Digital Signature Causes crash

phileoca used Ask the Experts™

I have a little launcher application (1 form, 1 module) that simply checks if my FE needs and update, downloads if necessary, then launches the FE.

I am using my 2003 windows server Certification Authority to do digital certificates for Code Signing on my domain.  These are not LOCAL digital certificates, but are domain certs.

When i leave the application UNSIGNED, it works fine.
When I digitally sign the application, it crashes with the error message :
"Microsoft Office Access has encountered a problem and needs to close.  We are sorry for the inconvenience."
It also will crash when I try to Shift-open.

Another application I developed DOES NOT crash with the same digital signature.

Also, the launcher does not fail when launched on my development station.  Only on other workstations (and yes, all other work stations have the same problem)

I've attached the backend file and 2 front end files.

The way it works:
Form opens sets form values, calls code, checks if update is necessary, launches database (see tables for database name and path), closes launcher application.

I do not know why the digital signature is causing it to crash.  It works fine without the cert, but i'd rather the user not have to press "Open" every time they open the program. (the file may not be safe if it contains code that was intended to harm your computer) and i'd prefer to not change the macro security level.

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Forensic Computer Examiner, Analyst/Programmer & Database Architect
Couple of questions/observations:

1. have you installed Office 2003 SP3 and the required MS Access 2003 hotfix on the affected workstations (version should be Microsoft Office Access 2003 (11.8204.8221) SP3 in Help...About).
2. before you distribute the FE, it may help to de-compile, re-compile; and re-sign with digital signature.
3. have the client workstations got the certicate issuing authority cert installed - not very familiar with Microsoft Windows 2003 Server Certification, so can't be specific about this, but I do know that when I signed an Access 2003 project with an OpenSSL generated certtificate, I had to install the self-signed authority cert in a trusted location (Root Authorities if I remember correctly).

This combination of steps fixed my problems.

Good luck!
John Mc HaleForensic Computer Examiner, Analyst/Programmer & Database Architect

Just to test, I signed the Check-for-updated-FE.mdb you supplied with my own digital signature, and it did not crash, but grabbed the updated FE and ran it as expected!
John Mc HaleForensic Computer Examiner, Analyst/Programmer & Database Architect

The following discussion relates to signing MS Access 2003 ADE files with digital signature, with similar problems to yours, and were claimed to be solved by SP1 - I just went with SP3 as it was the most recent one, and cumulative:

Good luck!
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John Mc HaleForensic Computer Examiner, Analyst/Programmer & Database Architect

Most Valuable Expert 2012
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Also make sure you have fully updated the workstation's Jet installation ... it must be at SP8 (at least):


Thanks for the help!

Being a clean install I missed installing the service packs.

I applied the SP3 cumulative pack as well as access hot fix and it appears to be working like a charm!

Feel free to use the updater yourself.  :D

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