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User and Group Permissions - "<unknown>"

I have a client who has a database designed by someone who has gone out of business.  Now we have a problem and I don't have permissions to change anything.  All objects show the Current Owner as <unknown>.  We tried to join the only .mdw file we could find on the system but still no luck.
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ddalrymple
Asked:
ddalrymple
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1 Solution
 
Kelvin SparksCommented:
Look into the User Aand Group Accounts part of security and see what users belong to the Admins Group. You'll need to be able to log on as one of those.
 
Kelvin
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ddalrympleAuthor Commented:
There is no logon prompt at all.
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Kelvin SparksCommented:
Change the password of the user Admin to a value other than Null (which it is now), such as 1234. Then login using admin and 1234 for the password - or another user if you know it and its password.
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ddalrympleAuthor Commented:
Admin is the only user.  I added the password and logged in but still get the same error.
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Kelvin SparksCommented:
What mdw did you find on your systems. System.mdw?
Are there any others (including looking in database folders on your network - if there's one)?
Kelvin
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ddalrympleAuthor Commented:
No, we only found system.mdw.  And there is not normally any logon screen?
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ddalrympleAuthor Commented:
One more note.  I read an article about removing the security by converting to 2007.  WhenI try to open the db in Access 2007 it says I do not have permission to open Exclusively and therefore can't convert.
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Kelvin SparksCommented:
That would be normal for System.mdw - thats the default "unsecured" mdw that most non secured databases use. You might want to loog on and reset the password for Admin back to Nulls or every database will need to log on.
It would appear that your developer has used a technique that I sometimes use, by allow you database user level permissions while keeping a ownship and Admin permission mdw elsewhere. Without this you are stuck!
Kelvin
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Kelvin SparksCommented:
Yes 2007 is unsecure, but as you found you need the mdw for the last time to convert.
 
Kelvin
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Kelvin SparksCommented:
The last suggestion I have - it may or may not work, is to create a new blank unsecured database and import all the objects from the "secured" one to the new one. If the developer slipped up, it could be the hole you need. You will then "own" the objects in the new db.
Kelvin
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ddalrympleAuthor Commented:
Tried that already.  I created an empty database.  Tried to import to the new db and all of the forms say you do not have permission to import.  So you're saying there could be another .mdw file somewhere else - perhaps even on his computer offsite?
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Kelvin SparksCommented:
Yes there will be. It is likely to be on his PCs - if still available. I'd also check any folders that he may have put resource material in for you - in case it is there.
Kelvin
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ddalrympleAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  We'll do another search.
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Kelvin SparksCommented:
There are places that claim to be able to "unlock" such databases, although I have doubts they'd be able to achieve that if your developer knew his business security wise (and initial impressions indicate that he does). You'd have to prove that you had all rights to the system first. You'd fiind such places via the internet. I cannot recommend any as I've never had need of their services.
 
Kelvin
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
Not to jump in, since Kelvin has provided you with excellent advice, but since you get the error reported when trying to link, I'd suspect that the developer did NOT use system.mdw to do this, but instead built a custom workgroup and granted permissions on the tables to the Users group (which would allow those users to open the database, but perhaps not make design changes).

Are you doing this work on the SAME machine where the database has resided for some time? Or have you moved the database to a new machine (like your developement machine)?

How do you open this database? Do you open Access, then open the database, or do you use a shortcut?

If you use a shortcut, examing the Target property of that shortcut to see if that provides you any clue.
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ddalrympleAuthor Commented:
I am currently looking at in on a development machine.  However, I have the option of going to the machine they call the "database server" (I guess since they host it on one machine but share to other network computers).  I was just opening the database locally.  What should I be looking for?
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
How does your client open the database? I'd check one of the workstations to see if there is a shortcut users click when opening the database. If so, examine the Target property of that shortcut.
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ddalrympleAuthor Commented:
I purchased an application called MDBRecovery by e-tech and it was able to remove all the user-level permissions and now I can do what is needed to make things work again.  The program was over 10 years old and has that much data in it.  The developer was nowhere to be found.  This product saved the day.  Thanks everyone.
http://www.e-tech.ca/019-MDBrecovery.asp
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
Right, and you also never responded to my last comment re: How does your client open the database. It's very difficult for us to assist you if you don't respond promptly to our comments.
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