Error importing Excel data into Mathematica 7

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg100670] Error importing Excel data into Mathematica 7*From*: Erin Noel <enoel2 at gmail.com>*Date*: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 17:12:28 -0400 (EDT)

I have a number of programs that were originally written in V6 that import data from .xls files such as: path="C:\Users\Erin\Desktop"; data=Import["datafile.xls",{"Data",1},Path->path]; This series of commands has never failed to import the data just fine into version 6. Running the exact same code in version 7, though, results in the following error: Get::path: Join[C:\Users\Erin\Desktop,{C:\Documents and Settings\JM27373\Application Data\Mathematica\SystemFiles\Kernel\SystemResources\,C:\Documents and Settings\JM27373\Application Data\Mathematica\SystemFiles\Kernel\SystemResources\Windows\,C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Mathematica\SystemFiles\Kernel\SystemResources\,C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Mathematica\SystemFiles\Kernel\SystemResources\Windows\,C:\Program Files\Wolfram Research\Mathematica\7.0\SystemFiles\Kernel\SystemResources\,C:\Program Files\Wolfram Research\Mathematica\7.0\SystemFiles\Kernel\SystemResources\Windows\}] in $Path is not a string. >> It also states something about "Data" not being present in importing XLS files. For some reason it's trying to Join my specified path with 4 other Mathematica System Files paths and then using that path to import the Excel file. I emailed Mathematica support about this issue and they were extremely unhelpful...I booted up Mathematica holding Ctrl+Shft in order to reset the preferences, put a "\" before the special characters in the path name, and even uninstalled and reinstalled V7, but none of these things helped. Has anyone experienced this problem? And if so, I would REALLY appreciate it if anyone has any suggestions as to how to get the .xls file to import into V7. Thanks so much in advance, Erin