You work with IBM SPSS Statistics and receive 'Error 2054: file is not in a recognized Excel file format' when you try to import an *.xls file via file - Open - Data menu or via syntax command "GET DATA /TYPE=XLS".
Resolving the problem
This error occurs most likely if on this machine several SPSS Statistics versions has been installed in parallel. Please uninstall all Statistics applications from this machine via Control Panel - Uninstall a program.
After uninstallation cleanup the Windows Registry from SPSS Statistics folders and keys to have a fresh environment.
Please open the windows registry by writing "regedit" into the Windows Run... dialog and go into the following path:
First do a right mouse click on the /S/P/S/S folder and select "Export" and select a path where you want to temporary save this folder.
Then delete this folder by doing again a right mouse click on this folder and select "Delete".
When this cleanup is done, please re-install SPSS Statistics again and you will be able to open XLS files via the menu or command syntax.