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disable opening of MDBs

Posted on 2013-01-23
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Last Modified: 2013-01-24
Does anyone know if its possible to have Access 2010 not be able to open MDB files - Just ACCDB - through the open menu or clicking an app?
A reg entry or something?
Please don't bother me with " why " -:) Thanks
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Question by:bczingo
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18 Comments
 
LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:peter57r
ID: 38811023
I don't see how you can stop someone first opening Access and then attempting to open ANY file they choose - Access databases don't have to have any particular extension. Access works out what sort of database it is dealing with AFTER it has opened the file.

File extensions are used to provide AUTOMATIC opening within an application when the file is double clicked.
You should be able to stop an mdb file being opened by Access when it is double clicked just by removing the file association between mdb and Access on each machine .

On windows7 the default programs for each file type can be set bty using the 'default programs' option on the Start button.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:acbxyz
ID: 38811048
You can redefine or delete the .mdb from HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT or the user depending tree - if i remember correctly HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\classes
After that clicking on the mdb-file won't open ms access any more.

I don't think it is possible to prohibit ms access to open a mdb database through file->open.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:bczingo
ID: 38811071
Thanks for comment but the attempting and refusing is what I need - Just as if you would try

C:\...msAccess.exe "OpenThis.TXT"  would have Access return
"Unreconized database format error"...
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LVL 75
ID: 38811095
How about just renaming the extensions on MDBs to whatever ... like
<somename>.xyz ....

?
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:bczingo
ID: 38811129
I wasn't going to elaborate - but perhaps this will help -
100s of power users we are requiring to convert from MDBs to ACCDBs and we want to restrict uset to ACCDBs
(and we know that mdbs will still work and some conversions are difficult ....)
Changing ext will not help
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LVL 57
ID: 38811225
No, you can't stop it.

Jim.
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LVL 57
ID: 38811233
<<No, you can't stop it.>>

 I'm going to take that back...with a little registry hacking, you could.  Let me try something...

Jim.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:bczingo
ID: 38811239
Thanks Jim -...let me know - we could 'prolly add something like that to policy..
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LVL 84
ID: 38811244
As others have said, you can't disallow Access from opening .mdb files.

Your situation sounds more like a user training or management issue than anything else. Perhaps you could set a deadline, and inform all users that AFTER that date all .mdb files will be removed from local desktops, servers, etc. On that date, have your IT dept review all desktops and cut/paste any .mdb files to a central (and secure) network server.
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LVL 75
ID: 38811267
"Your situation sounds more like a user training or management issue than anything else. "
I most totally agree wholeheartedly ...

mx
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:peter57r
ID: 38811276
I don't see how you can now avoid the 'why' question.

Personally I can't see a single company benefit from implementing such a policy.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:bczingo
ID: 38811782
well guys -I appreciate the discourse and realize sometimes questioners are made aware of other options..

but...
 of course its a user training or management issue and we are very aware of that - this was just a question to explore the possibility of denying mdbs from running -

and as far as you personally seeing the benifit or use  in no way alters the original request of an answer to the question of if its possible.

please keep comments to the original question >>>>
"Does anyone know if its possible to have Access 2010 not be able to open MDB files - Just ACCDB - through the open menu or clicking an app?
A reg entry or something?
Thanks
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LVL 84
ID: 38812020
I think we've given you that answer: No, it can't be done. If users can navigate to the file, and have Access installed, they can open it.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:bczingo
ID: 38812296
LSMConsulting - "we've" being all the experts here??

Still awaiting from someone trying something -
I think I will keep question open for a little while
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LVL 84

Accepted Solution

by:
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 500 total points
ID: 38812419
Maybe you could associate the .mdb extension with something like notepad.exe ... that would stop users from opening by double-clicking. But if they open Access, and then use the access menus to open the file, Access will open the selected file (regardless of the extension, or anything else, if it determines it's an Access-format file).
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:bczingo
ID: 38812446
ahh - thats a different perspective now - internally access does not use the extension - it does try to open anything...hmmm-
Ok - Thanks!
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LVL 57
ID: 38814221
OK, took a peak at this yesterday and what I thought would work won't.

  I thought A2007 and up kept seperate engine keys for ACE (the "new" version of JET) and JET 4.0 and it would be possible to set the keys for 4.0 in a way that would make running a MDB impossible.

  However it appears that ACE and JET 4.0 are different pretty much in name only.  The same set of engine initialization keys is used for both.

  The other idea I had was too look for a key that Access 2007 and up would use when opening a file and not allow .MDBs (much like Outlook which blocks specific extensions).

 As has been pointed out though, the extension means nothing (it's the database header page that tells Access what's what with a file), but most users don't know that, so it might have been workable.

 This is not all that different then altering the shell extension for the MDB file in Windows, but this was a bit different in that it would stop someone opening Access and then opening the file.

 I could not find such a key though.

Jim.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Luke Chung
ID: 38814792
The overall rule to change from mdb to accdb extensions is what's misguided. One can change the extention without even converting the database. It's just a file name. Access opens the file and can tell if it's an Access database and then open it accordingly if it's an MDB format, ACCDB format, ADP format, etc. regardless of the extension.

For instance, for our Total Access Analyzer program, we store the documentation of databases in a file with exension *.TDB. It's just an MDB file and Access opens it. The difference in extension simply means it doesn't appear in the dialog when one searches for it.
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