Can't get into an Access database

Posted on 2011-10-05
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
This is probably pretty easy for an Access guru, which I am not...  A customer was using an Access database (2003) on an XP computer.  The database is located on a network share.  She normally accessed it through a shortcut that just had the UNC path to the .mdb - nothing in the shortcut path about a workgroup or anything.  It would come up to the login box, then after logging in it would go to a menu (front end).   I put in a new Windows 7 computer, copied the shortcut over from the XP profile, but when you double click on the shortcut you get the error "You do not have the necessary permissions to use the Database.mdb object..."  No login box, and of course she does have full permissions to the database file on the server.  I copied over the Access folder inside Application Data from the XP profile, thinking that might solve it, but no luck.  I assume there has to be something in the XP profile that I need, but I don't know what or where.  The folder on the server containing the .mdb file has nothing else in it.  Help!!!
Question by:landiiiks2
    LVL 21
    Sounds like there is a custom work group file (.mdw) on the XP box.

    I believe that  one of the following is true:
    1) the work group manager app was used to permanently join tha custom work groop (.mdw)
    2) the default system.mdw was used

    I would first run the wrk group manage app on teh old XP to see what work group fiel is being used as the default.  Otherwise you could search the hard drive on the old box for a *.mdw

    Work group manager: c:\windows\system32\WRKGADM.EXE

    ** warning *** be careful that you don't destory the MDW on the XP box.
    Is there a backup  of the *.MDW somewhere?  If not,  I would make sure to make of  the .mdw and  keep it in a safe place.

    LVL 61

    Expert Comment

    < a shortcut that just had the UNC path to the .mdb - nothing in the shortcut path about a workgroup or anything.>

    Have you tried creating a new shortcut to the .mdb file using the Windows 7 computer?

    Author Comment

    I did try creating a new shortcut, as well as going directly to the share without a shortcut.
    There is a system.mdw file in her profile under Application Data\Access.  That is the folder I copied to the new computer.  Maybe I didn't put it in the right place on Windows 7?  Where should it be?
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    Provided you you use the corect customized workgroup file, you can put it where you like and direct Access to it in the shortcut.

    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICExx\MSACCESS.EXE" "C:\Your directory\YourDb.mdb" /WRKGRP "C:\A directory\Your Workgroup.mdw"

    Chris B
    LVL 77

    Expert Comment

    You need to be very careful here.
    There is almost ALWAYS a system.mdw file present. So finding a system.mdw file doesn't mean that it is the correct file.

    The location of the required .mdw file is usually specified in the shortcut used to start the application.
    So you need to look at the shortcut that was used on the old machine to check that system.mdw is what you need.

    You can place the mdw file in any folder in the backed-up data set and specify the location in the shortcut,

    "pathetomsaccess\msaccess.exe" "Pathtodatabase\database.mdb" /wrkgrp "pathtomdw\system.mdw"

    Just for info, there is nothing in the database itself to say which mdw file was used to implement the security settings.
    If you confirm that the system.mdw file you have found is the correct file, it would be a good idea to change its name to something more meaningful and then modify the shortcut accordingly.

    LVL 84

    Accepted Solution

    However, if you are absolutely certain that the original shortcut on the older XP machine did NOT include the wrkgrp switch, then the only conclusion I can come to is that the original XP box was JOINED to a non-default workgroup. However, if that were the case, then ANY Access app opened on that machine should have prompted you to log in. It's possible, of course, that yours was the only app on the machine.

    In short, if you can reopen the XP machine, then do so and open the Workgrup Administrator ( See which Workgroup file you're "joined" to, then copy that file to the new machine. Then use a commandline as suggested by burrcm and peter to launch your application.

    Author Comment

    Thanks, I'll try that.  And yes, I am absolutely certain that the original shortcut had nothing more than the UNC path to the .mdb file.

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