Calc: V7 Open a file takes many minutes.

I have a small file (<15K). 10 rows x16 columns. Few names, cells multiplying together. Nothing odd or involved.
When I open the file it takes about 5 minutes.
It will finally open. Have no idea what its doing. Pretty sure it only started happening with version 7.
The first couple of times I create a new file it works fine. The opening may be getting longer and longer.
I have Win 10 64 bit, (up to date).
I tried saving as xls format. It seemed to work OK but after opening and closing it a few times it exhibits the same problem.
Whilst loading (if in fact that is what it is doing) I get a (Not Responding) message and indeed Calc is effectively in a wait state. It does eventually load.
This is starting to become really frustrating.
OK some more testing. The problem appears to be in the settings file. If a rename a file to .zip and open it in the settings file there is a row of “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” I think this is growing with each save.
At load time it may be trying to load these invalid settings and times out/repeats for each setting. Earlier version files do not have anything like this in the settings file.
Deleting the settings.xml file fixes the load problem.
Unless I have picked up a malicious macro somehow (my Virus scanner does not pick up anything outside Calc)) I suspect its a real bug that perhaps only occurs with my particular settings, but as far as I know mine are default.

Ok More testing. It seems that it is a “known problem” with a work around. To do with the default printer.
The work around is to set the default printer to a virtual printer.
But that work around is not complete.

It seems Calc attempts to query the printer. But if the printer is on an unreachable node on a network or ii (in my case a print queue handled by a unix box which just happens to go into power saving mode, the printer can’t be reached. (ideally its really a configuration problem on the network, but that is not actually fixable without a lot of effort and shouldn’t be causing these problems anyway).

Even if I select a virtual printer the printer in the file settings is the printer it looks for. If that printer can’t be reached I am unable to change the printer because Calc attempts to reach it (why i cannot figure out). If it can’t reach the printer, it can’t be changed. Perhaps if I wait for 5 minutes each time I will be able to change it, but I am not sure I will live that long given the frustration stress this is causing me.

Work around.
In Windows change the default printer to a virtual printer. This means NOT letting windows setting the default printer.
Wait for the file to open.
Save the file
Don’t close it yet.
Create a new spreadsheet. (this will have the default printer as the virtual printer)
Copy and paste everything from the original problematic file to the new file.
Save the new file
Close the problematic file.
Open the new file. Check that the printer is set to the virtual printer. Check that your data has copied across.
Close the file.
You can either delete or rename the problematic file and rename your new file.

This will solve the problem overall.

There is another work around that will solve the problem in the short term.

Before opening a file change the the option " load printer settings with the document". This will fix the immediate problem, but if that is changed the file will again be slow to load. But you still can’t change the printer because the printer is unreachable.

An interesting side problem. If you opened Calc with the printer set to an unreachable default printer, the document Untitled.ods is created. Next time you open calc it will attempt to “recover” that file, but it can’t reach the printer and wont be discarded until you click discard when it attempts the recovery.

Perhaps the printer information could be loaded as a background task (printing disabled till it is). If it fails to contact the printer, a message box should ask to load the defaults and give the option to save to the file.

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This is related to bug tdf#42673 With disconnected network printers, Calc hangs opening some files waiting on the Windows print spooler

Thanks for that @anon73440385. It is exactly the problem. What is troubling also is that this is a 10 year old KNOWN problem and it did not come up in my original search of the problem. Probably because I didn’t know what to search for.
It is obvious from the age and still occurrence, that the problem is considered a Windows problem rather than a Libreoffice problem.
Pretty disappointing actually that a problem that a known common problem with windows can effect the operation of LibreOffice is not mitigated.
It is a Windows problem but its not a problem the average user is able to fix.
The very fact I could eventually identify the problem but was unable to alter the printer selection in Libre Office Calc BECAUSE of the problem is surely a bug in LibreOffice Calc.
I may not be able to get a work around in Windows but that should not prevent me from the printer selection in LibreOffice Calc. Surely that is a bug?