Notice: This website is an unofficial Microsoft Knowledge Base (hereinafter KB) archive and is intended to provide a reliable access to deleted content from Microsoft KB. All KB articles are owned by Microsoft Corporation. Read full disclaimer for more details.

You receive a "Can't find the database you specified" error message when you start Access 97 after upgrade to Office 2000

View products that this article applies to.


When you start Microsoft Access 97 by double-clicking the Msaccess.exe file or a shortcut directed to that file, you may receive the following error message:
Can't find the database you specified, or you didn't specify a database at all.

Specify a valid database in the command line and include a path if necessary.
When you try to open a database by double-clicking the .mdb file or a shortcut directed to that file, you find that it opens, but that you cannot see the Database window or most of the default menus and toolbars. If your database doesn't have a Startup form, you only see a gray background in Access.

You may also experience the following symptoms:
  • When installing Office 2000 and you click Customize, there is no choice to keep Microsoft Access 97 in the Remove Previous Versions dialog box. If Microsoft Access 97 was the only Office program installed, you do not see the Remove Previous Versions dialog box.
  • After installing Office 2000, Microsoft Access 97 is missing from the list of installed programs in the Add/Remove tool in Control Panel.

↑ Back to the top


You have installed Microsoft Office 2000 on a computer that already has both Access 97 (installed with Office 97 Professional) and a run-time application built on Access 97 installed.

The Office 2000 Setup routine recognized the existence of the Access 97 run-time program on the computer, but removes certain files and registry keys needed for the full version of Access 97 to run correctly.

↑ Back to the top


Reinstall Office 97 Professional to replace the files and registry keys that were removed by the Office 2000 installation.

Reinstalling Office 97 Professional

NOTE: Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.
  1. Rename the Hatten.ttf font to Hatten.old. By default, the Hatten font is located in the Fonts folder in the Windows folder.
  2. Insert the Microsoft Office 97 Professional Edition compact disc into the CD-ROM drive and run the installation program.
  3. When prompted for a location to install into, make sure to select the same location where Office 97 was previously installed. The default location of Office 97 is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office.
  4. Complete the type of installation that you want.
When you have finished reinstalling Office 97 Professional, both versions of Access and your run-time application should work as expected.

During the reinstallation of Office 97, the application icons on the Programs submenu of the Start menu will be changed to start the Office 97 versions of the Office applications. If you want to change the Start menu so that it starts the Office 2000 versions of the applications, you have to repair the Office 2000 installation.

Repairing the Office 2000 Icons

  1. On the Start menu, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  3. In the Add/Remove Programs Properties dialog box, select the Office 2000 product from the list of installed programs, and then click Add/Remove.
  4. In the Microsoft Office 2000 Maintenance Mode dialog box, click Repair Office.
  5. In the Reinstall/Repair Microsoft Office 2000 dialog box, click to select Repair Errors in my Office installation, and then click to select (check) Restore my shortcuts.
  6. Click Finish.
  7. When asked to restart the computer, click Yes.
After you have restarted the computer, the icons on the Start menu will start the Office 2000 versions of the Office applications.

↑ Back to the top


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Microsoft Office 2000.

↑ Back to the top

More information

The Setup routine for Microsoft Office 2000 Premium is designed to handle the following two different types of pre-existing software installations:
  • Access run-time application is installed on the computer.
  • Earlier version of Office is installed on the computer.
When a computer has both Office 97 and an Access 97 run-time application installed on the same computer, the setup routine recognizes the run-time application but does not account for the full installation of Office 97. As a result, the setup routine installs Office 2000 into C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office2K to preserve the Access 97 run-time application, but removes certain Office 97 files and registry keys as if it is replacing the existing Office 97 installation.

Steps to Reproduce Behavior

  1. On a clean installation of Windows, install Microsoft Office 97 Professional to the default folder location.
  2. Install a Microsoft Access 97 run-time application on the same computer.
  3. Install Microsoft Office 2000 Premium on the same computer.
You see the following behavior:
  • When you start Access 2000 (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office2K\msaccess.exe), it runs correctly.
  • When you start the Access 97 run-time application, it runs correctly.
  • When you start the Access 97 program (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\msaccess.exe), you receive the error mentioned in the "Symptoms" section.

↑ Back to the top


The following article describes a similar issue that results in the same error message described at the beginning of this article:
235279 ACC2000: "Can't Find the Database You Specified" Error When Starting Access 97 on Computer with Office 2000 Small Business Tools
For additional information about installing Access 97 and Access 2000 on the same computer, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
241141 ACC2000: How to Install Access 97 and Access 2000 on the Same Computer

↑ Back to the top

Keywords: KB235280, kbnofix, kberrmsg, kbprb, kbopenfile, kbcorrupt, kbsetup

↑ Back to the top

Article Info
Article ID : 235280
Revision : 5
Created on : 1/24/2007
Published on : 1/24/2007
Exists online : False
Views : 358