non-admin users not able to use Powerpivot for Excel 2012 on Windows XP

Recently we investigated issues where non-admin users could not open Powerpivot 2012 window in Excel 2010 on Windows XP machines.

When trying to open the Powerpivot window they get the following error message:

“Embedded Analysis Services Engine: Could not open embedded Powerpivot data”

During the investigation it turned out that the "SeIncreaseBasePriorityPrivilege" windows privilege is required for opening the Powerpivot window.

Users that have this privilege won't have issues in opening Powerpivot window anymore.

Unfortunately only administrators have this privilege by default on Windows XP.

But administrators can assign the privilege to users or groups that need to work with Powerpivot via the "User rights assignment" folder in the Local Security Policy (secpol.msc) tool.

Alternatively roll it out to all domain machines via group policy.

A KB article explaing the issue is on the way and we hope to have a Hotfix available soon.


July 2012 update:

We noted that the issue is not limited to Windows XP, but can affect Windows Vista and Windows 7 clients as well.

The difference being that on these newer operating systems you should be able to use Powerpivot with non-admin users unless you remove privileges that were granted by default.

On Windows Vista and Windows 7 the privilege required for usage of the Powerpivot window is "SeIncreaseWorkingSetPrivilege".

While office programs will be (and should be) primarily used on client operating systems, Powerpivot usage on the corresponding server operating systems (Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2) has similar issues.

You can avoid the described privilege issues by downloading the Powerpivot add-in from cumulative update 2 for SQL Server 2012: 

The 64 bit add-in is available as "2012_RTM_PPExcel_CU2_2703275_11_0_2325_x64", the 32 bit add-in as "2012_RTM_PPExcel_CU2_2703275_11_0_2325_x86".

Comments (4)
  1. Wayne Robertson says:


    The fix for this is included in SQL Server 2012 RTM Cumulative Update 2 (…/2703275).

  2. Marty says:

    Thanks for the update on the fix.  This has been such a pain point for the last couple months.

  3. We’ve had a few reports of an error when trying to open the PowerPivot for Excel 2013 'Manage'

  4. Shane says:

    Hi, I was wondering if anyone can help.

    I'm experiencing the “Embedded Analysis Services Engine: Could not open embedded Powerpivot data” error however not on all files I try to open which baffles me.  I have local admin rights and I can literally open two files one will open correctly with all powerpivot data and the other will give me the error.  

    Wondering if anyone can help.

    I'm using Excel version 14.0.6023.1000 (32-bit) with PowerPivot 11.0.2100.60, I've even tried upgrading to 11.0.3000

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