2000, Microsoft Project 2002, or Project 2003. You can also convert an .mpp file from Microsoft Project 4.x for use in Microsoft Project 2000. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Open the .mpp file in Microsoft Project 4.x.
  2. On the File menu, click Save As.
  3. In the File name box, type the file name that you want to save.
  4. In the Save as type list, click MPX(4.0).
  5. Click Save.
Files in MPX 4.0 format can be opened directly in either Microsoft Project 98 or in Microsoft Project 2000.
MORE INFORMATION
Microsoft Project 98 can directly open files in the following formats:
  • Projects from Microsoft Project 4.x and Microsoft Project 98(.mpp files)
  • Project databases (.mpd files)
  • Templates (.mpt files)
  • Workspaces (.mpw files)
  • MPX (.mpx files)
  • Microsoft Access databases (.mdb files)
  • Microsoft Excel workbooks (.xls files)
  • Tab-delimited text files (.txt files)
  • Comma-delimited text files (.csv files)
  • ODBC Sources
Microsoft Project 2000 can directly open the following formats:
  • Projects from Microsoft Project 98 and Microsoft Project 2000(.mpp files)
  • Project Database (.mpd files)
  • Templates (.mpt files)
  • Workspaces (.mpw files)
  • MPX (.mpx files)
  • Microsoft Access Database (.mdb files)
  • Microsoft Excel Workbooks (.xls files)
  • Text (tab-delimited) (.txt files)
  • Comma-delimited text (.csv files)
  • ODBC Sources
Microsoft Project 2002 can directly open the following formats:
  • Projects from Microsoft Project 98 and Microsoft Project 2000(.mpp files)
  • Project Database (.mpd files)
  • Templates (.mpt files)
  • Workspaces (.mpw files)
  • MPX (.mpx files)
  • Microsoft Access Database (.mdb files)
  • Microsoft Excel Workbooks (.xls files)
  • Text (tab-delimited) (.txt files)
  • Comma-delimited text (.csv files)
  • Web page (.htm and .html files)
  • XML format (.xml files)
  • ODBC Sources
Project 2003 can directly open the following formats:
  • Projects from Microsoft Project 98 and Microsoft Project 2000(.mpp files)
  • Project Database (.mpd files)
  • Templates (.mpt files)
  • Workspaces (.mpw files)
  • MPX (.mpx files)
  • Microsoft Access Database (.mdb files)
  • Microsoft Excel Workbooks (.xls files)
  • Text (tab-delimited) (.txt files)
  • Comma-delimited text (.csv files)
  • Web page (.htm and .html files)
  • XML format (.xml files)
  • ODBC Sources
Note It may be helpful to install the earlier version of Microsoft Project on a computer on your network to convert older files. Microsoft Project 4.0 or 4.1 can be installed on the same computer as Microsoft Project 98 or Microsoft Project 2000. Microsoft Project 98 should not be installed on the same computer as Microsoft Project 2000.
prj3 prj4 prj98 prj2000
Properties

Article ID: 274394 - Last Review: 09/18/2011 05:08:00 - Revision: 5.0

  • Microsoft Office Project Professional 2003
  • Microsoft Project 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Project 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Project 98 Standard Edition
  • kberrmsg kbprb KB274394
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