Problems downloading .xls files from web sites

  csqwared 15:27 24 Sep 2014

I've always downloaded my Santander statement in .xls format to Linux Mint 13/LibreOffice/Calc without any problem. This months attempt has resulted LibreOffice defaulting to Writer and presenting the statement in HTML source code. I switched to my other machine WinXP Pro/Firefox into MS Excel and get the message "The file you are trying to open is a different format than specified by the file extension". I get the same result using IE8 and WinXP/Excel. I thought this was a Santander problem (currently re-working their web site), but have just tried to download my TalkTalk phone account with exactly the same result. Other files from these sites (PDF, TXT) download correctly.

Any ideas folks?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:26 24 Sep 2014

Only thought is spread sheets can contain macros which possbly your Av program is interpreting as a virus.

  csqwared 16:35 24 Sep 2014

*Fruit Bat /\0/*

That's what I can't understand. I've not altered any of my AV stuff, Linux will open the file but in HTML and this is the first time over three years I've had a problem? The report from Excel regarding the wrong extension made me think originally of wrongly written software by Santander, but now two sites don't work.

  csqwared 19:09 25 Sep 2014

As a follow up, tried the downloads on my wife's machine (WinXP Pro with Opera) with the same result. Seems to me the only common denominator is the service provider (TalkTalk). Is that possible?

  rdave13 20:17 25 Sep 2014

Check your router's security settings. I've no idea of your modem/router so have a google how secure it is. Change settings on it to see if that works. Follows you'll need to change connection data on all machines you have. Apparently even routers are vulnerable to being hacked. Failing that then talk to your ISP about the problem.

  rdave13 22:11 25 Sep 2014

Woolwell common area is that the problem shows the file extension isn't as stated. Alarm bells should ring now don't you think?

  csqwared 19:35 26 Sep 2014

Woolwell, rdav13

Using Office 2010 on both Win XP pc's & LibreOffice on Linux.

Linux machine uses Firefox, my Win PC uses Firefox but also tried IE8. My wife's machine uses Opera.

The file will open in Linux but in Writer not Calc and displays the HTML code, which, when 'deciphered' contains the correct information (Transactions etc.) of my account.

I do save the file and then try and open it with the appropriate software. The file title has a .xls extension not .xlsx

I've not experienced problems before nor, as far as I know, has anything changed that would affect all three systems.

I've got a spare router kicking about somewhere, I'll give it a try.

Thanks for your input

  csqwared 19:36 26 Sep 2014

Incidentally the .pdf and .txt files work perfectly.

  csqwared 20:36 26 Sep 2014


No, I save the file to HDD, open Calc or Excel and then try to open the file with File/Open from menu. Excel gives me the 'wrong extension' window and Linux opens LibreOffice Writer and then the file. With Linux, in the case of the Santander file it opens as HTML and the TalkTalk file opens as pure text (as though it was a .txt file). All the information contained therein is correct, just not presented in the proper manner.

Have just upgraded the firmware on my router, an OnNetworks N150, also tried my old router (Netgear DG834) and still get the same result as previously.

By the way none of my PC's are wifi, all three are ethernet connected.

Lokks like a chat with the service provider. :-((

  csqwared 20:38 26 Sep 2014

Lokks?? = looks

  rdave13 21:28 26 Sep 2014

In Windows might be worth going to folder options and dot the button for 'show hidden files and folders' and also untick the box for 'hide extensions for known file types'. That should show what extension the file actually is.

I don't like the "The file you are trying to open is a different format than specified by the file extension" info.

I'm always paranoid with security so if I'm way out and there's a simpler solution I apologise but certainly worth checking when it comes to Banking online.

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