Access Crashes when opening a Form

Posted on 2007-07-22
Last Modified: 2013-11-28

Im looking for ideas about how to solve a problem with an MS Access 2003 application that has been distributed to a number of client locations and seems to be working well at all of them except one. In this case, opening a certain form causes the application and Access itself to stop running and close.  Im not even able to open this form in design view without bring Access down. There is nothing particularly unique about this form, except that it references a very large table that the application links to in another MDB file.

I suspect that there is something about the installation of Access itself that may be problematic, or that the application is somehow corrupted such it fails at this site only.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Question by:RTQ
    LVL 75

    Accepted Solution


    This just solved a similar problem here on EE a couple of days ago - "worked on all systems except one" ...

    A **DeCompile** may help here ...

    But first, if you have not already:
    Check for any **Missing References via the VBA Editor>>Tools>>References ....

    Then, follow this procedure:

    0) **Backup your MDB**
    1) Compact and Repair the MDB, as follows:
    Hold down the Shift key and open the MDB, then from the menu >>Tools>>Database Utilities>>Compact and Repair ...
    2) Execute the Decompile (See example syntax below) >> after which, your database will reopen.
    3) Close the mdb
    4) Open the mdb and do a Compact and Repair (#1 above).
    5) Open the mdb:
        a) Right click over a 'blank' area of the database window (container) and select Visual Basic Editor. A new window will open with the title 'Microsoft Visual Basic' ... followed by then name of your MDB.
        b) From the VBA Editor Menu at the top of the window:
            Note ... after the word Compile will see the name of your 'Project' - just an fyi.

    6) Close the mdb
    7) Compact and Repair one more time.

    *** Executing the DeCompile:
    Here is an example of the command line syntax  (adjust your path and file name accordingly) for executing the


    Run this from Start>>Run, enter the following command line ...

    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Msaccess.exe" /decompile


    For more detail on the Decompile subject ... visit the Master on the subject (and other great stuff) Michael Kaplan:

    LVL 39

    Expert Comment

    Over 90% of the time if Access works on one computer but not another, it is missing references.  In the Visual Basic Editor check under tools > references for any reference that says "missing".  Fix that.

    To avoid that problem try to store all the reference files in the same relative UNC path (such as: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\ADDINS).  Also use an application launcher to deploy the database (my favorite free one is Little Setup Builder because it is so quick and easy to use) to make sure the correct referenced files are where they are supposed to be.

     If you don't have the word "Missing:" on one of the references on the  computer causing the problem, carefully check the date, time and size of every referenced file on the problem computer against the date, time and size on a computer without problems to make sure the versions are the same.  With any that are different, copy the problem computer file to another folder (in case changing it causes other problems) and copy a "good" one to the problem computer.

    You can have your database notify you of broken references on a client's machines using the code explained here: http:Q_21681567.html#15800828

    Other than that, are the OS and Access Versions and SP level the same?  Try repairing Access on problem computer.  

    You can also 'try creating a new form and copy all the objects and code from the problematic form to the new one.

    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    go with te above possible solutions.  If that fails, make sure the "evil PC" has a default printer defined.  Office applications wig out when there is no default printer associated with it.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Is this DB almost 2GB?

    Author Comment

    Hello TaeSoft:

    No. The MDB file containing the application is small - about 6k. One of the databases that it links to is about 207mg. This file contains a table that is used by the form that crashes when its open (either at run time or in design view). As it turns out, this large database seems to be getting corrupted. I think the culprit is an encryption process that takes place during transmission to the client site. This is still a theory - it is only happening for one client. But it looks promising.
    LVL 75

    Expert Comment

    by:DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Access MVP)

    I'm on a roll this week with Decompile ...  6/6 :-)


    Author Comment

    Thanks DatabaseMX:

    I did try your decompile procedure, then reimported all of the objective. While it did not solve my problem, it was a helpful procedure to go through since it resolved some problems I saw in the program (i.e., "unsupported" dependencies for several forms, etc.). I also implemented a version of the code you pointed me to for testing references.

    Rick Q
    LVL 75

    Expert Comment

    by:DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Access MVP)
    ok ... well, that's a good start :-)

    I will now make that a 6.5 /7 for the week to date :-)


    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Highfive + Dolby Voice = No More Audio Complaints!

    Poor audio quality is one of the top reasons people don’t use video conferencing. Get the crispest, clearest audio powered by Dolby Voice in every meeting. Highfive and Dolby Voice deliver the best video conferencing and audio experience for every meeting and every room.

    This article is a continuation or rather an extension from Cascading Combos ( and builds on examples developed in detail there. It should be understandable alone, but I recommend reading the previous artic…
    In the article entitled Working with Objects – Part 1 (, you learned the basics of working with objects, properties, methods, and events. In Work…
    Familiarize people with the process of retrieving data from SQL Server using an Access pass-thru query. Microsoft Access is a very powerful client/server development tool. One of the ways that you can retrieve data from a SQL Server is by using a pa…
    In Microsoft Access, learn how to “cascade” or have the displayed data of one combo control depend upon what’s entered in another. Base the dependent combo on a query for its row source: Add a reference to the first combo on the form as criteria i…

    759 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    10 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now