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Fix severe delays when loading Excel 2003 files from network drives

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I was recently made aware of a problem where Excel 2003 would take several minutes to load a spreadsheet from a network drive. What made it even worse was that several of these sheets were referenced inside a CAD drawing (meaning AutoCAD would open Excel in the background for each spreadsheet referenced), and the load delay for each individual spreadsheet made it was near-impossible for the drawing to ever finish loading.

I found three possible solutions to the problem.

The first (which I used) was to create or modify the following registry key using regedit:


The second option is to uninstall the Microsoft Office File Validation Add-in from the Control Panel.

The third is to upgrade to Excel 2007 or later.