Fixing an “Unspecified Error” in Excel


I have a problem I hope someone can solve. I’m using Windows XP Professional SP2 and when I open Excel 2003, I get a dialog box that says: “System Error &H800040005 (-2147467259). Unspecified error”. This error is immediately followed by an “Out of Memory” dialog box. I can open files and use the program without problems. But when I close the program, I get the same “System Error…” again, immediately followed by the “Out of Memory” dialog box. I can use the program but all the messages are irritating.


This is a somewhat generic Excel error. Often startup errors come from additional programs like startup macros or conflicts with another add-in program. Starting Excel in “safe mode” as suggested on Chip Pearson’s page is always a good way to begin narrowing down a start-up problem.

This Excel problem sounds similar to like a problem I had with Word from an add-in that installed itself when I wasn’t paying attention.

The moral of the story is check for add-ins before you do anything drastic. In this case, the problem turned out to be an add-in that had been installed for report writing software (Crystal Wizard 10).

About Susan Daffron

Susan Daffron is the author the Alpine Grove Romantic Comedies and multiple award-winning nonfiction books, including several about pets and animal rescue. Check out all her books on her Amazon Author page.