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Bespoke Access mdb Database with Embedded Windows Authentication

Posted on 2013-11-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
Hello,

I've taken on IT support of a client who use an Access Database. They have moved over to a new Windows domain and have new Windows login usernames.

Now when running the mdb file they get a popup:
title: <database name>
ERROR!
You do not have a user account.
You cannot use this application.

If i create a local account with the same username as the old Windows login they had, the application opens as expected.

Does anyone know how i can see/edit a user list which may be embedded in this file?

If it is not that simple, please let me know what lengths i can go to to change the mdb file or alternatively, how i might "fool" the file into thinking that the username may be correct?

Thanks,
0
Comment
Question by:support01
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9 Comments
 
LVL 58

Assisted Solution

by:Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)
Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE) earned 1200 total points
ID: 39646151
<<f it is not that simple, please let me know what lengths i can go to to change the mdb file or alternatively, how i might "fool" the file into thinking that the username may be correct?>>

 What your running into is built into the app.

 Try opening it with the shift key held down.  If you can get into the database, you can then see what form/code is being called at startup either via a startup form or the Autoexec macro.

 From there, you can discover what table holds the user info, or possibly see what table that might be directly (i.e. "tblUsers").

 That's as far as we can take it as EE TOS does not allow the posting of methods to break product security.

Jim.
0
 
LVL 21

Assisted Solution

by:Boyd (HiTechCoach) Trimmell, Microsoft Access MVP
Boyd (HiTechCoach) Trimmell, Microsoft Access MVP earned 300 total points
ID: 39646178
I agree with Jim. Sounds like a custom built security system.  

If the security  is well  designed/built then  it should be difficult to break into it. If it is,  I would expect there should be a custom built method for maintaining the users.

Is the original developer available?
0
 

Author Comment

by:support01
ID: 39646372
Thank you for your input. The original developer has long since left this charity.

Access 2010 / Windows XP 32 bit

When i open the mdb file by mimicking windows credentials, i'm presented with a single child window with a set of tabs and just data from the database.

The parent MS Access window online gives 2 tabs on the Office ribbon; File (contains only Print, Privacy Options, Exit),  Home (contains Filter, Find, Switch Windows etc), Add-ins (contains bespoke made menus including; File(About), Filter options, Reports etc).

When i hold shift when opening this mdb i'm given the exact same menu.

I'm reasonably confident that if i were able to find the correct table I could take it from there..

Any more advice on how i might drill down to see relevant tables would potentially be a lifesaver... I am logged in as "admin" - i can see this in the "about window".. I just don't see any option on maintaining a user list.
0
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LVL 58
ID: 39646387
Try hitting F11 to bring up the navigation pane, but it sounds like the app has been secured.

Jim.
0
 
LVL 21
ID: 39646596
Sounds like you are probably using the Access Runtime version.  If that is true you will not be able to get to the tables via the navigation pane.

If you do have the full Retail version of Access then the front end is probably locked down to prent anyone from getting tot eh navigation pane.

A quick way to test to see if you have the full Retail version of Access is to go to the Start Menu. From there can you find Access and open it? If yes then you have the full version.

Also, Have you verified that they actually own the rights to Access app?
0
 

Author Comment

by:support01
ID: 39647675
Hello,

Thanks for your continued help. The charity have a full version of MS Access 2010 through CTX. Therefore the menus must be locked down by design. I am also sure that the charity own this database, the title within the database is their charity name.

I am currently clutching at straws trying to figure out how to force the mdb file to start with credentials i know work. For example, when i create a shortcut to the mdb and edit this shortcut, i am trying to get the advanced options of the shortcut to "Run with Different Credentials". However, when i link the shortcut directly to the mdb, this option is greyed out.

The client is aware that this is a legacy system and is aware that this is the route down which i am going. I need to tide these people over on a system they can use somehow until they get the data ported to a new application.

Can anyone offer advice on how i might fool the mdb into thinking its being run with different credentials?

Thanks,
0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
support01 earned 0 total points
ID: 39647716
runas /user:<username> /savecred "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\MSACCESS.EXE C:\<database>.mdb"

This now allows me to open the database!

Now who to give the points to? Some very good answers here..
0
 
LVL 21
ID: 39648630
I am also sure that the charity own this database, the title within the database is their charity name.

Just because there name is in the title does not mean they own it. There name appearing be in the copyright would indicate ownership.

Since you do have the full version of Access, here is a way to find the user list if it is in a table:

1) create a new blank database.

2) Create linked tables.

a) If the application is split then create liked tables to the back end.

or

c) If the app is not split, crate linked tables to the shared database

3) Now you can look at the data in the tables to find the user list. Once found you can add the new user names.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:support01
ID: 39658820
workaround
0

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