Q: (SOLVED) system error &h80004005 (-214767259). Catastrophic failure

(see solution at bottom)

When I open Excel 2007, I get the above error (system error &h80004005 (-214767259). Catastrophic failure).

I have tried reinstalling Office Enteprise with no change. The error occurs within a "Microsoft Visual Basic" window. It occurs whenever I open excel, or double-click a file to open a workbook. I've search and can't find this specific error. Please help... this is my main number crunching computer at the University.

EDIT: Maybe some more information would help:

1. After closing the above window, I get another error within a MS Visual Basic window saying: "Out of Memory". I'm not out of memory. This resembles error messages seen when Some Macros are undefined, or are not registered somehow.

2. After closing that window, I am taken to a Visual Basic Script editor window where one of my scripts is seen in the top bar followed by the word "break".

3. After closing that window, I am tossed back to Excel with the first window error message repeated exactly.  I have to click three times on this window before it closes, leaving me a blank excel screen (as if all workbooks were closed, but Excel is still open)

4. BUT, if I then try to close Excel, the window-error #1 pops up again exactly the same message (in the title of this thread). When closed it is followed by window-error #2 "Out-of-memory".

5. When I close THIS window, I am taken to the visual basic script editor window with my "personal.xls" macros file displayed (followed by [break]). No modules are highlighted with errors.

6. Closing this window gives the "This will stop the debugger" message, which can be closed exiting the VB editor window, and Excel finally closes

7. Intermittant error: Just says "400". Not sure what that's coming from (Window is not labeled)





SOLUTION: using ionformation at

-from author: The Excel program had lost it's path to the startup folder. i.e.

"If you install Excel 2007 in the default location, Excel opens files from the following paths:

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\Xlstart
  • C:\Documents and Settings\<var>username</var>\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\Xlstart, where <var>username</var> is your logon user name.
  • The folder that is specified in the At startup, open all files in box. TheAt startup, open all files in box is in theGeneral section underAdvanced options for working with Excel. To locate theGeneral section, click theMicrosoft Office Button, and then clickExcel Options.

If you suspect these files to be a problem, remove the files from these folders. Then, try to start Excel 2007. If Excel starts as expected, one of the files is the problem. To determine which file is the problem, add each file to the startup folders one at a time. Then, try to start Excel. Repeat this procedure until you determine the problematic file. "

-from author: First, you cannot access the advanced options from safe mode. So it was fortunate that I could start Excel at all. You must start Excel normally, knowing it will give the errors described above. When the Visual Basic editing window opened, I switched back to Excel window and was able to access the advanced options from the Excel options window. From there (near the bottom) there is a path-box for the "At startup, open all files in" which was blank. I located my Xlstart folder, and typed in the path. The Xlstart folder contains my personal macro workbooks. After saving this path into Excel options, Excel opened normally.


In my case, it was a missing add-in. So check those in case it is not the bad file issue.

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I'm also getting the same error message in a pop up window screen, and I think it is because I unintentionally uninstalled an add-in. How do you find out what add-ins are missing or broken?

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Views: 49,403 Last updated: July 18, 2018 Applies to: