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Article ID: 215366 - Last Review: October 25, 2013 - Revision: 4.0

This article was previously published under Q215366
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When you start Microsoft Excel, you may receive the following error message:
This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.
If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.
If you click Details, you receive an error message that is similar to the following:
Excel caused an invalid page fault in module Excel.exe at 015f:300a8487.


This problem occurs when you do the following:
  • You add the Page Break command directly to the Worksheet Menu Bar.
  • You have an add-in loaded.


To correct this problem, use any of the following methods:
  • Method 1: Reset the Excel toolbar information file.
  • Method 2: Remove the Page Break command from the Worksheet Menu Bar.
  • Method 3: Unload all add-ins
To implement methods 2 and 3, you must first be able to open Microsoft Excel without error messages. To run Excel without receiving the invalid page fault, use the /automation switch when starting Excel. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, click Browse in the Open box, and then locate the Excel.exe file.

    By default this will be located in the following folder:
    c:\program files\microsoft office\office\
  2. Click the Excel.exe file, and then click Open.
  3. In the Run dialog box, type /automation after the path as in the following example:
    c:\program files\microsoft office\office\excel.exe /automation
    Note the space between excel.exe and /automation.
  4. Click OK to run Excel.

Method 1: Reset the Excel Toolbar File

The file that contains custom toolbar settings is stored in the "C:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel" folder and is named one of the following:
  • Excel.xlb, if your computer is not connected to a network or is not set up with a logon prompt.
  • Username.xlb, where Username is your user log on name.
Using Microsoft Explorer, rename this file to Test.xlb. Then, start Excel and open the Test.xlb file. Create a custom toolbar, and move the Page Break button from the Worksheet Menu Bar to the Custom toolbar. You may put the toolbar anywhere you want. Then, quit and restart Excel to save the changes to the toolbar.

Method 2: Remove the Page Break Command

NOTE: This problem only occurs when you place the command directly on the Worksheet Menu Bar (not on a menu). You can successfully start and run Excel with the command on any other toolbar. For example, place the Page Break command on the Standard instead.
  1. On the Tools menu, click Customize.
  2. In the Customize dialog box, right-click the Page Break command on the Worksheet Menu Bar and click Delete.
  3. In the Customize dialog box, click Close.

Method 3: Unload All Add-ins

If you are not using any add-ins, you may unload them instead of removing (or moving) the Page Break command from the Worksheet Menu Bar. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Add-Ins.
  2. In the Add-Ins dialog box, click to clear (remove the check mark) for all the add-ins listed, and click OK.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More information

The Page Break command is available on the Insert menu of the Worksheet Menu Bar. You can add or remove any commands on a menu or toolbar (collectively referred to as command bars). However, if you add the Page Break command to the Worksheet Menu Bar and you have add-ins loading, Excel will not start but display a page fault error message.


For additional information about toolbars, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
291074  ( ) XL2002: Default toolbars and toolbar buttons seen instead of customizations

Applies to
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbbug kbpending KB215366
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