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Calc hangs on opening ODS file - seems related to printer availability? [closed]

asked 2013-05-27 19:15:23 +0100

Meconer gravatar image

updated 2020-08-14 21:59:28 +0100

Alex Kemp gravatar image

I have a strange problem. A few weeks ago a ods document I use almost every stopped loading. Calc just froze. I was able to open the file with 7-zip and everything in it looked ok. I restarted the computer, updated to the latest LO, cleaned out my user profile and just about everything else I could think of. Nothing helped. When I tried to open it a couple of days later everything worked as expected. Since then it seems that if I open the file the first thing I do when I switch on the computer, I get the biggest chance of it working. If I wait a while the chance is smaller. Very strange. I have no idea what it could be. I need some help getting ideas. What can I do to debug this issue? Can I switch on any logging or something like that to find what's causing it?

It's not only that ods file that has the problem. When it fails, any ods file fails. If I open calc without loading a file it starts but hangs when I open ods files from the menu.

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2016-02-29 17:01:00.520241



Is it possible to attach the file here? (hopefully contains no confidential information)

mahfiaz gravatar imagemahfiaz ( 2013-05-27 20:00:55 +0100 )edit

What is your OS and GUI environemnt?

Goran Rakic gravatar imageGoran Rakic ( 2013-05-27 20:10:46 +0100 )edit

I have windows 7 home premium 64 bit. It is not just that file. It is any ods file. I'd rather not put it up here.

Meconer gravatar imageMeconer ( 2013-05-27 22:26:09 +0100 )edit

I did a test right now. I started calc. Entered a number and a formula. Saved it and tried to open it again and the same freeze happened. Seems like calc is waiting for something that never happens.

Meconer gravatar imageMeconer ( 2013-05-27 22:51:35 +0100 )edit

This is not an answer, but it can be a faulty firewall or antivirus settings. You can check in the Windows Task Manager if the LibreOffice (process name soffice) is running and try to restart it.

Goran Rakic gravatar imageGoran Rakic ( 2013-05-27 23:07:57 +0100 )edit

Do you have 32bit or 64bit Java installed? You will need 32bit even though your platform is 64bit.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2013-05-28 10:04:12 +0100 )edit

Another possibility is that you have enormous amount of equations and loadable object count is exceeded. To correct this open Tools → Settings → Memory and set number of objects in memory to something like 1000, also you could raise memory caps, e.g LibreOffice loading will be faster if you allow at least 100 MB for it, but you could raise it even to a few hundred megabytes.

mahfiaz gravatar imagemahfiaz ( 2013-05-28 10:36:21 +0100 )edit

Same thing today. I started the computer, logged in and checked my gmail and looked at a few websites before I tried to open the ods. I then shut down the computer, switched it on again and then the first thing I did was opening the ods. It worked. Now it seems to work all evening no matter what I do. Very strange.

Meconer gravatar imageMeconer ( 2013-05-28 22:22:06 +0100 )edit

oweng, if I had the wrong java version it wouldn't work at all, would it? mahfiaz, I tried to set the number to 1000 and it did not help. Same here, it would never work if it exceeded the memory, right?

Meconer gravatar imageMeconer ( 2013-05-28 22:24:16 +0100 )edit

I found an old bug report for version 3.something. The bug was that calc stopped loading because it waited for windows print spooler in some cases. I don't know if it could be something like that. It would be good if there were some settings that enables logging of some sort.

Meconer gravatar imageMeconer ( 2013-05-28 22:27:23 +0100 )edit

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answered 2013-05-29 03:32:30 +0100

oweng gravatar image

I am going to post this in an answer, even though it deals with several possible options and is not specific to the question. This is partly due to the lack of detail provided in the question. For clarity you are using "Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit" with "the latest LO" (presumably v4.0.3.3). The issue appears to be one of Calc not responding (freezing/hanging) rather than performance degredation, although you are not clear to what degree this may be. I have grouped a few considerations below under these two headings for clarity.

The fact that you suddenly experienced this problem without changing LO (I have inferred this) would suggest that the problem is most likely related to the operating system. This however does not discount the possibility that you have encountered a bug.


In order to determine whether Calc has become unresponsive it can be necessary to leave it for some time (e.g., 30+min or until you receive a system notification) to see if it does eventually respond. Some times other system components need to reach their timeout limits. Have you done this? It can be informative. The print spooler issue you mention in a comment is bug fdo#42673 which is not overly clear in its conclusion. It may have been closed as NOTOURBUG due to being a problem on the network management side of things i.e., CUPS handling of network printers. Most other "print hang" Calc bugs are equally uninformative.

While there are bugs that indicate Calc hanging on fileopen they mainly relate to the XLS/XLSX file formats. Some (like fdo#40650 and fdo#44420 which indicate auto-adjusting row height) are simply not reproducible, which again tends to point to an operating system issue on the user's computer.

Performance degradation

Java should not prevent LO from working as LO is essentially not dependent on Java, however there are instances reported where certain Java versions adversely impact performance. Making sure you have the 32bit version on Windows may help. As you suggest though this should not cause Calc to hang, so I am going to discount this (in this respect).

Indexing / anti-virus services can badly effect performance but should not cause a hang. If possible it can be worth temporarily turning off these services or preventing them from scanning the location you are working from. That will at ... (more)

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Ok. Thank you for your interest in my problem. I will try to clarify things. I am using LO If I start calc with the ods document quickly after I login in windows everything works normally. The document is rather big but loads in 2-3 seconds. However, if I wait a few minutes and then starts calc with the same document it never loads and calc stops responding. I've left it for a very long time to see if it would "wake up" eventually but it doesn't.

Meconer gravatar imageMeconer ( 2013-05-30 21:03:44 +0100 )edit

If I get calc to work normally when I log in it will work normally until I restart the computer. I won't be home for a few days now but next time I'll try with another, much smaller ods document.

Meconer gravatar imageMeconer ( 2013-05-30 21:21:40 +0100 )edit

That is quite odd. It sounds like a system (or other) service gets into a conflict with LO/Calc. Can you repeat with a Writer document? Can you open a Writer document after the Calc hang? Are the files stored locally or on a network? Is an attached printer turned on/off at the time? You will likely have to work your way through a series of these types of tests to determine exactly what is happening. As @mahfiaz indicated you can run a backtrace, although under Windows it is more complicated.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2013-05-31 01:24:25 +0100 )edit

Yes, this kind of problems are likely to take some time. I'm starting to suspect Google Chrome or maybe some of it's addons. I will have to do some tests with it.

Meconer gravatar imageMeconer ( 2013-06-04 18:29:42 +0100 )edit

Some more info. When calc is hanging the following happens: Some writer documents works, some not. I will analyze the difference in a moment. Base documents works. No .ods files works but, and this is strange, .xls file works fine!

Meconer gravatar imageMeconer ( 2013-06-09 13:34:39 +0100 )edit

New info. I tried to stop processes and then restart calc. I think I found the conflicting thing. I ran Spybot Search & Destroy. Ver 1.6.something. It has some sort of resident protection called tea timer. I have uninstalled it now to see if it helps. So far it's ok.

Meconer gravatar imageMeconer ( 2013-06-09 15:37:42 +0100 )edit

Are you using marcos? Perhaps check to see if ODS-with-macro vs ODS-without-macro makes any difference (with Tea Timer I mean). Anti-virus / anti-malware programs tend to be fairly aggressive towards macros.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2013-06-10 04:59:50 +0100 )edit

Info update: 2017 08 11. LibreOffice 5.4.0 for 64bit Windows 7 Pro. ODS file will not open because the network printer was offline. Wish that info was easier to get before I deleted user profile, updated to most recent version of LibreOffice and generally chased my tail.

jc__ gravatar imagejc__ ( 2017-08-11 17:39:24 +0100 )edit

answered 2013-06-11 18:37:19 +0100

Meconer gravatar image

updated 2013-06-11 18:38:31 +0100

Got it!

It was not the tea timer thing. The problem remained after uninstalling it. It seems to have something to do with printing. Calc seems to wait for something in the print spooler. If I stop the windows process splwow64.exe, calc resumes it's normal work and everything is ok. Splwow64.exe is a print spooler service for 32 bit programs. After stopping it, windows starts it again immediately but calc works.

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This would appear to be fdo#42673 as I indicated in my answer above.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2013-06-12 03:55:37 +0100 )edit

That bug seems to be marked as resolved. Apparently it is not. I don't have any disconnected printers. It is sometimes switched off but it doesn't help to switch it on either. Someone in the LO should check it out. Freezing the software when a printing service doesn't respond is not a proper way to handle things in my opinion. Most of the time most people don't even use a printer these days.

Meconer gravatar imageMeconer ( 2013-06-18 18:22:54 +0100 )edit

Hmmm, on re-reading that bug, I agree. I am not certain whether the cause of the problem is something in Windows or something in LO and the resolution was dubious (IMO). Please report a bug as it may be a regression (or an improperly resolved original bug), and provide as much detail as possible. I would suggest linking to the indicated bug as it does appear to be related, even if not exactly the same.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2013-06-19 02:01:32 +0100 )edit

Thanks, that one helped me a lot!

I have an ODS file which started to give me exactly the same problem, and in my case it appears to be related to a network printer that runs on a machine which I am not normally logged on to. After logging on through Windows Explorer, I was able to open the ODS file normally.

For what it's worth, there is also a reference to the printer in the settings.xml file inside the document (in <config:config-item config:name="PrinterName" config:type="string">).

Windows 8.1, Libre Office

mgroeber gravatar imagemgroeber ( 2014-07-14 14:36:48 +0100 )edit

This worked for me. I had to stop the spoolsv.exe process on a Windows 7 x64 system. This apparently happens when I'm using my laptop without being connected to our company network.

JRSofty gravatar imageJRSofty ( 2016-09-08 22:12:38 +0100 )edit

Still a problem in 2017. LibreOffice 5.4.0 for Windows 7.

jc__ gravatar imagejc__ ( 2017-08-11 17:40:23 +0100 )edit

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Asked: 2013-05-27 19:15:23 +0100

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Last updated: Jul 15 '14