KB2597166 – Microsoft Excel 2010 Security Update FAIL

** UPDATE-3 28 August 2012 ** Our internal tests show KB2598378 does in fact fix the issue.  Be sure to use the correct version (32 or 64 bit) depending on your Office version (NOT Windows).

** UPDATE-2 23 July 2012 ** Microsoft says this issue has been fixed in KB2598378.  We’re testing the fix at our shop now; let’s hope the second time’s the charm…

** UPDATE 17 June 2012 ** It appears that Microsoft has released a hotfix that resolves the issue (KB2598144).  We have NOT tested this hotfix, so I can’t say whether it works or not.  If anyone out there has, please let me know your results…

MS12-030 (KB2597166), was released on 8 May 2012.  This magical piece of crap will cause your Excel 2010 application to BREAK when users try to sort large data sets.  Indications include:

  • Large Operation warning box: “The operations you are about to perform affects a large number of cells and may take a significant amount of time to complete.”
  • Error: “Excel cannot complete the task with available resource.  Choose less data or close other applications.

We were able to recreate by selecting all cells and attempting a sort operation.

Word on the street is that Microsoft is aware of the issue but DOES NOT have a fix.  Their “workaround” is to not select the entire sheet prior to sorting.  My advice: DON’T INSTALL THE UPDATE (unless you like a bunch of angry users chasing you with pitchforks)…

If you happened to have already installed this patch, you can remove it using the following command line (helpful if you use automation):

msiexec /package {90140000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE} /uninstall {B76D8C6D-1F13-42A7-9931-D7504CB89D6D} /qn



  1. Ann
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    You are funny. I nearly pulled all of my hair out when this happened. It took me a week to convince my company “helpdesk” = oxymororn that this was the problem after I researched it myself.

  2. Jeff
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow! OK, Wow! THANK YOU!!! You solved my problem in one fell swoop. I’m running the Windows version of Excel 2010 on my Mac via Parallels, and everything was just fine. Then all of the sudden I started getting the “Large Operation” error one day after installing Excel. I guess Windows had to apply a ton of updates for the new install. I never would have figured this out if it weren’t for your post. Thanks again!

  3. Ann
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    No it has not fixed the problem for me….

    • Posted July 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the update, Ann. It reminded me to go and take a look to see if M$ has another fix for this yet. Update posted above.

  4. Bell
    Posted August 3, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi there,
    I do not have this update ( KB2597166) on my office 2010 on my Xp machine, but i still get the problem with my excel when try to load a large file. Excel cannot complete the task with available resource. Choose less data or close other applications

    • Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble with your Excel file. My question to you is: have you ever been able to open the file in question on your machine? If not, it’s entirely possible that your workstation doesn’t have sufficient memory to open the file (considering that it is an XP-based workstation). Perhaps you can try opening it on a Vista or Win 7 workstation?

  5. Steph
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I removed KB2597166 from my machine and Excel works great now. It wanted to re-install this morning so I did just so I could download the “fix” KB2598378. When I ran it, it said there was nothing on my computer that this patch fixes. So I uninstalled KB2597166 again. Seems to be the only solution for me, but it keeps wanting to re-install every day…and within my company I cannot turn off automatic updates….grrrrrrrrrr Microsoft!!!

    • Posted August 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Steph,
      My tech did the test on this fix (KB2598378) and it will make KB2597166 superceded. Now, you have to make sure that you’re using the correct version of the hotfix. Note that while you may be running on a 64-bit version of Windows, most IT departments (ours included) use the 32-bit version of Office (for reasons that I won’t go into here). I suspect this might be what is preventing you from applying the hotfix.

      • Steph
        Posted August 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Newmanth! I’m forwarding this to our IT guy. Much appreciated.

  6. Posted August 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink | Reply


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