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MS Access system.mdw Problems After Domain Move

Posted on 2010-08-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi folks!

I work for a junior college with about 150 Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 computers in a Windows Server 2003-based Active Directory environment. Each has the volume license version of Microsoft Office 2007 Enterprise on it.

Recently, we migrated users from one domain to another, Well, migrate is not the correct term. We eliminated an old domain controller and re-created user accounts, using dsadd, on the new domain controller for each user. As part of the process, we also moved the users' profile and home folders to the new domain and set proper security permissions on them for each user. Then each of our workstations had its domain membership changed from the old domain to the new. Roaming profiles, access to home directories, etc. all seem to be working fine.

However, we've suddenly started having a problem with Microsoft Access. It started out affecting only a handful of users and has now suddenly spread to all users. When a user opens Access and attempts to either create a new database or open an existing one, they get an error message stating that the file C:\Documents and Settings\xxxx\Application Data\Microsoft\Access\system#.mdw cannot be found (where xxxx is their username and # is either blank or a number from 1-7).

I have checked, and the files it is trying to access do exist. Also, each user has proper NTFS permissions to access all files, including those, in their profile folders.

If I create a new user account wiht a fresh roaming profile, one that was not duplicated from the old domain, Access works fine. And, as I said, users were having no problems the first two days after the move, but suddenly today all have this issue.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

- Ithizar
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Question by:Ithizar
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Expert Comment

by:aflockhart
ID: 33466972
Not sure if this will help, but it may be worth checking the profiles and the folders in Documents and Settings.  If the machine formerly belonged to DOMAIN1 and was used by USER1 , but is now used by a different user account DOMAIN2/USER1 , you may have profile folders for both users. And the new user account may not have permission to read in the folder belonging to the old user.
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Author Comment

by:Ithizar
ID: 33467338
Thanks! I have checked, though, and there appears to correctly be only one profile directory for each user. There are no multiple directories like John Smith, John Smith.DOMAIN2, etc.
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Accepted Solution

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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 500 total points
ID: 33473454
First: There really should only be 1 copy of system.mdw on the machine. "system.mdw" is the default workgroup that is used for all Access applications, and is universal. If you have multiple versions of systemxx.mdw, then you may have permissions issues - Access will create a new copy of System.mdw if it cannot locate that file, and for some reason is may not be able to find the original file, so it creates a new one (and appends a numeral to it, since a copy already exists).

I'm no AD expert, but it sounds like your profiles didn't migrate over correctly for some reason. If you say you can recreate profile and it works, that would be the source of the issue. Access is working as expected - it MUST have system.mdw, and if it cannot locate the file, it will create it.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Ithizar
ID: 33646304
Thanks for the help! This was a profiles problem, and we ultimately had to just recreate user profiles to solve it.
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