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marcodianaFlag for United States of America

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database using Access runtime doesn't open

I have a client with an Access database (2002-2003 format) that is installed with the Access Runtime.  She has been using this database for quite some time and has an install disk for any new machines or instances when she needs to reinstall the application.  Last week she installed the database on two machines.  One installed perfectly but on the other, a laptop running Windows XP SP2, when she tries to open the application from the icon on the desktop, nothing happens.  You get a quick flash of a Windows installer dialog box but then it disappears.

We experienced this same problem twice, but I do not have the notes available to me about how it was resolved.  I know the first time we used Macropool's MDAC Repair utility (another program they use was updated and it messed up the MDAC files) but I think the second time we had to do something else.  I wish I could remember more and without my notes I have not way to look back and see what I did.

I have run the MDAC Repair utility and it says the MDAC 2.81 is fine.  I have uninstalled/reinstalled my application, repaired the Access RT via the Control Panel and by directly running the RT msi from my installation disk.  None have resolved the problem.  Any suggestions for a course of action would be greatly appreciated!
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I suspect that even though the application was installed via Runtime on both machines, one machine also has full Access installed and the other machine does not.

Per this link, several features (including the DB window) are not available with Runtime, unless Runtime has been customized for these features.
Running in Runtime vs. Full Access 2003
Access 2003 Runtime is, in essence, Microsoft Access 2003, but with a few key features disabled. A user with Access 2003 Runtime installed instead of full Access can open and run an Access application (either an MDB file or, with a few extra steps, a SQL Server back-end database) but does not see the Database Window and cannot switch the view of any Access object to Design view.

The following features are not included as part of Access 2003 Runtime without additional customization:
The Database window
Title bar text/icon (can be specified by the MDB instead of by Access)
Some menu items, such as Open and Save in the File menu, and the entire View, Format, and Tools menus
Shortcut menus
Built-in toolbars
Access Help
Designers (including Filter by Form)
VBA editor
Avatar of marcodiana


Access is not installed on the machine.  In fact, there may only be one or two machines in the entire office of 50+ PCs that are running Access.  That is why I packaged this database with the Access 2002 runtime.  (I use 2003 for development but used the 02/03 format for compatibility with the 02 RT)

Sorry I didn't provide this information in my first post because I'm sure that would have made a difference in your solution.  
Ok, then I suspect a problem with the Access Object library references.    The problem pc is missing  reference components or has a different version of the DLL or OCX file you had on your computer when you created the reference. For example if you had a reference to the Excel  11 object library when  you packaged Runtime, and the problem machine has Excel v10, you are likely to have a problem with that Runtime installation.
Thanks for your reply.  I now recall that this was the issue previously with one of their machines.  I guess my problem now is how to remedy the situation.  I have attached a screenshot of my references.  Again, this problem has to be with MDAC.  I am referencing ADO 2.5 and DAO 3.6, the other references shouldn't be an issue.

Any other advice on how to proceed?
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I hoped your solution above would work and I was focused on the problem being a reference because I know that was the problem before.  This time I have tried repairing MDAC and that hasn't helped at all.  I tried checking the references using the code above, but the database won't even open to display some msgboxes to tell me what references might be broken on the offending machine.  I have checked the location of the files that are referenced, and everything looks fine.  As a test, I added an mdb on the machine which has only one table and one form and there is absolutely no code in it. (the form was created quickly with the wizard to display the data in the single table in tabular format)  However, opening the test file returns the same results -- you get a quick flash of a Windows installer dialog box but then it disappears and the database file never opens.

I have repaired/reinstalled the Access Runtime several times.  I cannot completely uninstall it because my client has another program that apparently uses the Runtime as well.  

This problem really needs to get fixed and despite my research, I cannot seem to find any solution that fixes this problem.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
I will look and see if I can find something specific and get back to you.  In the meantime, the following two things might be worth looking into:

1. If you primarily used DAO vs ADO, your references should place DAO higher than ADO on the priority list.  This is needed because the ADO reference is installed by default on Access versions 2000+ and DAO is not and Access Runtime may not "see" the DAO reference if it follows ADO on the priority list.   So looking at your reference list above, you might try increasing the DAO reference priority over ADO in your mdb version and then redeploy.
2. See this link for detailed instructions and code/procedures that will enable you to "bullet proof" your applications and enable you to avoid problems with references that prevent the application from working.  This attack the reference problems from a prevention point of view.  I know these routines work because they work for me on my installations....although my clients have always had the full MS Office suite with the full version of Access, not runtime.
Hope this helps.