I have successfully joined a .xls Excel spreadsheet to a shapefile. The join is successful (the number of remaining records seems accurate), although it takes a really long time (like 20 minutes). For reference it's a shapefile of 140,000 parcels and a .xls containing about 18,000 unique records.
When I go to export this newly joined layer so that it is a permanent layer (Data -> Export Data), it works almost immediately and asks me if I want to add the new layer to my map. When I do however, there are 0 records in this new shapefile, but the shapefile has been created and shows up in my computer and in the TOC. There is just no information in it.
The .xls has no spaces/special characters in the column names. Can you think of anything else that may cause this undesired result?