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Windows 7: Open Office 4.1.2 Files UNUSABLE on exFAT portable drives

28 Sep 2016   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
Open Office 4.1.2 Files UNUSABLE on exFAT portable drives

Hi everyone

I am trying to resolve an issue regarding opening ODT & ODS files from an exFAT portable SSD drive via a PC running Windows 7 Pro (64bit). The problem is that trying to subsequently access the file causes the program to lock (freeze) at the initial opening screen (it doesn't actually get as far as opening the file) with the only way to recover being to pull the power from the PC and reboot.

After that the SSD then has to be checked and the corrupted file system repaired. Once done the file can be accessed if it's moved or copied to the local disk (NTFS formatted).

I have tested the above on two separate PC's running Windows 7 Pro 64bit with exactly the same results. Testing on 2 x Windows 10 PCs works fine i.e. you can access and open the files without issue.

At first I thought that it was every type of file but it looks like it's only Open Office files that are affected with all other types (PDF's, JPEGs, MS Word documents*, etc, etc.) opening as they should.

*Open Office files are able to be opened with MS Office without issue.

I found this out the hard way after buying a 500 gig Samsung SSD formatted by default with exFAT. To eliminate this drive I also carried out the same tests on a 64GB memory stick with exactly the same (bad) results.

At the moment the only way around this is to reformat the drives using NTFS but I've had issues with this type of format in the past with regards to file permissions plus the exFAT format can be used between PC and Mac.

Hopefully someone can throw some light on the issue as although I have the latest MS Office software (which isn't a problem) I still prefer OO.

Many thanks in advance.

PS I have also posted this issue on the Open Office forum but someone there recommended I also post it here as it also seems like a W7 issue.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2016   #2

Windows 7 HP 64

I think that the problem is the Office you have on your PC. Witch office you have on the PC, MS office or Open Office?
You are trying to open by double click on explorer or by File open form inside office?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2016   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Hi, I have Open Office 4.1.2 on all my PCs (W7 & W10) and MS Office 2013 Pro Plus. In order to try and open the files I have unsuccessfully tried double clicking the file itself and also right clicking Open. In the case of successfully opening the files using MS Office, I have used right click, Open with MS Word/Excel. I must admit that I haven't tried to open the files from within the already open Open Office program and that's because I never open files this way. It might be worth a try though as a matter of interest.

I can't do that now though as my PC is currently backing up a file server and I cannot afford it crashing in the middle of this. I will try it tomorrow though and report back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Sep 2016   #4

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

If you're interested and haven't already tried it, you could try Libre Office, it's a spin-off of Open Office.
They have a portable version, so you can try it without installing it, and see how it works for you.
The portable version is available at PortableApps:
LibreOffice Portable | - Portable software for USB, portable and cloud drives

I use the portable version and it works fine for me.
I prefer MS Office (paid), but i use Libre Office portable (free) on systems where i don't have MS Office.

I don't have an exFAT drive/partition so i can't test your scenario.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2016   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Thanks for the responses so far and I reply as follows;

Megahertz07 - I tried opening the files from with the already running Open Office program with the same result i.e. it froze the program with the only way to close it being to pull the power, reboot and repair the external exFAT drive.

DavidE - I haven't already tried Libre Office although I am aware of it and given that they provide a portable version (which I didn't know about) does sound promising. When I get a bit of spare time I'll give it a try as so far I think I've reached a dead end other than to upgrade our office PC's to W10 which I'm loathe to do given my experience of it so far.

Thanks again guys
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2016   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I don't know if this is a viable solution for you but I used Open Office a few years back. I wanted a way to send a document so almost anyone could open it. What I did was sign up with Google Drive. You can upload the document and immediately download it as a MS Office file. I just tried it now and it still works. It takes but a minute for the upload and download, probably less.

If you want to give it a try, upload the document, open it in Google Drive, on the top left, click on File and scroll down to Download as, a menu will come up and you can choose what file extension you want. Works great too if you want to convert a file to PDF.

I don't know if it will work with the exFAT format but maybe worth a try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Open Office 4.1.2 Files UNUSABLE on exFAT portable drives

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