Access 97 - runing an application causes blank message with exclamation point

When clicking on a Access 97 database application, a blank error message box with an exclamation point appears.  Clicking OK takes you to the application BUT the buttons do not function.

Please note the following:
- OS: Windows 2000 with Office 2000 (Access 2000 disabled);
- The problem occurs *only* on this computer and it appears to occur with *all* Access 97 database applications;

Some history:
The database apps initially worked [on this computer] until Office 2000 decided that Access 2000 should become primary over Access 97 (just on its own after a boot up).  I then removed Access 2000 entirely which than set off a chain of events that led me to entering this query here on EE.

Additionally, I've notice that when starting the add in manager, the error "error in loading dll" appears.  However, I'm not sure if this is related.

200 bonus points if this question is answered by tomorrow (Friday) - or suggestion is given leading to a solution.  No! Re-installing Windows 2000 is NOT a solution!

Thank you,
S ConnellyTechnical WriterAsked:
Who is Participating?
MoondancerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
200 points refunded, question moved to the PAQ at zero points and closed.  Thanks, Nico.
Moondancer - EE Moderator
Sounds to me like you might want to re-install Access 97.

Question: Why do you have Access 2000 disabled? What happens when you enable Access 2000?

S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
Carey, I should point out that I have re-installed Access 97 alone and with Access 2000.  

I took away Access 2000 by simply renaming it to msaccess.exe-stop.  

Why? Because for some reason, Office 2000 keep detecting that it wasn't working and it would place another copy of the .exe in the Office folder.  Besides, I've had problems with clients converting an Access 97 database to 2000 which renders the database inaccessable to the rest of the group.

At any rate, re-installing yields the exact same results.

I suppose what I need to know is what is causing this and where in the registry can this be fixed?

Thank you,
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I am doing some research, BUT:

Is Access 2000 needed on this machine. If not, have you tried uninstalling MS Access 2000 rather than renaming the .exe?

If Access 2000 is not needed, could you (I know, sounds like a lot of work), completely un-install Office 2000, un-install Office 97, re-install Office 97, including MS Access 97, and then upgrade the Office 2000 WITHOUT installing Access 2000?

I will continue looking for other solutions.
it sounds like you've gotten some crossed references. open the access97 app and create / edit a module. form the module window, choose the tools menu and the references... option. check to see if you have any MISSING references. if not, check ONE of the references ON (remember exactly the one you check) and close access. re-open access, open the references... option again, and uncheck the reference you just added. this effectively forces access to "re-link" for lack of a better description the libraries that access uses.

if this doesn't work, let us know and we'll go from there! :)

Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)PresidentCommented:
Worse, I think you have mixed .DLLS in the system.  Your going to need to un-install Access 97 manually, then re-install.

Here's a link to a MSKB article that tells you how to completly uninstall A97:;en-us;Q163997

  Make sure you follow it.  Skipping even one DLL can be a problem.

Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)PresidentCommented:
Just one other thought.  Before doing the uninstall, try switching to a standard VGA video driver.

I've found problems with a lot of drivers that are certified for Win 2000, yet cause problems with many apps (i.e. pcAnywhere).


for having both Office 97 and 2000 on one pc, you have to install Office 2000 first.

Then you install O97 into another directory. Change the default when it prompts you.

Then only you can have both Access 97 and 2000 running on one machine.
suggest u uninstall both O2000 and O97/A97 and reinstall the way i mention above.
Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)PresidentCommented:

  Actually, Microsoft suggests install A97 first, then A2000.

Here's a MSKB article that show you some of the special steps rquired if you do it the other way around and discusses in general the things required for both to co-exist:;en-us;Q241141

im sorry these people are crazy.

somewhere you probable have an errhandler that is missing the cleanexit routine.

this is how i typically do errhandling

public function HowOldAmI(birthdate as date) as integer
    on error goto errhandler

HowOldAmI = DateDiff("yy", birthdate, date())

exit function

Msgbox err.number & " - " & err.description, vbokonly
resume (or resume next, depending on how much i have tested this)
End Function

The cleanexit portion of this function allows you to exit the function without an error.  if you were to leave out the 'exit function' portion of this code, it would produce a blank msgbox.

if you want an easy way to find this, if you would hit CTRL+BRK when you see this box, it will dump you into the code where it is happening.

Also, you could put a clause in the errhandler that said if err.number = 0 then exit function

but that would be a little sloppy and would slow things down a little.
Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)PresidentCommented:
Crazy or not, the fact that it happens with *all* databases opened on this one machine suggests quite strongly that it's the environment on that PC that is the problem, not error handling in the database.
S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
Okay, you're all crazy! :-)

Are you ready for this?  Are you sure?  

Here is the answer!

I've been plagued with this problem intermittently for about six months or so... but a few days ago, in a frantic desperation to get the databases working on a new Windows 2000 install, accidentally discovered the solution (confirmed repeatability too!).

I asked, are you ready?

Well, it seems that if I open each of the databases, ignore the error (exclamation point), close each one, open each one - again and again - about 5 times each, the errors (BELIVE IT OR NOT) gradually go away, the program buttons begin to work... and finally all the database programs work without further error (even after reboot)!!!

I tried this technique on several other Win2K/Office2K systems with the same results!!

I'm not kidding and I cannot explain this!

There you have it!

P.S. I'm still willing to offer the points for the first with a reasonable explaination on what just happened!!
Geez, you sure it's not that dreaded "I-D Ten T" error???

Never heard of that, self correcting applications. It Lives!!!!!

Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)PresidentCommented:

  Very interesting.  Do you think Win 2000 is not as good as some people think? Naw couldn't be....<g>

S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
What? You have a problem with W2K?  Since migrating W2K across this company, my support problems drop to near 0.  Mind you, it's no Sun OS or Unix terminal... but Microsoft did a very good job with W2K.

This morning, I tried the same technique on a third computer with same database errors.  All errors disappeared after about 15 trys.  Anyone know why this occurs?
Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)PresidentCommented:
<<What? You have a problem with W2K?  Since migrating W2K across this company, my support problems drop
to near 0.  Mind you, it's no Sun OS or Unix terminal... but Microsoft did a very good job with W2K.

  Granted it's a far sight better then anything in the past, but it's still not there.  Case in point, brand new Dell Pre-loaded with Win 2K.  Right-click on desktop, select properties, and hello blue screen.  Bad video driver and it was even Win 2K certified.  Go figure.

<<Anyone know why this occurs? >>
At a guess, I would assume that compile errors are being cleaned up.  This could be for a wide range of reasons.

To try and pin that down a bit more, if you still have problem stations, try opening one of the databases with the /decompile switch:

C:\...\msaccess.exe /decompile "C:\...\myapp.MDB"

  After opening close the MDB and Access, then re-open and do a Compile/save all.  See if you get any errors.  If not, try running the app.  If this cleans everything up in one try, then it's a bad compiled code.  Why it's bad could be because of any number of reasons.


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S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
Thanks to everyone for your help.

Incidently, I've installed 10 new Access 97 apps (same as above) since April and 8 of these workstations experienced this same problem.  Ignoring the errors and re-running the apps a number of times eventually clears out the errors EVERY TIME.  Seriously whacked!  I have an open support call with MS just to quench my curiousity.  Thus far, MS is stumped!
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