Mar 09

Microsoft Office 2010 Update KB3085515 Causes Access ACCDE and MDE Databases to Crash

Access2010-boxMajor Alert: Office Update KB3085515 Breaks Microsoft Access 2010 Databases in ACCDE and MDE Formats

On March 8, 2016, Microsoft released an update KB3085515 for Office 2010. It addressed some VBA issues for Excel.

Unfortunately, the update of the VBE7.DLL file causes many Microsoft Access databases to fail. A heated thread on the Microsoft Community forum describes the problem: KB3085515 breaks MS Access 2010 reference

The updated file is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\microsoft shared\VBA\VBA7\VBE7.DLL

Fix

Microsoft released an update that fixed this problem: Office 2010 Update KB3114989


The information below is from the original diagnoses of the problem

Impact

We are still determining the full impact of this bug. We know this impacts wizards in Access and customers of our Microsoft Access add-ins. It also impacts the people you support with our runtime distribution libraries referenced from your MS Access databases. At the very least we know it prevents running:

  • Microsoft Access databases in ACCDE and MDE formats (defined below).
  • Databases (ACCDB or MDB) with library references to ACCDE and MDE files.
  • Built-in MS Access 2010 Wizards that are ACCDE files.

ACCDE and MDE Database Formats

ACCDE and MDE databases are “compiled” versions of ACCDB and MDB database formats where form and report design changes can’t be made and VBA modules can’t be viewed or edited. They are “locked” to referenced DLLs, libraries, and other dependencies that can change over time…provided those dependencies follow Windows protocol for binary compatibility to identify new versions.

Unfortunately, the Microsoft Excel update of the VBE7.DLL file broke the VBA dependency by not creating the new version correctly. That causes previously developed ACCDE and MDE databases to stop working. This was not an issue for the Excel community since they don’t have an equivalent “compiled” version of Excel spreadsheets (the VBA code is always exposed behind spreadsheets), but it kills Access Wizards and the ACCDE and MDE databases people create.

Microsoft Access 2010 Add-ins Won’t Run

In addition to causing some Microsoft wizards in Access to fail, our Microsoft Access 2010 add-ins won’t run since they are Access databases in ACCDE format. You may see messages like this when you try to launch them:

  • Microsoft Access can’t start the wizard, builder, or add-in.
  • This feature isn’t installed, or has been disabled.

There may be suggestions to reinstall the add-in but that won’t help. This impacts these of our products:

Microsoft Access ACCDE Libraries

Some of our products include ACCDE runtime distribution libraries that let you incorporate our product’s features in your application for distribution to your users. You and your users are impacted by this problem and may experience messages like these:

  • The code contains a syntax error, or a Microsoft Access function you need is not available.
  • File format no longer supported.

Customers using our redistributable runtime libraries in databases distributed to their users are impacted:

Microsoft’s Response

The Microsoft Access development team is aware of this problem and is working on a solution as we speak. Microsoft has already stopped people from downloading the update and thankfully didn’t release a similar update for Office 2013 and 2016. They’ve also published this blog post:

You may encounter errors with your ACCDE/MDE files and/or wizards after installing the March update for Office 2010 (KB3085515)

The hope is for a new update that fixes this problem. Timing of when that will be available is unknown, but we’ll keep you informed as we learn it.

Current Solution: Uninstall the Update

The only solution is to uninstall the update. You can uninstall it from:

  • Command line, or
  • Control Panel.

Run a Command Line

You can run this line from the command prompt or put it in a BAT file if you want to share it with others: Note that we have reports that this may not work for everyone since it requires certain permissions:

wusa /uninstall /kb:3085515 /quiet /norestart

Uninstall from the Control Panel

The patch can be uninstalled from the Control Panel, Windows Update program: WindowsUpdate In Windows 10, from the Windows Update screen, click on the Advanced options hyperlink: windows10-update then click on View your update history: windows10-update-historyChoose Uninstall updates to see the list of installed updates: windows10-update-uninstall For Windows 7, click on the View update history link on the left border: windows-update-history From the top section, click on the Installed Updates link: windows-update-installed

List of Installed Updates

View the list of Windows updates installed on your PC, grouped by product which are collapsible. Go to the section Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 (or equivalent): windows-update-uninstall Find the KB3085515 update, click on it to uninstall and confirm it.

Mar 07

Tips and Techniques for Setting Up Remote Desktop Connections and Using Multiple Displays

Remote DesktopWe have a new paper on Remote Desktop Connections describing how to:

  • Setup Remote Desktop Connections
  • Troubleshoot problems connecting to a remote computer
  • Tip to simplify logging in
  • Tip for using multiple display monitors

display-multiple

Remote Desktop Connections are Great for Running another PC On Site or Off Site

It’s very convenient to run another PC from your current PC. Whether it’s another machine in your office, network, or physical location, Windows offers a Remote Desktop Connection feature to do so. This is particularly useful to:

  • Run a PC on your network without having to physically go to it.
  • Run a Virtual Machine (HyperV or VMWare Workstation) hosted on another machine.
  • Run a PC next to you without needing a KVM switch to share monitors, keyboards and mouse. Common if you have older PCs lying around. Just remote to it.
  • From offsite, run the PC in your office (or network). You can run it as if you were on site with the benefit of the speed of your internal network rather than data coming to your PC over your Internet connection. You will need VPN authentication to connect to your network
  • Offer PCs with Windows applications that people can run without having to install anything on their PC. This avoids the issues with installations on individual machines, conflicts with other programs, Windows updates, etc. Easily manage Windows applications like Microsoft Access, Visual Basic 6, .NET and other legacy apps and let any user, including Macs, run them.

Learn more from our paper: Tips and Techniques for Setting Up Remote Desktop Connections and Using Multiple Displays

Dec 18

Total Access Analyzer Available for Microsoft Access 2016

Total Access Analyzer, the most popular Microsoft Access add-in, is now shipping for Microsoft Access 2016.

Total Access Analyzer offers comprehensive documentation and analysis of your MS Access databases so you can better understand individual objects, cross-references between objects, procedure and data flow diagrams, VBA module analysis, and much more. Detecting over 300 ways to fix and improve your databases, Total Access Analyzer improves the quality of your work, teaches you best practices for Access application development, and increases your productivity.

main-menu-2016

New FeaturesTotal Access Analyzer

  • Support for Microsoft Access 2016, 32 and 64 bit versions
  • New Suggestion: Incorrect Link to Subforms
  • New Suggestion: Relationship Field Cross-Reference and Field Type Comparison
  • Enhanced Cross-Reference of Aliased Tables in Queries
  • Pass-Through Queries are Not Cross-Referenced
  • Windows 10 Support
  • New Manual and Context Sensitive Help

For additional details, visit New Features in Total Access Analyzer 2016 for the enhancements since the Access 2013 version. Existing customers can upgrade at a discounted price. A demo version is available.

Dec 18

Total Access Detective Available for Microsoft Access 2013 and 2016

We are delighted to announce the release of Total Access Detective for Microsoft Access 2013 and 2016. Total Access Detective lets you quickly find differences between any two databases or two objects in your current database, know exactly what changed at the table, field, property, control, macro line and VBA module code level. You can even compare tables for data differences.

Main Menu for Comparing Two Databases

main-menu-2016

Add-in Menu to Launch Total Access Detective to Compare Two Objects in the Current Database

addin-menu

The Object Comparison Wizard:

two-object-selection

Enhancementsdetective

The latest version offers many enhancements from the previous versions:

  • Support for the 32 and 64-bit versions of Access 2016 and 2013
  • Module and Text Comparison Option to Ignore Line Numbers
  • Search Bar to Filter Objects and Properties by Name
  • See and Filter Tables based on Whether it’s Linked
  • Procedures with Differences List
  • New Manual and Help File

For more information on the enhancements, visit: New Features in Total Access Detective 2016 and 2013

Existing Total Access Detective customers can upgrade for a discounted price.

Oct 21

Microsoft Access 2016 and Invisible Picture Images

December 8, 2015: Microsoft released an update that addresses this issue. Information and downloads are available here: Microsoft Access/Office Updates for December 2015. Updates were provided for Access 2016 and 2013, plus Office 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and 2003. Note this issue never affected Access 2013. Here is the KB Article and download for Access 2016. We’ve updated our Microsoft Access Version Releases, Service Packs, Hotfixes, and Updates History with the new updates.
NOTE: When we downloaded the update for 2016, we received build 16.0.6001.1038 dated 01-Dec-2015. That’s different from the 08-Dec-2015 announcement which described build 16.0.4312.1000 dated 12-Nov-2015. The update we installed resolves the invisible image issue, but we have yet to receive an explanation for the difference.

Microsoft Access 2016Microsoft recently released Office and Access 2016. In our preliminary testing and development with the 2016 version, there’s very little that has changed from Access 2013. However, a bug was introduced late in the development cycle that is quite annoying and serious.

Some Images (Pictures) are Missing

If you’ve added images (pictures) on your forms and reports, they may appear blank in MS Access 2016. For example, here’s a form with a picture image that is blank in 2016:

2016

This occurs with the 32-bit version of Access 2016 (16.0.4229.1024) and not the 64-bit version. That’s not a reason to use the 64-bit version, but it is a difference.

Not All Pictures are Invisible

Some images appear properly, while others don’t. With some research, we discovered:

  1. Images that were originally BMP files appear properly
  2. Graphic types such as GIF, JPG and PNG formats become blank

Impacted by the Picture Property Storage Format Setting

Upon further investigation, the problem is associated with the database’s Picture Property Storage Format when the picture was added to the form or report. This is under the Access Options setting for the Current Database:

Options-PictureFormat

There are two options:

  • Preserve source image format (smaller file size)
  • Convert all picture data to bitmaps (compatible with Access 2003 and earlier)

If the image is added when the option is set to the second option (Convert), the non-BMP graphics do not appear in the 2016 version.

Microsoft is Fixing the Problem

The Microsoft Access team is aware of this bug and fixing it. How long it will take before it’s publicly available is undetermined. It’ll probably be a few months as service packs take a while to get through the Office release process. We’ll let you know when we know.

What to do Now?

If you can’t wait for Microsoft to release a patch and need to use Access 2016 immediately, here’s what you should do:

  1. Set the Current Database, Picture Property Storage Format to “Preserve source image format”
    Options-PictureFormat-preserve
  2. Reinsert your pictures. If your pictures are BMP files, the storage format setting won’t matter

Of course, it’s not easy to find all the places on your forms and reports where this is a problem, then reinsert every picture, especially if you don’t have or can’t find the original graphic files.

Total Access AnalyzerProperty Slices in Total Access Analyzer Can Help

Our Total Access Analyzer program documents all the objects in your database. While it can’t replace your graphic files, it identifies all the places where there’s a picture property. Whether it’s at the object (form or report) level or its controls, the Picture property shows whether an image file is assigned.

After documenting your database, from the Documentation Explorer, click on the Forms folder in the treeview, select the Property Slices tab, then choose the Picture property. This shows every form and its picture property value. The ones that aren’t “(none)” need to be reviewed:

property-slices-forms

Similarly, choose the Controls option and Picture property to see this value for all the controls on all your forms:

property-slices-controls

Press the Design button to put the current row’s form into design mode to make your changes. Then do the same for reports.

Unfortunately, this is quite a hassle for something that should just work. Let us know what you’re experiencing.