Error Message - Base Version Must Not be Negative

I received the below message when trying to apply and close the Query Editor. If I knew how to interpret the message :blush: perhaps I could determine the problem. Perhaps, you have seen the error message before.

I noticed on the BI Community blog that a few others had the issue in mid-October, but didn’t really see a resolution. I put a comment on the blog as well.

The message received is below -


“Failed to save modifications to the server. Error returned: 'The base version must not be negative when impact is requested for a transaction.”

I had completed a BI file but wanted to start from scratch again (as just playing around and learning BI) to clean it up and create properly. My original (3 months old) excel file has several tabs which are imported into BI. This was used with BI file that is working okay.

I used a current excel file (changes monthly) for my new BI file, all the tabs import okay except for one which has changed the least over the last few months.

I compared the two tabs in the excel files (current and one 3 months ago) and both are the same except for two rows of data
What is odd is this !!

The original BI file still updates okay with the original file EVEN AFTER adding the 2 extra lines to the original excel file.

HOWEVER, if I delete that query file in query editor (one tab from excel) in BI and try to load into Query Editor and BI file again (from the original excel file), it too gives me the same error message.

I also moved that tab to another excel file by itself and loaded, the error is still received.

Only the update or refresh works.

I did notice that the Query Editor in BI did not automatically use the first row as headers when the error occurred. So I told the query editor to use first row as headers. It does it correctly with all the other tabs. Even if I use a table for the tab, the same error message results.

Again, if I could translate the error message, I might be able to figure out what is the issue.

Thanks for any help you can provide. If you want me to attach any files that may help, please let me know.

Honestly these is probably the only area that MS is falling down on majorly with the product at the moment…the errors are just hopeless.

I get errors also that make absolutely no sense.

Usually I just shut down the file and re-open and that fixes it most times.

But it still is very frustrating.

I don’t really know what this means unfortunately. So I can help with this.

But let dive into the data. It’s likely there could be something different about it that just isn’t being realised right now.

Have you attempting to bring in this singular dataset or table into a new file by itself? Maybe even try a small sample of the data to see if it could be one small thing.

Is the data in your excel file in a table also? Try this. Power BI prefers this. If you have your data in proper excel table then it will generally pick on the headers correctly.

I’m taking a wild guess here, but I think Power BI is confused about where the data might be located in the particular worksheet. That’s my pick, but it’s a wild guess at the moment


Thanks for the reply. Previously, I had shut down the excel file, reloaded BI Desktop, and also rebooted my computer to no avail. This morning after bringing up computer I started playing around for a solution again and the problem does NOT EXIST !! I first tried loading the same file by itself - no error. I then tried on files that had failed before - no error. On the BI community, the user with error could not duplicate error either - just went away.

Just hope I don’t get the message again in the future as the file would not update. Didn’t check to see if all BI visuals were not updated or just those using those fields.

Thanks again, look forward to Summit next week.


Ok great, glad it’s working now.


Problem with error message is occurring again as trying to update file. Posted again on BI Community Blog (no replies from first post a few weeks ago).

Any way to find out what message means at least?

Thanks for your help.


For our forum group’s knowledge, I researched this issue last night on a more thorough Google search and found the respective resolution noted below with the Options Settings.

Evidently, it had to do with Relationships although you would never know that based on the error message. It could not figure out the relationships within the tables.

I tried today and it resolved the issue. In the Current File under Options Settings, uncheck the box and then apply changes and recheck your relationships or create yourself. In fact, I can recheck the Autodetect afterwards and it still works when I refresh or update with the source file.


Hi Richard,

Thanks for sharing this.

I did have a quick look myself and was a bit lost on it, so glad you’ve found the solution.

Personally I feel the default on this setting should be off. The ‘guessing’ of relationships within Power BI is generally quite hopeless.

Glad you’ve got it sorted right now though.