Getting "External table is not in the expected format." error while trying to import an Excel File in SSIS


I am trying to import an Excel file (.xls) via SSIS to a table in SQL Server. But SSIS doesn't seem to recognize the file as a valid Excel file. I get the following errors:

Error 1:

[Excel Source [86]] Error: SSIS
The AcquireConnection method call to the connection manager "Carga Base Original" failed with error code 0xC0202009. There may be error messages posted before this with more information on why the AcquireConnection method call failed.

Error 2:

Error: Excel Source failed validation and returned error code 0xC020801C.

Error 3:

[Connection manager "Carga Base Original"] Error: SSIS Error Code DTS_E_OLEDBERROR. An OLE DB error has occurred. Error code: 0x80004005. An OLE DB record is available.
Source: "Microsoft Access Database Engine"
Hresult: 0x80004005
Description: "External table is not in the expected format".

My connection manager properties is an Excel Source, its properties look like this:

Connection Manager Properties

I am passing the Excel file path through a variable. The Excel file looks OK and is not corrupted. I tried to put a fix Excel path, try to put it in Connection String property (fix path and variable), but nothing of this helped.

Can anyone please help me?

asked on Stack Overflow Jul 25, 2019 by Paulo Felicio • edited Jul 26, 2019 by Hadi

2 Answers


The main error is:

External table is not in the expected format

This happens when the Excel file is corrupted and cannot be opened by Access Database Engine (OLE DB provider) even if you can open the file from Excel. In a similar case opening the file manually and saving it as a new file may do the trick.

answered on Stack Overflow Jul 26, 2019 by Hadi • edited Jul 28, 2019 by Hadi

In my case saving the mail-merged reference Excel file as .xls (Excel 97 - 2003) worked. .xlsx provoked the "External table is not in expected format" error message but .xls did not.

answered on Stack Overflow Feb 16, 2021 by whatbox

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