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OFF2000: Windows Installer Breaks Access 95 File Association

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This article was previously published under Q246093
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 ( ) Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry

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After you install Microsoft Office 2000 on a computer that already has Microsoft Access 95 installed, you may receive the following error message when you double-click an Access 95 database:
The Windows Installer failed to install the program associated with this file. Please contact your system administrator.

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This problem occurs if you install the Standard version of Office 2000 (which does not include Access). This problem also occurs when you install either the Professional or Premium version of Office 2000, and you choose not to install Access 2000. If you choose to install Access 2000 or if you set Access 2000 to Install on first use, the error does not occur.

Specifically, this problem occurs because the Access 95 Setup program writes a string value named Command to the Command key in the registry. When you double-click the .mdb file, the Windows Installer tries unsuccessfully to use this string value to install Access 2000.

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To resolve this problem, obtain Microsoft Office 2000 Service Release 1/1a (SR-1/SR-1a).

To obtain SR-1/SR-1a, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
245025� OFF2000: How to Obtain and Install Microsoft Office 2000 Service Release 1/1a (SR-1/SR-1a)

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To temporarily work around this problem, remove the Command string value from the Command key of the Access 95 shell key in the registry. To do so, follow these steps.

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.
  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Locate the the following key in the registry:
  3. Note that there are two string values listed for this key: Default and Command. Delete the Command string value.
  4. Quit Registry Editor.

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Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Access. This problem was corrected in Microsoft Office 2000 SR-1/SR-1a.

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More information

Steps to Reproduce the Problem

  1. On a computer that has a newly installed version of Microsoft Windows 98 (a clean install), install Access 95. Accept all the default settings. A typical installation is fine.
  2. Install Microsoft Office 2000 Standard.
  3. In Windows Explorer, browse to c:\Msoffice\Access\Samples.
  4. Double-click the Northwind.mdb database.
Note that you receive the error message mentioned in the "Symptoms" section of this article.

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Keywords: kbbug, kberrmsg, kbpending, KB246093

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Article Info
Article ID : 246093
Revision : 4
Created on : 1/25/2007
Published on : 1/25/2007
Exists online : False
Views : 380