Apparently in their ongoing zelous and futile attempt to secure microsoft office 2003 the boys in Redmond have released an patch called the Office File Validation (OFV). The goal of the OFV is to determine the trustworthiness of a file before it is opened. However when opening a file in excel over the network, there is one major problem, it takes forever.
Microsoft helpfully suggests that you upgrade from 2003 to 07 or 10 to solve this issue as they do not have the problem. However if you don’t want to spend several hundred dollars to solve their problem they have released a fix-it for me that will disable the OFV for excel.
The fix-it and other details can be obtained from Microsoft support.