Cannot double-click on an Access Database to open

Posted on 2004-11-01
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
On a Windows XP machine all patched, I had previously installed Access 97 with Office 2000 Pro.  Could not double click to open a database, but can open access and open the the database from there.  Error message I receive is "The command line you used to start Microsoft Access contains an option that Microsoft Access does not recognize"  Exit and restart Microsoft Access using valid command-line options.  If you click on that a couple of times this error comes up, "Microsoft Access can't find the database file c:\documents.mdb make sure you entered the correct path and filename"  I uninstall Access 97 and 2000 and reinstall 2000 only same problem, upgraded to Office XP, same problem.  Help!!!!
Question by:tnstech
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution


    First I would right click on the access mdb file and click properties. Make sure the Open With is set to Microsoft Access.

    If it is set correctly then I do not know...

    maybe try clicking start-> control panel-> folder options

    In the folder options select the 'file types' tab... scroll down to MDB and click advanced.

    The only advice I can give here is what my system says (I am running Office XP on Windows XP)
    I have 2 action entries.. one says New and one says Open

    In the 'Application used to perform the action' box I have
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\MSACCESS.EXE" /NOSTARTUP /n "%1"

    (I really do not know what the options /nostartup /n "%1" mean... I would google Access command line options)

    If you are running Access 97 on a machine running Office XP (without Access) maybe make sure the link is to your version of Access... IE C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office97\MSACCESS.EXE"

    Again, I am just taking stabs at the problem.

    My settings also have DDE enabled.

    If you installed Access 97 and Access XP on the same machine you may have even more problems.

    Hope this helps you in the right direction.


    Author Comment

    Thank you mydbguy.  Corrected the file association, but I think it may be a little more than that.  

    I noticed under the Windows profile in application data that there was not a section for Access under Microsoft.  So  I copied a folder in from another machine.  I can now right mouse click on the file and select Open with...which will work.   But still cannot double click on the file to open, same error as before.   Also, /nostartup stops that help pane from coming up.   could not find anything on the /n or %1
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Does this problem only occur on a single MDB or any MDB on the machine?

    I found one thing regarding your error on microsoft but it has to do with password protected databases...

    here is the link:;en-us;828406

    Have you installed all available updates for Office?

    Good luck.
    LVL 58

    Expert Comment

    "Access can't find the database file c:\documents.mdb"

    This is typical for missing quotes around %1 in the file association commands for Open. Without quotes, you will have:
        <start ms access> <options> C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Desktop\My New Database.mdb
    Access will look for "C:\Documents" and fail.
    If you add the quotes around %1 (which will be replaced by the long version of the file name), it will work.

    This bug happened frequently before the 2000 versions, in several apps.


    Author Comment

    Yes this happens on any database you try to open, all patches are applied.  I will check the quotes around the %1 and let you know.  Thank you!

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