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I don't know what's going on. I haven't been able to make it happen for myself, using the book DVD with ArcGIS 10 SP3 on an XP machine running Windows 7. Have tried it by installing the data locally, accessing it from a network drive, and reading it from the DVD: the attribute tables always open normally for me. Can you give me more information about your computer and operating system? Sorry about this.
I am using a LENOVO ThinkPad T61 32 bit laptop with 4 GB RAM running Windows Vista 2007.
I copied the work book data to my C: drive and am accessing it from there.
I have not had this problem with any other data.
Are you running the ArcGIS Desktop trial software that came with the book or an installation from another source?
Sorry you're still having the problem.
I am running our standard corporate version of ArcGIS 10 not the trial version that came with the book. We package the software and then push it out via our intranet. It could be an issue with the packaging. I will have someone here try it on their PC to see if it is unique to my PC.
Do you know which license level: ArcView, ArcEditor or ArcInfo?
A colleague tried opening the tables and was successful. I tried opening the attribute tables again today and it works fine! Go figure, must have been something with my PC.
Thanks for the comments and suggestions.
I also faced the same problem with creating the first map, Based Layer Streets and then a Data Layer. One time it did open up and when I tried it later following the exact same actions it didn't.
When you first add a Data Layer, open the Attribute Table and then add the Based Layer Streets, the problem never came up and I can work just fine. I don't know if this is relevant for you, but for me it works.